Finding That New Place

There’s no denying the difficult challenges that the Air National Guard faces in moving beyond performing just traditional missions like flying fighters and broadening out to embrace new roles like operating remotely piloted aircraft, Air Force Gen. Craig McKinley, National Guard Bureau chief, told defense reporters Tuesday. “The Air Force writ large is transforming itself,” he said. He continued, “Where we are going to end up, I wish I knew, but we are going to another place.” Reaching that destination is admittedly a “gut-wrenching” process for Air Guardsmen in units that have flown fighters for many decades and who are used to a large, platform-based Air Force, he acknowledged. But he supports the course set by the Air Force leadership because “on the other side of this is going to be a transformed United States Air Force with a Guard and Reserve that can operate with it.”