Lt. Gen. James Jackson, Air Force Reserve chief, urged members of the congressionally mandated commission studying the Air Force’s structure not to advocate merging the Air National Guard and Reserve. “I believe the nation benefits from the synergistic value of a three-component Air Force consisting of the Active Duty, Air Force Reserve, and Air National Guard,” said Jackson in his Oct. 24 testimony before the commission in Arlington, Va. “I do not believe combining the AFR and ANG is beneficial or value-added to our nation,” he said, noting that the idea has surfaced “many times during the 65 years of our history, yet has never materialized.” The eight-member commission is charged with making recommendations to Congress by Feb. 1, 2014, on how best to configure the Air Force to meet current and future mission requirements with available resources. (Washington, D.C., report by Col. Bob Thompson) (See also Flexibility is the Key.)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.