As much expertise as the National Guard has compiled in homeland defense missions, Air Force Gen. Craig McKinley, National Guard Bureau boss, said he is not receptive to suggestions that would separate the Guard from the total force to serve solely in domestic missions. “This heads you down the road of being a constabulary force and won’t serve the nation as effectively,” McKinley said Tuesday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference. To dedicate the Guard—Army or Air—to domestic missions would erode capability across the total force.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.