Air Force not backing down from Guard budget battle

Air Force not backing down from Guard budget battle

The Air Force has not completely backed down from the cuts to the Reserve and Guard proposed in the 2013 defense budget  that Congress firmly rejected.

Air Force Gen. Gilmary M. Hostage III, head of Air Combat Command, explained Friday in a speech at a Washington think tank why the cuts made sense in the service’s efforts to try and absorb the Air Force’s portion of the $487 billion in defense cuts.

Air Force leaders chose to cut the Guard and Reserve’s force structure and personnel more heavily than active duty. Senior leadership planned to reduce the Guard’s force by 5,100 airmen, the Reserve’s force by 900 airmen and the active duty’s force by 3,900 airmen.

Hostage said Friday the service had no choice. With defense spending shrinking, Air Force leaders needed to take the appropriate steps to avoid a hollow force. He said cuts made to the Guard and Reserve were not necessarily wrong, they just didn’t pass Congressional muster.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh has said the service should have done a better job vetting the cuts with Congress before proposing them in the president’s budget. However, Hostage said Air Force leaders had their hands tied by the non-disclosure agreements Pentagon leaders had to sign while preparing their budgets.

“When we brought [the budget] in it was disconnected from political realities so that’s why we had this. I truly don’t think Congress had thought through what a $487 billion cut looked like,” Hostage said.

The Air Force is working with Congress as well as Guard and Reserve leaders to formulate a compromise on cuts. Hostage said he worries that those negotiations and resulting cuts will be driven too heavily on political considerations, and not operational realities. When Congress received the budget, lawmakers told the service to “go back and try again,” Hostage said.

“But it’s the ‘go back and try again’ that I worry about because the tendency will be to say don’t touch any of that stuff, go take it from other places. But when we you don’t touch programs, you don’t touch people, you don’t touch bases, you don’t touch force structure, all that’s left is stuff that makes all that capability effective and useful,” Hostage said.

While the military and its funding shrinks, global military requirements continue to grow. The reduction in permanent forward bases has only increased the need to mobilize Air Force units. This has increased the load on Reserve and Guard units.

“We have shrunk the force and changed the balance to such a point that I need that Reserve force just to maintain my ability to keep up that ops tempo,” Hostage said.

However, the ACC commander said it’s a mistake to continue using the Reserve and Guard as an operational force. Doing so would strip away the cost effectiveness of the Reserve force. For this reason, he said it made sense to levy larger cuts to the Reserve and Guard rather than the active duty, which is better suited to maintain the operational tempo that Air Force leaders expect in future years, Hostage said.

“In the near horizon, I think there’s a sense in 2014 when we bring the Afghanistan Operation Enduring Freedom to an end, ops tempo will settle out,” Hostage said. “But the fact of the matter is, with the reduced permanent forward presence and the requirement for forces forward, we are going to continue this ops tempo of sending forces forward just to do the theater presence missions we do in phase zero ops.”

The Air Force four-star explained that he understood why Congress and the White House is cutting the Defense Department’s budget. He described the nation’s deficit as America’s largest threat — larger than al Qaeda or any terrorist group. However, he feared the cuts that Congress expects the Air Force to make will hollow out the force.

“It’s unreasonable to think that defense is not going to participate. Whether sequestration happens or not, hard decisions are going to have to be made,” he said. “I expect we’ll see more cuts to defense.”

He fears those cuts could hollow out the Air Force if not done properly targeting specific accounts rather than spreading the cuts evenly across the service. If Congress protects force structure and personnel levels too strongly, it leaves the Air Force with few options.

“The only thing left to cut is operations and maintenance, flying hours, all those things that make the force ready, reliable and ready to go,” Hostage said. “There’s a significant element of enthusiasm or morale or impact on your force when you tell them to go out and do more but we’re going to give you less to do it. The phrase, ‘do more with less,’ I believe, is the battle cry of the hollow force.”

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And this year the White House has decided to cut the Air Force from the defense budget. That’s right. The whole service is not getting a penny…

I’m only joking but that would be funny if it did happen.

Just cut the Junk Strike Fighter and they could buy more F-22’s & Upgrade the current fleet of F-15’s & F-16’s as well as keep all the A-10’s and upgrade them to the A-10C.

From the outside looking in it looks like there is a new MYP IV contract for F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in the defense bill that the Senate is passing. Either it’s a contract for a lot more Super Hornets or it’s funding for the Super Hornet upgrades Boeing is offering or a combination of both. Whatever it is the Pentagon has said they want it removed from the budget. It appears that someone wants to kill off the F-35’s competition. The day after that the Navy modified an existing contract to purchase an additional 15 F/A-18E Super Hornets. The Navy’s message to the Pentagon was pretty clear: “Even if you kill the new Super Hornet orders on the defense bill nothing is stopping us from modifying existing contracts to get what we need.”

On the flip side, Obama wants $1.6 trillion in higher taxes over a decade and has offered $600 billion dollars in spending cuts. The Senate representatives said that wasn’t enough and, here’s the important part, they also wouldn’t mention publicly what programs they would cut. I’m wondering if the F-35 program or certain variants of the F-35 are on their list since it would make the cuts amount to about $1 trillion on top of Obama’s offer.

I get the feeling that there’s going to be some serious fighting going on between the White House and the Senate over the F/A-18E/F and the F-35C. When the bloodshed is over there’s a good chance only one of these fighters is going to be on the defense bill when it gets passed. As always, my money is on the Super Hornet, which is much more suitable for the new fiscal environment.

Tee you nailed the good that needs to come BUT. Well debate this post has shows why were in such BIG trouble and how were going to fly like a Eagle off the fiscal cliff. The infighting over which state or service or weapon or plane or tank or whatever and the money and power grabbers fighting over each other over it shows that we going to fall and hit the bottom. The nation is broken.

I agree with you, my option would also be the least expensive and the easiest to do in terms of $$$ and what we currently have available in technology.

The Air Force needs to learn how to participate in the defense of our nation with less expensive planes and lower ops tempo. If this means that we need to rethink how we deter wars, so be it. Phase 0 wouldn’t be necessary if war was more unpalatable to our enemies. At the rate we are going, it would behoove a third world country to act out and receive billions in fiscal spending courtesy of the American people.

Yeah, we’ll just go rethink that.

If I were the USAF, I would kill the JSF. Retire the A-10’s and replace them with A-29 Super tucano’s. Upgrade the F-16’s to Block 60 Standard. I would even upgrade the F-15’s to F-15 Silent Eagle. If you can’t upgrade the F-16 & F-15C, I would simply have them replaced with F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet.

Remember we are just at the start of 50 years of defense spending decline.

At the end we will have a professional force and it will be more capable then the current corrupt refuge for economic losers. Its not too much to hope that our military might then even be capable of winning a war.

I woulnt be concerned by cuts to the guard. The guard will be scrapped in the end anyways. A professional military has no use for what are weekend warriors and a state slush fund rolled into one.

At the same time the USAF needs to bring back Warrant Officer corp because they are losing valuable talent to other services that have Warrant officer Corp. It’s cheaper to pay a warrant officer than a commissioned officer. It would also give NCO and Senior NCO’s to work towards.

States are using this USAF budget issue as train-up for BRAC. As competition rises for declining resources, prospects for decisions optimizing our defense capabilities grow dim.

Did you see that LockMart is moving what’s left of the F-22 program from Georgia to Texas?

“Lockheed Martin announced on Monday that it will relocate about 560 F-22 jobs from Cobb County to Fort Worth, Texas next year.” — http://​www​.myfoxatlanta​.com/​s​t​o​r​y​/​2​0​2​5​1​5​4​9​/​l​o​c​kee

Where to make the cuts? With the exception of the pilots, they could get rid of half of the officers whose main jobs seem to be to make work for others to justify their positions. They should apply that same reasoning to the rest of the military. The officers propose and what what they propose are usually just wrongheaded and foolish programs or studies. If half of the pentagon was fired no one would notice, except the cleaning people.

Not to worry, US Government meddling will get us in to another war and get the defense dollars rolling again!! Syria, Iran, North Korea — take your pick.

I think you need to take a fresh look at what the Guard is truly about. As noted above, the Guard is not designed to operational as Active Duty for as long as they have been since we have been fighting in the Middle East. The Guard is the modern incarnation of the Revolution Era Minutemen and Militia. The Guard is the force tasked with protecting the homeland during crisis situations, with providing relief during and after natural disasters. The Guard has a key role to play in today’s world, but it isn’t what they have been turned into since we’ve been in the Middle East.

Former Texas Army National Guard, still Army proud.

The damn Air Force will do anything to dump the ANG and Reserve just like they want to dump any weapons systems the fighter jockeys don’t like (A-10 anyone?).

One hit on the Tucano and down she goes. They can’t carry any meaningfull payload and are too slow. The F-15 is not going to upgraded so quit coming up with fantasy ideas. It makes as much (or rather as little) sense as fantasy football.

Let’s see, the A-10 is showing it’s age and we don’t make the parts or have the tooling to manufacture the parts for the A-10 anymore. So replacing the A-10 with the A-29 Super tucano would fit the bill. Also Upgrading the F-15 to Silent Eagle would be one option or replacing them with the F/A-18 E/F super hornet. The F-16 can be easily upgraded to Block 60 Standard.

If the airframes have too many hours on ‘em, it may be better to simply buy new Block 60’s. The –16 line is open thanks to Middle East buys…

The solution is obvious. We make an A-10D Super Warthog.

Keep Dreaming buddy boy, We don’t have the manufacturing or the machine tools to build the A-10 anymore. It would simply be better to buy the A-29 Super Tucano.

Well then let’s go back and remake the tools and manufacturing for it. I don’t care. There’s no way it could be as hard or as expensive as making a battle ready F-35.

Really unfortunate to witness ignorance within our own country and among brothers in arms regarding the Constitutional history and relevance of the Guard to our nation’s defense. To make this kind of uneducated remark is haphazard at best.____The Guard is the most efficient defense force our national strategy has that is affordable to our taxpayers — and it keeps the taxpayers connected with the will of the nation. Cutting it cuts efficiencies we already have. A nation can’t maintain an enormous active component over the long haul. Even at the optempo of the last 10 years, the Guard is still more efficient monetarily to the taxpayer. Claiming that the active component forces should not be tied to the states or the nation is fundamentally opposing the construct of our Consistitution and states rights to be tied to the national defense. Read up on history. A good start would be familiarizing your self with the early 1900’s regarding readiness and the changes to our Army and the National Guard in law. Overinflating the need for more Active forces is not the answer.

We have the contractor supply chain to do repair and refurbishment. NG does repair and refurb, Boeing has the A-10 wing program and the modernization contracts, Lockheed is primary contractor for the “precision weapons upgrade program”.

I would rather see multiple airframe programs cut and a heavy R&D effort into anti missile defenses for said platforms. IR guided SAM’s don’t care about RAM. True they have a problem with tracking, so RAM airframes are still relevant, but I would more than willingly shut down F15/F18/F16 acquisition for this change. Same with A-10. I believe with UCAV’s, that the A-10 is finished except for beating up on barbarians without RADAR guided anti aircraft FLAK.

As one guy upthread posted, cut the officers, and watch systems acquisition programs become far cheaper as they would be bought, and developed in half the time when the ignorant paper pushers get their red tape oars out of the way of progress. Why the F-35 is such a mess. Got all 3 service eggs and braid in the works all demanding to be petted, pampered, and given hand jobs to their egos and career advancement and if there is even the slightest problem one now has to placate such pontificating blowhards in tripl

The Air Force should either do its own aircraft development or they should leave the contractors alone to fund their own development programs. The mixture of the Air Force involvement with “for profit” companies getting paid a profit to do airplane design is toxic. The inherit and obvious conflict of interest that encourages the contractor to drag out development as long as possible and to do as poor a job as they can get away with is an embarrassment to this nation.

The F-23 had IR suppression and still lost against the F-22 that didn’t have any good way of doing the same. Of course, next generation missiles will use optical seekers and will target aircraft shapes instead of heat signatures. They will be much harder to fool.

You realize that we don’t have the tooling or the Machine shop knowledge required to rebuild the A-10 anymore. The last tooling that was required to build the A-10 was destroyed in 1984 after the last A-10 was delivered to the USAF and Fairchild went out of business. On top of that in this tight economic climate, why keep something going that was designed from the 1970’s, when it’s already showing it’s age already. Their are platforms that can do a better job than the venerable A-10. Heck, I think the USAF should retire the A-10 and bring in the Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano. Its modern and up to date.

“Of course, next generation missiles will use optical seekers and will target aircraft shapes instead of heat signatures. They will be much harder to fool. ”

Sounds like that may just give us the incentive to produce workable optical cloaking systems.

Funny. The A-10 is showing it’s age, but the F-15 isn’t? The Super Tacano looks like a light weight and the A-10 is battle proven. Retool for the A-10 if need be.

For Dirt Wars with ‘Uncontested Air Space” like we are in currently the A-29 Super Tucano would be just fine. And I agree with you that we should buy a 100 or so for our next Dirt War, so we can keep the hours lower on the A-10’s. But for Contested Air Space you are going to need those A-10’s that can take lots of 23mm hits or lose an engine and keep flying it’s pilot back to base. The A-29 Super Tucano won’t survive in Contested Air Space.

My husband spend 38 years of his life in the Air Force/Air Nat. Guard. He absolutely loved serving his country in the Air Guard and is probably turning over in his grave right now to have someone say that in the end, the guard will be “scrapped”! He was in during Viet Nam, Korea, Desert Storm & would have still been serving when he died if allowed to do so! The Guard has been there through out the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. They have backed up the regular Air Force as though they were “regular” Air Force. In fact, when my husband died, there were so many in his unit in Iraq that they had to get an honor guard from out of state to fill in. Obviously, Itfunk4, you have no idea what the Guard or Reserves are all about.

Absolutely true; but if we have to pay the costs to re-bootstrap our A-10 capability, so be it.

The alternative is procuring a new ground attack platform…good luck with that.

Cuts have to be made and I am sure that there is alot of obsolete equipment in the Guard and Reserves of the
Air Force. I can remember back in 1982 seeing the Texas Air Guard flying in a Loadeo event and they were flying F-105 Thunderchiefs which even in that time were antiques. Volenteers and people elgible to retire probably would fill a good portion of the personnel cuts, this would not help those that would have to travel long distances however to other stations. I got cut back in 1989 from the Active Air Force with 13 years and I got nothing for my loss, I got no severance pay, assistance, only a go to he!!, we did not exist and were forgotten. I hope that the personnel who want to stay but are forced out are afforded other jobs in the other Reserves or Guard services. I am presently Retired out the Army :National Guard.

In this tight economic climate, do we have the funding to pay to remanufacture the A-10?

It would be wise to procure a new Ground attack platform than to keep alive something that has passed it’s prime.

It would supplement the A-10 force as well. Beyond 2030, the A-10 looks like it would be replaced with something better. So the question would be to replace it now or later down the road.

A-10’s can’t take tons of FLAK 23mm either. Its RADAR guided now… A-10 is essentially as survivable as the Tucano under such circumstances. Difference is that the A-10 is vastly more maneuverable and if its lucky, hide. Can also carry a few tons more to boot. Really depends how quickly said HARM missile can get scooted off the aircrafts rack and destroy that pom pom before turning into scrap metal.

I have a very hard time believing that the Tucano would be able to match the Warthog’s protection.

I read your white paper. It was good. I’m glad you called out the B for being totally unsuited for the USMC CAS mission. Harriers are now able to provide about as much air defense for an ESG as an F-35 would, and still get in low and slow for the CAS mission. It might not be able to go out and pick a fight with an eye toward air dominance as the F-35 might, but that’s not what Marines are supposed to be doing anyway. I agree that an upgraded Harrier is the way to go, and I agree that the Super Hornet proves it can be done quickly and (relatively) cheaply.

How, exactly, would the Super Tucano replicate the capabilities of the A-10? How would it perform the same mission in the same threat environment, as effectively, and without massive losses? And please don’t tell me that the Cold War is over and that we will never face another foe with a significant armored capability.

if you want to be a professional soldier join the military full time. Otherwise just go join the scouts of america.
Our military needs to get rid of the idea that it exists to pander to the self indulgences of its participants.

There has always been a big incentive to provide optical stealth. Flat grey paint is simply one form of optical stealth, and there are more sophisticated variations on that.

Having a twenty division army would not have stopped Al Qaeda from flying airplanes into the twin towers.

Having a twenty division army did not stop Hezbollah from kidnapping Americans and killing them at will during the ‘80s. By modern standards we would have to blame Reagan for not being diligent about embassy security.

As for cutting foreign aid, we did that in the 1990’s when we cut Afghanistan off. Once we did that, the country plunged into civil war. Once that happened, the Taliban grew out of Afghanistan, took Salafi money, offered Bin Laden a refuge from the Saudis…and the rest is history.

Wonder if something like Yehudi lights would work in air-to-air. God knows zazzle pattern camo doesn’t. Or digicam for aircraft? However, IRST would still pick it out…

How about cutting or stop giving money to countries and take care of this country first
None of our leaders are talking about cutting foreign funding
We have plenty of money to balance our budget if u cut foreign funding
Our leaders need to get there heads out
We need to build our military, not cut it
Look what happen when we were not strong ” 911 ”

The record of the A-10 stands. They can take incredible punishment that Apaches cannot.

I don’t think that means using A-10s will replace the need to be smart about taking defenses out from standoff, but there are times you need a penetrator to just smash in and rip everything a new one.

Teleoperated A-10, anyone?

The Rolls Royce Lift System is the heart of JSF-B. The Pegasus is maxed out. If you wanted to continue with something like Pegasus, then fund Boeing’s JSF-B and see where it goes. Or you could fund a new design with the LiftSystem and see where it goes…

Wasn’t Georgia the Martin-Marietta half of Lockheed Martin?

While I agree about cutting aid to countries that already hate us, the foreign aid budget isn’t big enough to “balance our budget.” Though, I would like to see all those billions spent here at home, instead.

As for 9/11, we were plenty strong in 2001, but our government and our law-enforcement agencies were lazy and complacent. Sadly, we still haven’t fixed that problem. Homeland Security and increased, invasive TSA operations at airports just papered over the problem, didn’t solve it.

Can you keep the A-10 flying pass 2030,2040 or even 2050. I think they should have replaced the A-10 when the age of Smart munitions came online.

I don’t know everything since I am not an Aeronautical Engineer, but from what I do know I remain unconvinced that the Pegasus engine cannot be upgraded to provide more thrust. I would like to at least see an attempt at improvement on the Pegasus engine made. If we make a new Harrier it would be ideal to give the Marines an engine that they are at least somewhat familiar with. If not, then another Lift System will need to be made.

Rolls Royce built both engines. I don’t think Rolls will care which way you go. Shoehorning the LiftSystem’s giant fan into a Harrier would be pretty crazy, and your sole option would be to upgrade the Pegasus. IIRC they were highly inefficient and lit the Harrier up like a Christmas tree?

Reading up on the Pegasus, it looks like one of the engines was blade heat on the turbine. I wonder if using some of the tech that went into the LiftSystem might be of use here. Modern materials and some redesign of parts but within the constraints of the Pegasus form-factor, since we can’t cut holes into a Harrier to fit the lift-fan in plug-and-play.

Rolls might even stand to make good money if they could upgrade legacy Harriers to a newer, more effective propulsion system. However, there aren’t enough customers to justify it, and it would cannibalize sales of their own LiftSystem and the JSF-B.
Edit: an interesting wikiblurb:

“The aim of the Advanced Harrier was to double the AV-8’s payload and range capabilities, and was therefore unofficially named “AV-16″. The British government pulled out of the project in March 1975 due to decreased defense funding, rising costs, and a small 60-aircraft requirement by the RAF. The US was unwilling to fund development by itself, and ended the project later that year.”

Edit 2: And for those of us who thought the Harrier had an uneventful test cycle:

You are talking procuring the Super Tucano as a new ground attack platform instead of the A-10 which is a proven performer and much better aircraft?

Well, if they can keep the B-52 flying until 2040, why not an aircraft 20 years newer?

Teleoperate A10s? Did you forget the gun latency problem.

No, I haven’t.

I’m not a big fan of teleoperating from Creech when you can have a FAC-type aircraft do the gun runs for you. We used to have drone mothership C-130’s in Vietnam, running Ryan Firebees through North Vietnam. Hoping that either a low RCS aircraft could be tasked to teleoperate A-10’s close by, or perhaps something bigger with more range?

Once you go satellite and start bouncing control from one end of the planet to the other you invite seconds of latency. It’s worse when the ground attack mission *depends* on high resolution video feeds for the pilot to make decisions with.

Amazing how the Tocano fans have come out.

Where’s the case for the enhanced performance of the Tocano over the A10 (e.g. payload, range, loiter time, weapons, survivability)?

The Air Force is mothballing 30% of the existing A10 fleet. The Air Force isn’t concerned with a need to do CAS. They are either right or maybe it’s time to let the Army assume the CAS mission like Marine Air does for the Marines?

General Hostage’s logic escapes me. How is it cheaper to cut troops you only pay a fraction of the time vs. full time airmen?

How does withdrawing from Afghanistan increase OPTEMPO? Maybe increasing deployments to six months to a year like the Army did might lower manpower needs? What a concept?

I’d like to read more on how the Guard/Reserve is critical to executing day to day USAF requirements like the general said because if that’s true it just defies logic to cut the guys that are fullfilling USAF missions at a lower cost.

Something isn’t right here…

I came from Active to the Guard thinking it would be a step down in overall quality…boy was I wrong! In fact the quality of today’s guard is equal in all areas and in fact more impressive is the civilian force multiplier! We have double talents that you just don’t see in Active and a lot of Guard members who came from active duty that might otherwise have been separated. Lets face it, we need both active and guard so don’t get caught up in the idea that Professionals come from’s so far from the truth…we like each other and Guard and Active need each other!

And when obummer getrs us into another war, the guard will again be activated just like in the last ones BUT there will be fewer of them. My Guard unit trains other countries pilots INCLUDING Afghanis, Germans, British, and other countries, not to mention Americans. As for hiding out, most of our pilots have combat experience.

Its true, I’m in a Helicopter reserve unit and we have almost all CGO’s (Mostly Maj and Lt Col) flying our birds, jobs that would be done by Warrant Officers in our sister services. Its alot cheaper to fly them than 10–15 year Maj’s and Lt Col’s

I retired as a Chief Master Sergeant (E-9). Do you think for a minute that I would have traded the authority and respect conveyed to me by the Air Force and my Commanders to become a WO? No thanks. In the eyes of the young troops (and Junior Officers), I had “Street Creds.” The AF has no need for WOs.

I’ve got an idea. How about our AD troops wait until they are 60 years old to receive a retirement like those of us in the Guard/Reserve. I’ve got a civilian job and give up a weekend a month (willing) for the retirement I’ll have to wait to 60 to get. How many AD troops will stay to 20 when they know they’ll have to wait for it. But think how much money that would save the government, 1/2 base pay to a 38 year old for the next 50 years.

The AF is slowly relegating itself into irrelevance. The A-10 is a close air support asset. If the ground forces got smart, they would just lay claim to the CAS and Tactical Airlift missions and push the AF out of the picture. Let the Navy take on the complete fighter/intercept mission and leave the AF with the heavy bomber mission. Wait! Didn’t the Army Air Corps fly the Heavy Bombers in WW II. Give it back to them and send the AF packing.

By the way, I am retired AF but I am sick of seeing the AF become a force of whiners and complainers.

ANG should be rolled under AFRES (each state does not need it’s own AF) and the Army Reserves should be rolled under NGB. Initial benefits: eliminate two HQ functions and associated overage head; better utilization of both reserve components… Having served at ANG HQ and AFRES HQ — AFRES is far more responsive and professional. Also act like part of team, not a separate and distinct agency. Not enough space to discuss leadership differences, but since General Conaway the ANG has been incredibly lacking…

You guys do realize the F-18 Is a NAVY jet not an Air Force jet! And also you want to replace the JSF, a jet, with a prop powered plane, the A-29! Are you out of your mind, it would never stand a chance this day in time!

And to all you people on here that want to throw your opinion around about cutting our military budgets, but have you ever stopped to think about how it’s going to not only affect the way this country will defend itself from these idiots overseas with their trigger happy fingers hovering over a nuke button just waiting for a chance to push it; or how these cuts will affect the people, like me in the Air National Guard, and others in the Reserve and Active Duty. Where we have a chance to be one of those thousands the our jobs are just cut because people like you guys don’t seem to care about our military. And if we are let go, we would have to go back to, whether you want to see it or not, a FAILING economy! It’s easy to say these things when it doesn’t personally affect you. Maybe, we should all think about how OUR Military, in general, has kept our land free to have all these rights and freedoms that most of us take for granted. So let’s all think about these things before we start pointing fingers on make cuts in places where cuts should not be placed. There are plenty of other places our government can make budget cuts and still keep the same military defence where it needs to be. As much as even I may not like it, we will ALWAYS need a military! The day we don’t, is the day we need to start worrying about something else that doesn’t need to be brought up at this time.
Maybe the best way to explain this is through a phrase that explains it all!


You guys do realize that there are more Guard and Reserve deployed over seas doing the job that the Active Duty is “suppose” to be doing! We no matter what branch or form (guard, active, or reserve) are a JOINT effort! You take one piece no matter how insignificant you people may think it is, and it will no only affect the military, but this country as a whole!

I am a full-time Air Guardsmen that work for Counterdrug. We provide cost free training to civilian law enforcement. We receive our funds from congress in order to support this mission. But, my current career field is “Dirt Boy” (Heavy Equipment), and I can say that I have just as much if not more expertise in operating heavy equipment and performing Air Field Damage and Repair than some of my Active Duty counterparts. I say this because I have trained and worked side by side with Active Duty, Reserves, and Guard. When we are done, Active guys that we work with have more respect for the Guard than what they originally had. I am not a weekend warrior because I wear my uniform EVERY day. And because of Counter drug, I am always on the go providing much needed training to cops.

Spoken like a true Lt. Make stupid assumptions, ignorant rants, and can’t defend or even explain what he said or why he said it.

Believe the pay rates, et al for W 1 thru 5 are close to those for O1 thru O5

Has always been so — total revamp in order?

I am a retired AF officer who had the opportunity to serve with wonderful senior NCOs and airmen. I know that while I was on active duty, we could not have made the mission without the support of our ANG and AFRES teams. However, I think money could be saved by combining the Naval Academy, West Point, and Air Force Academy. As students enter their senior year, they could make a choice as to which service they want to join. This could provide money to go to programs that are needed to keep this country safe.

Chief, I agree. Although I retired as a Senior Master Sergeant I knew and respected a lot of Chiefs as did the Officer Corp. I remember (barely) having a WO as Branch Chief at my first permanent duty station. I don’t believe he was any more respected and certainly was less knowledgeable than Chief’s.

I hope this is a joke. War does not stimulate real dollars it just inflates our current dollars. What about the innocent lives that are lost to wars.

Revolutionary war re-enactors, husband’s fun weekend, amateur police, amateur construction workers, retirees club. Sure the Guard is all that as others have pointed out — and none of it is worth the billions we waste on it. No other western nation waste so much money on this indugence.

What we need is professionalism not part time wannabes.

No we need to get rid of the guard and make the active forces professional. Like every other western nation has.

Replace the A-10s? Three Words “WTF!”

Cut use of Air Forcre One & Other Non Milatry uses of Air Force Assets !!!!

So the lets replace F-15s with an aircraft they routine wax in every regime of air2air combat. Genius. (I have the HUD tapes to prove this.)

While we’re at it lets replace the most effective CAS aircraft in history,with an underpowered, under gunned, uglier and less capable version of the T-6. Oh you already offered that idea.

Tony C is talking reality. It is in the media everyday. They are powder kegs waiting to explode. The moral issue is always going to be there and always has. One has nothing to do with the other.

We can’t finance the rest of the world and hope for the best. We can’t make people in other countries fight for themselves. If the Taliban, and they are not that many in numbers, can do what they do and the rest of the people have no spine to stop it, that is on them. Our money is not going to stop a mind set.

How much due you really know about the guard? I’m retired, but during my career I had 28 OCONUS tdys with 11 trips to the Middle East. Not going to say much, but research the ANG and Reserve. Oh, by the way, who due you think GUARDS the United States airways? Just research.….

Hostage remarks reflect a substantial disconnect with the new CSAF and the American people. The Guard and Reserve is an operational force that pro vides the AF its linkage with America. The failed AF FY 13 Budget reflects active AF latest effort (FY 12 C130 H plane grab from Guard, AF Corporate input to prior year PBD that sought to reduce Guard) and the AF now legendary screw up the 2005 BRAC proposal. When you add these blunders to AF generally excluding its reserve from recapitalization and modernization plans you see an active AF strategy that does not reflect the will of the people it serves. A shame — the AF developed the world’s most efficient and effective Guard and Reserve force and now puts that success at risk. What a shame for the country,

Third World country acting out to get US money? Wait! We did that in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Shades of the Grand Duchy of Fenwick! The mouse has roared!

I too wore the uniform as a young man. But at 1.2 million men and women under arms and another 865,000 in the Guard and Reserve, to fight, what maybe 10,000 “insurgents” worldwide, who don’t really pose a threat to CONUS? I honor your service, but the military is way too big, and is part of why we have a national debt that will take us down once all these investors figure out we can’t pay them back. The national debt just rolls over and over. It’s the classic definition of a Ponzi scheme. So, we have to pick and choose our wars, and let our overseas allies ante up and defend themselves. We don’t need troops in Japan, South Korea, Europe or the Middle East.

The Air Force, as usual, has it exactly wrong. We need to completely outfit and staff the Guard and Reserves with the best equipment and cut the Active forces way back. Our Founding Fathers didn’t trust a standing military because they knew it would get us into wars of choice like Iraq. But I guess we have a use-it-or-lose-it military in the U.S. now — which makes it an entitlement program by definition — which also means war (and indiscriminant killing in the name of protecting ourselves — can you say “drones”) is a core American industry. Since businessmen have shipped all our other industries overseas, I guess that’s all we’re left with — war.

How long can we keep the A-10 going before we realize that it’s no longer a viable weapon. We can’t keep it running forever. Sooner or later something bigger and badder than the A-10 is going to come along. I would cut the A-10 force in half and use them for Major bombing missions and the half you cut from the A-10. Transfer them to the Super Tucano and use them to Light to medium CAS, ISR, FAC and homeland security missions.

Ltfunk4: seriously, stop posting! You’re stupid and make up information to try and sound like you know what you’re talking about. But it’s VERY obvious you are clueless.

Old, obsolete, and wore out equipment need to be taken out of service as they are ineffective weapons and they are a gross waste of money. It makes no sense to keep people around maybe for 10 years or more waiting for newer weapon systems to be fielded doing odd ball jobs or busy work. These cuts will be done and if it were me in the cross hairs I would be demanding that the Air Force find me anouther job and if I had to travel I would get travel pay. I worked for 13 years in the Active Air Force and got cut in the drawback in 1989 and they afforded us no assistance what so ever. The Air Guard/Reserves will probably come back to size in a decade or two with fresh and brand new personnel and not you.

like any buerocracy the guard is convinced that the world would stop spinning if it dissappeared. But the fact is that the US would be more secure simply by saving the money.

I just have to laugh at tthe defending the airways claim. The one time we were attacked the guard was asleep and did nothing.

How can we expect commitment to win from people who cant even commit to showing up full time ?

I am a retired Air Guard member with 28 years of total active duty and guard time. Wait until age 60 to receive retirement would result in lower retention for current active duty members. The GI Bill and percentage of base pay for a 20 year retirement has changed dramatically since the Vietnam era. Phase in retired pay at age 60 would work, if done gradually. Then President Clinton reduced active duty numbers after Operation Desert Storm so much that when the ops tempo increased shortly after that the Total Force concept came to be. Guard and Reserve members were now world wide deployable and not just homeland security. Where active duty deployed Guard/Reserve planes were on the same flight line. Here is food for thought…don’t Congressmen who just serve one term get a pension for live and don’t contribute one dime to it? Are we considering all the options?

The “will of the people”?? I don’t think that’s in the DPG.

What are you trying to say Scott? Institute a retirement policy for AD whereby they do not start receiving retirement until age 60? As you say, I think that would reduce the AD ability to recruit and retain. If that happens over a long enough period, it greatly impacts the Guard/Reserves, since they get a large portion of their seasoned manpower from the AD. That’s one reason they have historically had cheaper manpower costs than the AD…they didn’t have to pay for recruiting, training and seasoning of Airmen. You have to be very careful of any policy that dramatically impacts AD’s ability to recruit quality people, because it will eventually put a real hurting on the Guard/Reserves.

People still get retirement benefits at sixty?

I don’t know, many nations prefer to use a reserve force that they don’t have to pay full time and can provide more than combat functions. Then again, we are in a country that *expects* to send people to war…

I’m surprised people haven’t sent your post to –37 limbo by now.

Here’s a +1 to start you off.

“Sooner or later something bigger and badder than the A-10 is going to come along.”

The B-52 will be replaced by something fancier. B-58, B-70, B-1B, B-2…


Every military has Reserve forces. Most nations across the world have immediate external threats and use their active duty forces to address them. Our active duty military is designed to fight overseas. Guard units are designed to protect the homeland, augment active duty forces, and act as state-controlled disaster/civil unrest forces. Even if you merged Reserve and Guard roles, the need is still there. Your juvenile comments about having the Active force take on Guard missions would mean nearly doubling the size of the active Army and Air Force to make sure every state was covered in addition to performing their other warfighting missions.

The general’s comments don’t pass the sniff test. he is proposing cutting programs that will save very small amounts of money, while keeping programs that are very expensive. They are cutting programs like the C-27 that last year they said was essential,now they say is not. I think we need to clean out the high paid generals in the pentagon and find some honest officers to plan our future.

NGAUS propaganda.

You haven’t listened to anything any one has said here. I was in active duty for 9 years. Over that 9 years, our aircraft were upgraded which should have made it easier for personnel to operate. But the idiots that are always among us came to power at several of our bases and our supervision, training and safety suffered because they all had attitudes like yours, “There’s no reason to change. Do what I say, when I say and don’t ask questions. Just die trying, even if it’s wrong.“
I am now a full time technician in the guard and have been a traditional for 18 years. We are more streamlined than active duty and we do things faster and more cost effective. We can do this because we have three times the experience the active duty personnel have because the turnover there is much higher since most personnel do not want to reenlist. We have proven this time and time again. We also trust each other here in the Guard. I have dealt with active duty, for the last 2 days, on a broke aircraft every one of them refused to get get together and get the bird fixed. All they could say is “I’m not signing that off. Let the next guy.” and they were ordered by a Command Level Office to fix the jet. So think about that before you spout off about not needing the guard.

EVERYTHING in our capabiltity is going to suffer under the abomination in the white house. This is only the tiny beginning.

There would be a large increase of burned out and unemployable people entering the civililan population each year who would probabaly cost three times as much in welfare, food stamps, and housing. I say unemployable I mean people that need time to adjust or go back to school or both. The Military retirement system should be with the Federal Civilian retirement system and we should bring back the Draft.

So what makes you think I need to be educated about the Air Guard?

Show me the numbers…give me some examples of jobs/functions that take 3x AD people to do vs one Guardsman. Show me why we need to keep the C27 now, under today’s defense strategy. Tell me how much capability America gets for that 7% of the overall AF TOA (by the way, I’m pretty sure I know where you got that number from).

Nobody in the conversation has ever said the Guard is not needed and valued…Hostage says it himself above. But idea that the Guard is equal to or better than the AD, and 3–1 efficiencies, the 7% businesss.…c’mon…the NGAUS kool-aid is thick and sweet and all you guys are drinkin it.

Hmmm…in 20 years I’ve moved 10 times, and probably have a couple more to do. Two of those moves were without my family. I’m assuming your Reserve component hasn’t asked you to do. That’s understandable, you and your family don’t want to put up with that, that’s your choice. But don’t equate a 20–30 year career on AD to a 20–30 reserve career. It is apples to oranges.

Wait, I thought the Guard reserve covered Northern and Southern Watch for ten years with very little active duty to keep it off the budget books under the Clinton administration strange how eveyone forgot this this fact, strange how no one rememebers this little effort, Oh thats right, this is the Democrats back door draft that NO one will ever mention in public, sure cut us, Let me know how it works out for you

Yes, if you have force structure in the ANG but you don’t use it, it is cheap…dirt cheap. However, as you said, when you use it it cost the same as AD. That’s why Hostage said that continuing to use the ANG as an operational force negates the cost effectiveness. Also, because of the different deploy to dwell policies, it takes more ANG units to fill a rotational deployment requirement than it does AD units…the ANG deploy to dwell planning factor is 1:5…AD goes at 1:2. So, if you keep more force structure in the ANG because the NAGUS lobby and the TAGs are snuggling up to Congress, you have to have more units to generate the same amount of “supply” than you do with the same amount of force structure in the AD. When budgets get cut, we can’t afford to keep that many, and we end up with the whole force going hollow.

Two points. First, while I agree 100% that most ANG units have a higher level of experience and have a hugh advantage in continuity over AD units, with all due respect I don’t believe your unit deployed to Iraq with half the number of personnel as the comparable AD unit…sorry.

Second, while I agree that the ANG units generally have higher levels of experience, that advantage is slowing ebbing away because the AD continues to be targeted for cuts while the ANG, with its very strong political lobby, remains the same size. You even said “Most of our recruits come fr the active duty as experienced 5 lvl’s or 7 lvl’s. because of our manning they are working the flightline not supervising as they would be in the AD.” If the trend of cuts to the AD with no cuts to the ANG continues, that source of experience will dry up…it already is. Then we’ll have an AD that is too small to fight the nation’s wars and an ANG that is too inexperienced to be effective. But the NAGUS coffers will be full and the TAGs and Governors will have plenty of folks available to fill up sand bags when the river floods. It is better for all concerned to maintain the proper balance between AD & ANG.

No Falcon, I haven’t been in the ANG. However, I’ve run many an deployement and the AD and ANG deploy the exact same way once the Guard is on Title 10. The AD deploys to fill a manning document as well, and they don’t take the entire unit.

“Asleep”. Lets recap all the intel that was available and had never been brought to light by our active intel offices. Had they all been talking to each other, our country might have been able to stop WTC’s from being destroyed. But no, another government entity that refused to work internally with others. Thousands of people had to die before they came together. Like tmb2 said. We reacted extremely fast and were ready to Diego defend our country. I myself was airborne in under 3 ours for heavies once we were told where to be. You really need to do some research.

While I agree 100% that the AF is a Total Force, the assertion that there are more ANG and Reserve personnel deployed OCONUS than AD is not true.

“40% of your overall combat power for 7% of your overall budget…”

Does that mean we could give the ANG another 7% of the budget and they could provide a full 80% of the combat power??? Maybe they can only do half as well if we double the ANG budget, so then can only provide 60% of the combat power for 14% of the budget. Still, what a bargain. One question however…Where’s the math behind that statement?

You should work in A9 if you don’t already.

Te fact is that if the air national guard had been disbanded 30 years ago, we would have been better off the day after 9/11.

The fact that we only had aircraft armed with blanks is considered an acceptable excuse just highlights the amaturism of the organisation.

You’re missing the fact that the air defense system of the USA was literally eviscerated after the fall of the Soviet Union, and for ten years we lived off the peace dividend. Bush Jr was set to pull back the United States (remember his stump speeches against nation building?) before 9/11.

The Air Force decided in the early 1990s that it wasn’t cost effective to have full-time birds ready to launch 24/7. Even in the weeks after 9/11, the Air Force was concerned about how much it was costing them to have CAP over a good chunk of the nation for that whole time. Blame the Air Force all you want for that, but it had nothing to do with the Guard. If the Guard didn’t exist, the problem still would, except the same mission would cost more.

Maybe in the future we have a federal law that major system components of weapons systems that are still in service with the US Military dont get their tooling destroyed. In fact systems developed and paid for by the Tax payers are the property of the tax payers and can sit in the desert along Kolb road in Tucson until we are sure we never need them again. Just place them neatly in the shade under the C-118 wings until we are really sure. No parts or tooling for aircraft in service but many complete aircraft that haven’t flown a mission in 40 year parked neatly, ain’t DOD wonderful.

Actually Tee, I’ve seen more than a few in Columbia come home with more than a few holes in them. Its a very rugged aircraft.

Doesn’t A9 work for the Navy? Didn’t they work out of the basement of that resort in W. Va??

I have moved that much in 27 years and served Active duty and Guard. I also have served 3 Long term overseas assignments one of which was in the Guard. There are very few 20–30 year reserve careers now in that most people have been deployed numerous times. I think that all reserve and guard should have the deployment time served subtracted from the number 60 and that being calendar days.

When will this stupid 50 state Air Force madness end. Congress will drag everyone down with them into the muck and mire and the PGON will just knuckle under in the end.


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