Air National Guard Director Lt. Gen. Bud Wyatt and Air Force Reserve Chief Lt. Gen. Charles Stenner said Thursday USAF’s move to 179-day air and space expeditionary force rotations will not be a problem for the service’s part-time warriors. But both leaders would like to see some flexibility built into the new rules to prevent burnout in the reserve force. “Accommodating the dwell time that comes along with that will absolutely help us retain all those individuals,” said Stenner during a reserve components’ panel discussion at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition in Orlando, Fla. Maintaining a 1:5 deploy-to-dwell time, is ideal since dropping the rate to 1:4 or below creates a corresponding decline in retention, he said. Wyatt, appearing on the same panel, said, “It’s important to note that one of the strengths, at least of the Air National Guard, is the percentage of volunteerism we have that allows us to not only fill our ranks, . . . but to be able to deploy in a fashion that accomplishes the Air Force mission,” while preserving the critical relationship between the military, individual reservists, and their civilian employers.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.