HASC Moves Against Proposed Cuts to Reserve Components

The House Armed Services Committee scrapped the Air Force’s proposal to cut 5,100 Air National Guardsmen and 900 Air Force Reservists in Fiscal 2013, choosing instead to trim just 695 Air Guard positions and add 1,028 Reservists compared to the Fiscal 2012 authorized levels. Among the modifications to the Air Force’s proposed force structure for the reserve components, the committee prohibited the Air Force from divesting the Air Guard’s brand-new C-27J intratheater airlift fleet next fiscal year and from taking two Air Guard fighter units off of aerospace control alert, according to the report accompanying H.R. 4310, the House’s version of the Fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill. The committee passed H.R. 4310 on May 10. Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz urged lawmakers on May 1 to supply the cash to support any extra force structure that they require the Air Force to maintain over the service’s proposed force levels; otherwise the service would be burdened with a force that it couldn’t sustain at acceptable levels of readiness. Toward that end, the HASC added some $366 million for the Air Guard, including for maintaining the two ACA locations, and some $182 million for the Reserve, according to the report’s funding tables. (HASC report; caution, large-sized file.)