By Jenny Swigoda
ROA, Content Manager
After months of testimony, hearings and studies, the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force (NCSAF) has released their report regarding the future force structure of the Air Force. The eight commissioners examined areas of divide concerning the active, Guard and Reserve Components in the nine-month study. In total, the report contains a list of 42 recommendations for the president and members of the House Armed Services Committee to consider.
While the idea of merging the Guard and Reserve forces had been proposed, the commission recommended against such a measure, instead suggesting reduction of staff across the three branches of the Air Force.
“The Air Force has made superior use of all three components,” said NCSAF Chairman Dennis McCarthy, and former Executive Director of ROA. “The integration of staff at the headquarter level will create more opportunities, especially for Reserve Component members to serve at higher level staffs.”
Members of the commission discovered that the Air Force maintains a level of readiness equally in both the Reserve Component and the Active Component. Commission member Les Brownlee said that he was surprised to learn that the Air Force maintains 30 percent of Reserve Component members full-time.
The recommendations outlined in the report pointed to a total force structure more reliant on the Reserve Components.
“A force structure more reliant on a larger proportion of the Reserve Component will not look exactly like the force the Air Force has successfully employed in recent decades. Changing that force is not a criticism of the preceding force structure; it is recognition that the current and future budgetary and security environments present challenges that require new solutions…Shifting to a total force more reliant on Reserve Component part-time forces, combined with potential divestiture of complete aircraft fleets, will have significant implications for installations,” the report said.
The NCSAF was created in the Fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act and was directed by Congress to determine how the structure should be modified to best fulfill current and future mission requirements for the Air Force in a manner consistent with available resources.
“The report contained bold thoughts that captured all of the strengths and economics of the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard in a who new organizational structure,” said ROA Executive Director Major General Andrew Davis, USMC (Ret.). “There is an under-utilized resource in the Reserve and Guard that was echoed in testimonies delivered to the commission. The Reserve, Guard and Active Duty readiness is about equal so it’s time to make use of that talent.”
The NCSAF invites comments from members and the general public on their findings, you may sumbit your comments by visiting their website.