Governors Seek Guard Presence on Force Structure Panel

The National Governors Association leadership urged President Obama to include “senior National Guard leaders” on the independent National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force. “It is imperative that National Guard officials be included on the commission to further discuss and resolve long-term strategic issues,” states the Jan. 7 NGA letter, which is signed by Gov. Jack Markell (D-Del.), NGA chair, and Gov. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.), NGA co-chair, along with Gov. Terry Branstad (R-Iowa), Council of Governors chair, and Gov. Christine Gregiore (D-Wash.), COG co-chair. Congress established the eight-member commission in this fiscal year’s defense authorization act to determine what the proper make-up of the Air Force should be. Congress made this move after governors, through the COG, resisted the Air Force’s proposed Fiscal 2013 force structure plan since they felt it made unfair, disproportionate cuts to the Air National Guard. The defense act, which Obama signed into law on Jan. 2, stipulates that the President shall choose four of the commissioners, while senior congressional defense overseers select the remaining four members. The commission will make its recommendations to the President and Congress by February 2014.