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The congressionally mandated commission charged with studying the Air Force’s force structure and recommending changes has held its inaugural meeting, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told lawmakers on Tuesday. The eight-member panel, formally called the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, came together for the first time on April 30, said Donley in testimony on May 7 before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Established in the Fiscal 2013 defense policy act, the commission is required to make its recommendations to the President and Congress next February. “Our proposed force structure is relatively stable for now,” said Donley. “But, beyond Fiscal 2014, it’s dependent on decisions yet to be made, and especially on achieving a balanced approach to deficit reduction to avoid further sequestration.” Beyond the commission, the Air Force has established the Total Force Task Force to provide the service’s leadership with strategic options on the appropriate mix of Active Duty, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve capabilities. The task force will also serve as a resource for the commission, said Donley. (Donley’s written testimony)