Keeping the Experienced Force

Orlando, February 18, 2010—Air Force Gen. Craig McKinley, National Guard Bureau director, noted that 75 percent of Air National Guard personnel have served on active duty, many having spent decades in their specialty. (As example, he said the four ANG F-15 pilots who flew top cover over the Super Bowl this year have a total of about 14,000 flying hours in the fighter.) The key to preserving that capability, he said, is to ensure that Guardsmen have the same opportunities in education, training, and equipment as their active duty counterparts. McKinley said USAF has done well in transitioning the Cold War Air Guard to its 21st century incarnation, but service leaders and senior Guard leaders need to take a “joint and progressive” look at replacing the legacy fighter units flying air sovereignty alert missions as well as focusing on new mission areas.