Expanding Active Associations

The Air Force would be well served to utilize active associations for missions today as well as future activities like F-35 strike fighter and KC-46 tanker operations, said Air Force Reserve Command boss Lt. Gen. James Jackson. “That organizational construct is very strong. You have an Active Duty squadron in a Reserve wing,” said Jackson in a Sept. 19 interview at AFA’s Air and Space Conference outside Washington, D.C. This setup provides force development for the Active Duty and Reserve and it utilizes the experience and skills of both components, he said. As the Air Force beds down the F-35 and KC-46, the Total Force has to “look very hard” at basing efficiencies, said Jackson. “We’ve said this in public and Congress doesn’t like it very much, but we need to look hard at what is the most efficient way of basing for those two platforms,” he said, noting that the Reserve is involved in discussions with the Air Force Secretary and Chief of Staff on this point. Currently, AFRC is also discussing with Air Combat Command the beddown of some 167 Active Duty F-16 pilots and maintainers at Reserve locations in Florida and Texas, said Jackson.