Marrying Ideas for the Total Force

The Quadrennial Defense Review will take a “holistic approach” to addressing the ongoing debate over the proper Total Force mix, said Maj. Gen. Steven Kwast, the Air Force’s QDR director, on Wednesday. This will include marrying the recommendations of the Air Force’s Total Force Task Force and the independent National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force that Congress established, said Kwast during a talk sponsored by AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies in Arlington, Va., on March 20. The balance between the Active Duty component and the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve is “very, very complex,” and it’s important that the Air Force avoids a “stovepipe” fix and instead considers solutions that “can solve multiple problems,” he said. “The people part of this… is the most important part,” said Kwast. The Total Force issue was in the spotlight last year when Congress rejected the Air Force’s original Fiscal 2013 proposal to cut 5,100 Air Guard positions, 3,900 Active Duty billets, and 900 Air Force Reservists, along with corresponding aircraft reductions. Instead, lawmakers accepted force structure changes reduced in scope and mandated the commission for a deeper look at the best Total Force makeup.