USAF Structure Report Issued - Changes Coming!

The Air Force has finished their congressionally-mandated report on the integration and force structure between the 3 USAF components (active duty, National Guard, and Reserve), and has agreed or begun to implement many of the recommendations.

The National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force submitted 42 suggestions, of which the USAF agreed and has begun implementing 25 of those. The service is also working to implement a further 16, although they require congressional aid to complete further. The sole recommendation that the USAF Total Force-Continuum panel (a group of 3 Air Force generals responding to the congressional report) disagreed with involves a proposal to close Air Force Reserve Command at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, and farm out those functions to other Air Force commands throughout the Air Force. The Total Force-Continuum found that disestablishing this central command would not only not save money, it would likely increase costs.

According to this AirForceTimes.com article, a few recommendations have already played a part in budget requests for the 2016 budget. Some of these include adding a total of 3,000 airmen to the USAF Reserve end strength, retaining 21 F-15Cs that were previously scheduled to be cut and assigning them to the Air National Guard, and standing up an RQ-4 association at Beale Air Force base with Reserve airmen.

In the coming years, more aircraft and personnel are likely to be moved from the active duty service into both the Reserve and National Guard, as a way to save money and retain force capability. Already the USAF plans to allow Guard and Reserve pilots to train active-duty pilots, give airmen more freedom in moving between active and reserve components, and allow them to take up to three years off duty while maintaining health benefits, rank, and earning a stipend.

The Air Force will be issuing further annual reports on the commission's recommendations over the next four years - stay tuned!