If the Air Force rebalances its end strength and resourcing across the Active Duty and reserve components, it stands to save valuable dollars in areas where Congress is offering little relief, according to the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force report. Specifically, increased operational integration will lead to “significant” savings in military personnel accounts without appreciably increasing operational risk, states the report, which was released Thursday on Capitol Hill. By utilizing the Air Reserve Component on a routine basis, its readiness rates will increase, serving as an added benefit to the Total Force. To do this, USAF should increase the routine employment of ARC units and personnel to meet “recurring rotational requirements”—measured by at least 15,000 “man years” annually, NCSAF Chairman Dennis McCarthy said. A “man day” is defined as funding paid to reservists to perform duty over and above their minimum number of days for inactive duty training and annual tour, notes the report. For funding, the Air Force should include a specific funding line for “operational support” by the ARC in all future budgets, to clearly program funds for routine employment of ARC personnel either as volunteers or under Title 10 authority. In addition, the commission urges USAF to fill future expansion in the cyber and space missions with ARC airmen, as well as expand Air Force Reserve participation in the Minuteman III deterrence mission. (NCSAF report; Caution, large file)
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.