The Air Force Reserve remains a highly cost-effective force with some of the most experienced airmen across all of USAF, said Air Force Reserve Chief Lt. Gen. Charles Stenner. Reservists “comprise nearly 14 percent of the total Air Force authorized end strength at only 5.3 percent of the military personnel budget,” Stenner told the House Armed Services Committee’s military personnel panel in a prepared statement last week. Put differently, he stated, “roughly 3.5 Reserve airmen” serve for the cost of one active duty airman. “It’s important to emphasize when Air Force Reserve airmen are not training or performing an operational mission, they are not being paid; yet they remain ready to respond to crises around the globe within 72 hours should they be called upon,” explained Stenner. “Given the resource challenges affecting our nation’s security, this full-time readiness/part-time cost is the most cost efficient model for doing business.” Reserve officers have roughly 15 years of experience on average, and Reserve enlisted members average 14 years of service, compared to 11 years and nine years for active duty Air Force officers and enlisted members, respectively, he noted for the July 27 hearing. (Stenner’s prepared remarks)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.