Air Force Reserve and Air Mobility Command will be slowly ramping up the three new active associations being formed at Keelser AFB, Miss., March ARB, Calif., and Peterson AFB, Colo., says Lt. Gen. Charles Stenner, Air Force Reserve chief. “Over the next three to four years, we will do a gradual implementation to something that is considered like fully operational capable,” he told reporters Feb. 19 during AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando. These new partnerships were announced last October. Active duty personnel will team with Air Force Reserve Command’s C-130 combat-delivery units at Keesler and Peterson and with its KC-135 tanker unit at March. He also noted that the pairing at Peterson will mark the first active duty presence in the mobile airborne firefighting mission. And, he did not exclude the possibility of active duty personnel also supporting Keesler’s WC-130J weather-monitoring aircraft at some later point. (Also see below, Switching Jobs?)
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.