Air Force Reserve Modernization by ProQuest


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									     Air Force Reserve
By Nick Morgan, RADM James Cary Washington Scholars Fellow

T       he Air Force faces challenges      tion is not just an upgrade of equipment                   the Reservist is on active duty. One op-
        as it attempts to modernize        and infrastructure, but also a modern-                     tion Maj Gen Thompson suggested is
        while maintaining a focus on       ization of thought.                                        an improvement in Tricare, which he
its mission to provide the U.S. military       Since Operation Desert Shield in                       termed one of the most successful pro-
asymmetric advantages in airpower and      1990, the Air Force has increasingly                       grams the Department of Defense has
cyber warfare. Participants in a June 22   operationalized the Air Force Reserve,                     ever implemented. Another important
Defense Education Forum discussed          which had traditionally been kept as a                     change will be a sustainable operation
the impact that current modernization      strategic reserve, Maj Gen Thompson                        tempo for the Reserves in order to en-
would have on the Air Force Reserve,       said. Nevertheless, a balance between                      courage volunteerism within the force
specifically the challenges for Reserve    the operational requirements and the                       and reduce the threat to the strategic
members and their families, equip-         mission of retaining the strategic Re-                     reserve. A third priority for the Reserve
ment upgrades, and the evolution of the    serve must be maintained, he said. The                     is integrating into the Regular Air Force
role the Reserves play within Air Force    metric to judge that balance is volun-                     in order to train more highly rated and
strategy.                                  teerism within the Reserve. Ensuring                       competent forces ready to serve on ac-
    ROA invited speakers from the Air      that the Air Force Reserve can achieve                     tive duty.
Force Reserve community and indus-         its operational requirements through                           The final priority for the Reserves
try to comment on modernization from       steady volunteerism is the number-one                      is a modernization of infrastructure
different aspects.                         goal for the Reserve.                                      and facilities. Maj Gen Thompson said
    The program’s keynote speaker, Maj         The next priority for the Reserve is                   military facilities must be recapitalized
Gen Howard N. Thompson, mobili-            maintaining the Reserve triad, which                       every 60 years to remain modern, but
zation assistant to the chief of the Air   consists of the Reservist, the Reserv-                     the rate is now approximately 213 years.
Force Reserve, discussed the priorities    ist’s family, and the Reservist’s employer.                It would require $97 million just this
the Air Force has for the Air Force Re-    The Reserve needs to modernize the                         year to keep
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