Air Force Reserve's Expanding Missions
Lieutenant General John A. Bradley, Chief of Air Force Reserve, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, Robbins Air Force Base, Georgia
Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition 2006
Sept. 26 , 2006
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Moderator: Without further delay, I would like to introduce Lieutenant General John A. Bradley, the Chief of Air Force Reserve, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, Robbins Air Force Base, Georgia. General Bradley.
Lt. Gen. Bradley Thanks very much. Well, I want to thank all of you for getting up this fine morning and coming to be with us. I am sure we have a wide variety of people in here, meaning a number of just straight AFA members, a number of Reservists, some active folks, folks from Air Command and Staff College I imagine are here.
This is one of the professional development seminars that is put on in this technology symposium, and I'm very honored that Air Force Association has asked me to make this presentation.
I'm excited about the things that we're doing in our Air Force, and in our Air Force Reserve, and I want to talk to you about a number of things. I'm going to try to keep it short enough that I'll be able to hear a lot from you, because I'd like to hear your comments and your questions.
I'll tell you we are in a very busy time, as everyone is. I don't believe the Air Force Reserve is any busier than anyone else. I don't think any of us are lacking for things to do, but we're going through a number of efforts, particularly in our Air Force Reserve, to help set us up for the future with our Air Force. The Air Force has asked us to do a number of things. We have been quite busy for a many years, as everyone else has, as I said.
But we have challenges facing us, and that's part of what I'm going to go through. But I'm going to talk to you about how we develop this more operational force, even more operational than we are today, and I'd say it's quite operational; talk about several different kinds of challenges that we face, and then we will conclude with some question and answer times or comments from you.
Some of these challenges that we face are the result of base closure decisions that have been made, which were not necessarily what we asked for, some significant changes in our force. I won't call it force shaping. It's maybe forced shaping. I just thought of that just now.
Lt. Gen. Bradley That's not bad. The Air Force does some force shaping. We're being forced to do some shaping, as the Air Force--as the rest of the Air Force is through a PBD 720 they call it. That's sort of Washington talk for OSD has told us to cut some things to help pay for some new systems we want to buy.
Program Budget Decision I guess is what PBD stands for. I never heard of it until I came to the Pentagon. But PBD 720 has a significant impact on our Air Force and our Air Force Reserve. It might be helpful if I got up a tad higher. I think it's--I'd like to be down in the audience, but I'm not sure everybody can see quite as well. I'll try to keep from falling off this.
Okay, Let's look at the first slide here. I want to start by telling you about a vision document that we recently published. We've sent this many places through our Air Force. I've sent it to all our senior leaders. I've sent it to every Senator and Representative on Capital Hill. I've sent it to all the Air Staff people. I've sent it throughout our command. We are trying to spread this word out of where we are headed in the Air Force Reserve and how we're going to get there through this vision document.
I'm very proud of this, and don't--I'm not going to take credit for very much of it at all myself. This was an effort of a huge number of people--a lot of our senior folks.
We spent a lot of time talking about it. We had a lot of help with some smart folks on our staff that helped us write it and rewrite it and rewrite it and find the right pictures to go with it, and I'm really proud of this.
If you're an Air Force Reservist, you're going to get a copy of this in the form of Citizen Airman Magazine that you get every few months. The October issue of that will have this published as the vision document. So you won't see your standard Citizen Airman Magazine this time. You'll see this vision document, with this kind of cover on it. I'd really like to encourage people to read it. That's the idea. It's not very long. It has a lot of neat pictures in it. We were careful to pull only pictures of our airplanes and our Reservists doing their jobs to use throughout this document, because I just wanted to show the broad array of missions in which we're involved.
I think only the pictures of, say, a couple of F-22s in here maybe are not our airplanes, and the folks involved I think are all our people.
So, but the main idea of this is to focus us as leaders of our Air Force Reserve on how we get from today to 10, 15 years from now to do the things the Air Force wants us to do.
We have in here a series of aim points and vectors, so to speak. We're using a lot of aviation terminology in this thing because aviation is what the Air Force is about. Every part of our Air Force contributes to that mission. It's not just about people that fly airplanes. It is everything that we do in our Air Force, every sort of skill and job, and so--but we are using some aviation terminology in this, because I think it's very applicable in describing ourselves and where we're headed.
As I said, the Air Force has asked us to take on a lot of new things in new ways, and this is going to help guide us. This is not just something to sit on a desk or a table. This is something to help us as leaders figure out how we implement our total force integration efforts, particularly.
We kind of got a tag line for the overall theme of this, and that is to make sure that everybody in the Air Force knew that we are part of the Air Force. We're not a separate Air Force, and I don't really like to have too much attention on any separateness or separate culture or anything. I don't like that kind of thing.
I want everybody in our Air Force Reserve to know that we're part of one Air Force, and we're all involved in the same effort. So we say this thing is one Air Force, the same fight. And we're calling ourselves unrivaled wingmen. That's what we want to be is an unrivaled wingman.
In other words, I want the Air Force to look at us and say, the Air Force Reserve is absolutely the best we have out there. We're the best on the wing that we have. Now, sometimes you're on the wing, and sometimes you take the lead in things, so don't get too wrapped up in oh, you're only a wingman. Sometimes we take the lead in things, as I said, so again it's just a metaphor.
But wingman has a lot of implications to me--that term wingman. It implies that you are providing mutual support for others in your flight. It also implies that you're taking care of each other in many ways, and you're prepared to take over if you have to.
We all have wingmen. We all look after each other. So that's sort of the philosophy that I have on this thing. It's one Air Force, same fight, an unrivaled wingman. So without belaboring it anymore, I'm proud of this. These are the aim points that we have. We want to do these things to help us be better in helping our Air Force do what it wants to do. Next slide, please.
So what is an operational Reserve? Well, I think we've demonstrated over the last 15 years that we're very involved in all Air Force--in a lot of Air Force operations, not everything, but a lot. We may not be a huge portion of many things, but we're a portion of a heck of a lot of things across our Air Force. We may have more variety of missions in our Air Force Reserve Command than any other command in the Air Force. It doesnít mean a big slice, but a small slice across most things--fighters, bombers, rescue, special ops, AWACS, space, pilot training, strategic airlift, tactical airlift, air refueling. You name it; we're involved in it--UAVs.
So in order to do that, we've got to have people that are properly trained and equipped and ready, properly led hopefully, to take on all of these missions and we need to maintain the readiness levels to which we've become accustomed over the past.
The Air Force spends a lot of money to keep its Air National Guard and its Air Force Reserve at the same readiness levels as the rest of the Air Force. There is really no difference in readiness levels across our Air Force because you're in one category or another. The Air Force wants us all to be at the same readiness levels, so the only difference in responsiveness is we have one extra day to gather our people up before we deploy. We have twenty-four hours to get people from wherever they live, because not everybody in a Reserve or Guard Unit typically lives right there around the base or in that town. Many of them live some few hundred miles away or across the country.
So we get one day to gather our people up, and then we have to deploy on the same schedule, so that's not too bad. The other services do not do that, and it costs money to do it. But to degrade the readiness, to cut money out of readiness, and have spin up time for us would not be a good thing for our Air Force, particularly the way we're structured and how we are used in war plans or in the AEF construct. And I'll talk about the AEFs in a few minutes.
We believe deeply that using volunteers for things is the right course of action first before we do mobilization, and I think we've had a lot of discussion over the last few months about this mobilization and volunteerism and I can talk to you a long time about it, but I have some definite ideas about how we do this.
I think it is smart, first, to fill requirements with those who want to volunteer, because we're able to do that and do it for a long period of time, and not use up a capability fast. And when you get to where you got--don't have enough volunteers, then you mobilize people.
I'll later talk about this with respect to our C-130 business. We are about to run out of the entire mobilization capability in our C-130 world, and there are people that are worried about it. I' m not quite as distraught about it as some people, because I think we can get there through volunteerism and through using them in the AEF construct. I'm going to hold that discussion for a little bit later.
But that is one of the examples which I'll use in describing this. The AEF I think was a brilliant idea for our Air Force several years ago, and we've implemented it very, very well I think. There are a couple of examples of where perhaps we could do some things differently, but I think the key element as far as the Reserve and the Guard are concerned in participating in the AEF is we've signed up for a certain amount that we are committed to, and I want to do that much and more every time. But I need to have the flexibility to rotate people. I will discuss that a little bit more later as well, and then we need to continue to have the best people and equipment we can have.
We need to keep our equipment modern and compatible with the rest of the Air Force so that we can conduct missions that are needed. So if when the Air Force needs X number of F-16s to go to Balad, Iraq, to fly close air support for the Army and the Marines or when they need A-10s to go to Bagram, Afghanistan, we need the right systems on those airplanes so that we're compatible with the active force, and we're working hard to stay--to keep that compatibility. And, in fact, we make a lot of improvements to our systems and that modernization effort for us is very, very important. Sometimes we find some very innovative and economical solution to those problems--and we could talk about those if you're interested--to keep ourselves modernized and compatible. So those are important parts of maintaining this operational Reserve. Next slide.
The challenges that we face. As I said in the opening, the base closure process was not something we asked for, but, you know, we're part of the Air Force, and we're part of DoD, and all of us participated in this business. I don't like base closure any more than anyone else. I may have talked about this a little bit last year. I've participated in this business a whole lot over the years. The base I was commander of, a wing I was commander of and the base on which I was serving in 1991 was announced for closure while I was there in the middle of an ORI. That was a lot of fun.
And then I came to the Pentagon, and I participated in two rounds of base closure through the--what they call the Base Closure Executive Group, the folks that study all the data on all the bases and make recommendations our Air Force Secretary and Chief on what closures we would recommend to DoD.
And it's a very intensive, difficult process. All of our bases are good. We like having them all. We like being in all the communities we're in, and there was a lot of strength that we draw from being in communities across America.
But we've cut a lot of personnel, and we have more base infrastructure than we need for the number of people and the kinds of missions that we undergo. [Inaudible], a QDR then to study what missions we need to do, and then do base closure based on the kinds of missions we need to do, but different laws have told us to do things at different times, so we did those sort of backwards. But we'll make it all work, because we always do.
So in the end, what we will do in the Air Force Reserve is close a base and wing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and we will shut a wing and we've shut a wing already in New Orleans, Louisiana. We'll move those airplanes. So we are way--we're out of the starting gate very quickly there, and we're shutting down our refueling wing at Selfridge, Michigan, and also at Portland, Oregon, and we're closing a fighter squadron at Luke Air Force Base, because we don't need all of that training capacity for the future in the F-16 world.
Now, you may say, well, that's kind of small. Well, okay, it may be kind of small in the big scheme of things. I'm not sure how many bases anybody else is closing, but we're going to close a base and that wing at Milwaukee and that base there is in a great recruiting area. Milwaukee is a big city. It's 50 miles from Chicago, and we do a lot of recruiting in Chicago. That's a pretty big city. And we recruit locally, of course, for our units, not nationally, because of the way we're based. It has a big impact on people, because we don't get to PCS our folks when we close a base or close a wing.
We're going to shut a wing in Portland, Oregon, and you've got about 900 Reservists there who now have to go somewhere else if they want to continue in the Reserve. And we're--we have a system set up to really, sincerely help folks find jobs, and we're doing a great job of that actually. And New Orleans is a great example of that.
And we're getting help from the Guard, because I want people to continue to be able to serve and finish a career in service to our nation. And I want them first to stay with the Air Force Reserve. But if they can't work for us and want to go to the Guard or the Army Reserve or wherever so they can continue their careers, so we are assisting them in that effort. So these are big deals to a number of people. This affects a few thousand people when we close these units and move those airplanes elsewhere.
Now, this is going to make us more efficient, more economical. We're going to put--the idea was let's get more airplanes on our bases so that we're more efficient. So we are moving airplanes out of Hill Air Force Base (Utah) to Carswell Field (Texas) and Homestead Air Reserve Base (Florida), so that we have 24 fighters in a squadron like we should. And we're moving the A-10s out of New Orleans. They're already gone, to Whiteman Air Force Base(Missouri)and to Barksdale Air Force Base (Louisiana)so that we got 24 A-10s in our two squadrons in those places.
So we're fixing the fighter world and have the right numbers so that we're more--so we got the right numbers for AEF deployments, for war plans, and for economies. But, of course, that affects a lot of people. Some people will move to do this. Some people won't, because they have civilian jobs there where their bases were.
In the refueling world, we're trying to get 12 to 16 tankers on a base. We're trying to get in the tactical airlift world 12 to 16 C-130s on a base. We'll do that at Pope Air Force Base (NC). We're going to move from Milwaukee to Pope, and we're going to have 16 airplanes in there, and we'll have an active Air Force Associate squadron along with us to fly those C-130s at Pope, because there's a very important mission to be done there, and the Air Force has asked us to take that on.
So a lot of change there due to base closure. Next slide.
There's the detail of it. If you're close enough, you can probably read it; if not, you can ask me questions about any of those later, and I'll be glad to answer that.
But what that represents is a lot of change across our Air Force Reserve. So the base closure is driving a huge number of people, manpower changes, and aircraft changes here and there, moving, as I said to get more efficient.
We will set up a new KC-135 Associate Program at McDill Air Force Base Florida), along with the active wing there. As I said, we'll plusing up the Homestead operation, setting up Pope. We're going to have twice as many tankers at Seymour Johnson (NC), and there will be an active Air Force Associate with us.
We are going to have the Air National Guard associate with us at Niagara Falls (NY) in the C-130 world. The Guard up there has been flying tankers. Their tankers are leaving, and they're going to associate in the C-130 world with us, and we'll get four more airplanes to help with that effort.
At Tinker Air Force Base (OK), the same kind of thing. The Guard that's at Will Rogers Airport is going to lose their C-130s, and they will associate with us then in the KC-135 business at Tinker.
Those are the--sort of the big things. I mentioned the closures, but those are some of the larger changes that we're experiencing.
At Luke Air Force base (Utah), I mentioned the F-16s leaving there. We have two fighter squadrons there. One is an Associate Squadron and one is a squadron that owns airplanes. The airplanes are going to leave. That squadron is--the name is going to go elsewhere. I'll mention it in a minute.
The Associate Squadron will stay there and continue to do training. Our Expeditionary Combat Support folks in that wing will stay there, and that's the highlights of that.
Okay. Let me talk about this for a minute. This big red number there. It's a large number. So we've affected thousands of lives in the base closure process. We're going to affect thousands more with this. I mentioned earlier--I kind of described to you what a PBD is. The Air Force was presented a bill and a mandated cut, active Guard and Reserve, of a certain number of people--40,000 people to be exact, I believe.
And associated with that is a lot of money. The Air Force is struggling with its piece of that cut, and we are as well. Again, this is forced shaping, so to speak.
Now, let me describe how we're going to do this. This is not something we asked for. It's what we were issued, and we've paid our bill, and we had to develop our long-range budget, what we call the program, the POM. We built this into our POM, as we were instructed to do. We followed the rules. We paid all our bills, and funded all of the things the Air Force has asked us to fund in our Total Force Integration effort, which I'll show on the next slide--next set of slides.
We followed the rules. We did what the Air Force said. Now, this doesn't mean that we're happy about cuts. I'm sure the active Air Force is not happy about their cuts either. Their cuts affect us. Our cuts affect them.
But we're all issued these bills, and we're going to pay them. And it's painful, but here's how we're going to do it. About one-third of these cuts will come from restructuring in the medical world. The Air Force Surgeon General has told us over the course of a few months that we have way too much capability medically. That's their term.
We have always built what they've told us they wanted us to provide, but now they've changed what they want us to provide, and that's okay.
They don't want us anymore to backfill in the states when they deploy a medical squadron or a hospital. They don't want us to backfill them anymore. They're going to cover the medical requirements back home through a different means. Whether it's TRICARE or contracts or whatever, they just don't want us doing it. That's okay.
And they want us to concentrate on a very core capability of ours, I'd call it, the air medical evacuation business, for which we have about 60 percent of the mission today. They want us to work on the en route air medical evacuation support that we're very good at. And so we'll continue to do that.
So between that air medical evacuation support and what we need to have in our local flying wings for medical capability so that we can give physicals and shots basically because we have to support ourselves medically back home. That doesn't mean we do medical care. We do physicals and shots.
So we'll have that air medical business. We'll have the back home support we have to have for keeping our units running day to day. And we're going to eliminate the rest, because the Air Force says they need no more capability than that from us.
So that's going to give us about 2,500 of these positions, okay, out of 7,700. So it's close to a third.
There's pain involved in this. Some of this comes from cuts in the unit world and some of it comes from the Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) world. We are also going to make some cuts. We're going to cut a flying wing out of these required cuts. We're going to cut another wing, additional to the base closure business, to be identified later. We're going to cut some other units that we call geographically separated units.
We look at our entire organizational structure, and we have flying wings out there everywhere, and we have some units that are out around the country that are attached to wings, but not on the same base. Some of these units are in towns. They are not on a base anywhere. They don't have any personnel or pay or medical or administrative support, and they're out there kind of on their own in their unsecured locations actually.
And some of these units--so there are a few of those, and there are other units which we are just not using very much of, their capabilities. They are really good people. They're highly trained. They're ready to go, but we just haven't used them for a number of years for big contingency operations, or AEFs.
So we've sort of rank ordered what's the most dear to least dear as far as mission, what we need, and we need to keep the most here. What we--as we look to the future, what does the Air Force need the most. And so we're having to cut off at the bottom.
Now, those people that are in those units that we're not using much are good people, as I said. But we're going to cut off some of those units to help pay this bill, as well as that flying wing. So the medical restructuring, some of itís out of the unit world, the flying wing, and then some of these geographically separated units and less used units will be cut.
And the rest will be done from the IMA world. And the way we do the cuts in the IMA world is we're going to move people from--and I don't want to get too esoteric here--from what they call category B to category E, which means essentially we're not going to pay them anymore to do duty as Reservists. We're not going to use Reserve personnel to count money; okay? RPA, Reserve Personnel Appropriation money. We're--we will allow them to continue to serve. They can work 365 days a year for their active duty boss, if they have the MPA money, the Military Personnel Appropriations money. That's active account. They can still be used.
And we're going to do a lot of things to make this a more fair system for promotions and so forth so that everybody gets the same opportunities to try to be as fair as possible in this.
This is controversial. It's not fun. It's not easy. And it's not something I really wanted to do, but we are told to do this, and we're going to do it. Now, we could have cut out some other wings. We could have cut some--two F-16 wings, and two A-10 wings, and a couple of C-130 wings and paid that bill. But that's not what General Mosley wants me to do. He needs that capability for the future. So we think that we've done a balanced approach here, and I'm spending a lot of time on this, because this is important. It's also very sensitive to people and controversial to some, and there are some misunderstandings about it as well.
So we went to the major commands and to the senior staff elements in the air staff and told them how we were doing this so that they would fully understand. And we've had good support from the major commands on this, although they rely heavily on these IMAs. They use them a lot. We are really whacking a huge amount out of the Air Force Materiel Command, but we're making it very--the ratios are the same across all of the commands.
So we're not unfairly punishing anybody, but it has a big impact, because they use these people a lot. They're great people. But I have to pay a bill, and we've done it. Next slide.
Total force integration. We started a couple of years, a few years ago an effort the Air Force was calling Future Total Force. Our Secretary said you're not doing it fast enough, and we're doing some of these things today. We need to call it Total Force Integration, 'cause we're already there. And we are.
These are some of the things--I won't talk about them all--that we're going to do that are very exciting. As I said, there is a lot of change going on, and new ways of doing business. But what the Air Force has decided is that the way we've done our air mobility associate world for many years is a really good model, and they want us and the Air National Guard to do it this way in the future. And so we're going to do that. Sometimes we'll have active units associated with us. Sometimes there will be Guard units associated. Sometimes we'll associate with active. So it works all different ways. But there are some exciting things going on. I mentioned Hill Air Force Base, where we're moving the F-16s out due to base closure. We are now going to associate our 419th Fighter Wing with the F-16 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base. So we're going to be working on their airplanes with them, and we're going to be flying their airplanes with them, and helping them, and they'll help us; and we'll be part of their operation there. We'll have two separate wing structures, as we do in the air mobility world.
We're doing a number of new things at Nellis Air Force Base(Nevada). They cannot get enough of us, and that's good. We're going to be very involved--heavily involved in the aggressor business at Nellis, many other parts of the weapons center, weapons schools, the Predator business, and so forth.
At Elmendorf Air Force Base (Alaska), the Chief asked us to stand up a Reserve Associate Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base to fly the F-22. Oh, to be 30 years younger. This is exciting. Now, this is not easy because Alaska is kind of remote to some people, and getting people up there I don't think it will be--it's kind of like that old ball field; you know, build it and they will come. Well, I think this is one of those places.
I'm excited about this, and we're putting a lot of effort into finding the right people to begin this effort for us. We've picked our initial couple of maintenance folks and operations folks to get going on this operation, and we'll have people on scene next month, within a couple of weeks up at Elmendorf to start working ourselves into this. General Hester as the PACAF (Pacific Air Forces) Commander has opened his arms and welcomed us into this. I'm excited about this. We unveiled the first F-22 tail--should have had a picture of that in here--that has AK on the tail, and we're going to fly that airplane along with the active Air Force in the third wing there at Elmendorf.
I mentioned earlier we're shutting down the operation at Luke of the 302nd Fighter Squadron, and we're going to move that name to Elmendorf. That is a great heritage name. The 302nd Fighter Squadron is one of the four Tuskegee Fighter Squadrons from World War II, and we are pleased to have three of those squadron names in the Air Force Reserve today.
That 302nd name is going to move to Elmendorf, and it will be our first F-22 Squadron. We won't own the airplanes, but we're going to work on them, and we're going to fly them, and we're going to be proud to have that great Tuskegee heritage there in the F-22 at Elmendorf.
At Scott Air Force Base (Illinois), we're flying C9Cs now doing distinguished visitor airlift and so forth, helping the Air Force. And we'll get three new C40Cs there. The active Air Force will associate with us there, and help us, and we're asked to do many other things. Next slide.
We will do--we are seriously looking at and implementing these associate structures that you see on this slide. We're going to more associations in air combat command than anybody would have ever imagined in the F-15 world, in the A-10 world, and F-15 world. We're really excited about that.
There will be, as I mentioned earlier, in the air mobility world more KC-135 and C-130 associations, and more involvement in the space business. We're growing there. We've been very pleased with our efforts in air education and training command. We have Reservist squadrons--or reserve squadrons at every UPT base. I'm going to visit one Thursday and Friday at Vance Air Force Base (OK), but it's been very successful, and we're excited about the work that we do in helping produce pilots from our undergraduate pilot training program, flying all the airplanes that they fly in pilot training. So our folks are doing a great job for us. Next slide.
Okay. As our Chief has told us many times, and others remind us frequently, our Air Force has been in combat for 15 years. The American people don't probably ever think about that. But when we deployed for Desert Shield and then started conducting Desert Storm, ever since Desert Storm. We've been flying an air occupation of Iraq ever since then. So we've been flying combat and being shot at, we, the Air Force. We're a part of that. This is going to continue a long time there in Iraq. It's going to continue in Afghanistan. It's going to continue in other areas for the foreseeable future. No one knows when this will all end.
I was just in Afghanistan three weeks ago, visiting our folks, and learned some interesting things on this trip, as I do every time I travel around, but it's my second trip to the AOR, and you learn something new every time, and I've seen some exciting things that I'll tell you about in a second. Next slide. I'll talk about the AEF business.
Recapitalization. We're paying for that with the personnel cuts, as you know, partially, and getting rid of very old airplanes so that we can buy new ones. We buy newer ones that have more capability, so we need fewer of them. So we want to stay as operationally capable as possible, and you need to recapitalize to do that.
Well, flip back and let me talk about AEF a minute. We've been supporting the AEF business since 2001, September 2001, with volunteers almost entirely. We have not mobilized very many people, a tiny portion. You know I can get real specific with you if you'd like. I mean we've mobilized 32,000 people, but to do the AEF business, I think some of that mobilization didn't need to be done. It could have been done other ways, but it was done. But a lot of what we do is done with volunteerism. Most of what we do is done with volunteerism, and I think cycling our people inside those AEF cycles of 90 days or now 120 days makes it easy for us to do, and easy for the Guard to do.
It is harder to find people to go for 120 days, although on my recent tour in Afghanistan and other places over there--I went to several countries, not Iraq--I found more 120-day Reserve people than I expected to find. In fact, I found more of them than I found those that were on shorter tours. I thought that was interesting.
I also found a lot of people who said I'll go for a longer tour if you'll send more of my unit. So I'd go to a fire station and see these civil engineer firefighters and, you know, you might have 20 people from 15 different places, you know, Active Guard and Reserve. And they said, you know, if you'd send a big portion of my unit, I'd come over here for a long time, because I want to be here with my buddies. I found that interesting.
And I got that in some other places. I also found some folks who were--I was flying on C-130s and I was talking to the pilots that were at the end of their second year of mobilization, and were figuring that their unit was going to be closed perhaps. And they said, you know what, I'll come back over here on a 40-day tour.
So I think we didn't need to mobilize the C-130 world frankly. I think we could have had a much longer capability had we not mobilized people. Let me explain.
I think this is really important, and I'm trying to sell this to Air Mobility Command now. It's too late. We've already done the mobilization, but I think to get from now to the future, we have to find a new way to help, because we got a lot of C-130s. The Guard has a lot of C-130s, and we need to help the Air Force, and the AOR needs the capability.
Now, they're cutting back on their C-130 requirement, and they're filling in with a lot of C-17s, but as we found in the C-17 world, when we mobilized almost all of our squadrons for a couple of years. We found that once they were demobilized, they were being--they were volunteering and gone as long as they were when they were mobilized--gone as much as when they were mobilized. So it's kind of interesting to me.
So my idea here is let's do the C-130 business kind of like we do the A-10s and the F-16s. We require those folks to go over there 40 days, minimum. The pilots that are flying F-16s and A-10s, and the maintenance people who are working on them, and the bomb loaders and the bomb builders who go along with them, we only require a 40-day tour. Why do we do that? So we can get the volunteers, and we've not had any problems because of cycling people. And the fact that we're only there 40 days, and the active people that are right there doing the same mission with us are there 120 doesn't really cause problems once people understand. You either get us for this or you're going to have to do it all yourself.
So, we're doing it with volunteers, and you can't force people. I don't have--I cannot order anybody to go on an AEF for more than two weeks, frankly. The limit of my authority in the law is make somebody do an annual tour for two weeks. That's all. I can't do it. Now, an Active Air Force person can tell anybody to go on a 120-day or a 180-day AEF. They have that authority. I can't do that with the Reservists. So I have to ask people to volunteer, and I encourage people to go for 120 days. I think 120 is the right answer. But I can't force them to do it.
This is important. That's why I'm spending so much time on it. So my question is: Why is the C-130 business so much more difficult than the A-10 and the F-16 business? All right. A-10s and F-16s are doing close air support for the Army and the Marines, and, you know, they're delivering something from point A to point B. Well, what does the C-130 do? It delivers something from point A to point B. How much more challenging is that? I don't know why we can't do it the same way. Cycle those people.
I had the C-130 folks, a lot of them tell me, heck, yeah, I'll volunteer for a 40-day tour. Right now, we're mobilizing them, sending them over, bringing them back home, sending them over and bringing back home, and then we demobilize them. So I think there's a better way of doing this.
So when I think to help the Air Force in the future--and General Mosley actually agrees with me; thinks this is a good model. So Air Mobility Command (AMC) is thinking about this.
So we put airplanes over there; rotate people like we do in the fighter world, and I think it will work. In fact, that's the way the AEF was designed originally. It was supposed to have C-130s in it. But some time or other, we decided not to do that, and we decided to mobilize people.
So I think we could have gone on ad infinitum in the 40-day rotation business with volunteers; had no shortage of volunteers in the fighter world or the ECS world to do this business.
All right. I've talked long enough. Next slide.
What do you have to say to me or what would you ask? We're just trying to provide good combat capability for the Air Force. I want to do the things the Air Force wants us to do. We're setting ourselves up for the future. I think these difficult challenges that we're facing in base closure, PBD 720, Total Force Integration--these are not easy things to do. They're challenges. You know, we're displacing, you know, 7,000 people in PBD 720; about 8,000 people in base closure; 15,000 people is a whole lot. Our Reserve will be 7,000 people smaller a few years from now, and so we have some challenges there, but I think with what we're going to do in Total Force Integration, we'll look back years from now and say we did things the right way. What we're trying to do is bring combat capability to our Air Force.
I'd love to hear from you. Yes, sir?
Question: Sir, there are some inequities in the equations used to calculate retirement pay. Is there any movement afoot to address that?
Lt. Gen. Bradley Inequities in retirement pay. Can you explain what inequities you're speaking about?
Question: Well, if I retire, let's say in 2010 and start collecting in 2020 my retirement pay is going to be based on the scale that I was making in 2010. So it's going to be a 10-year-old pay scale, which my retirement pay is going to be based on. And so I was just wondering if there was any consideration for that. I know that if I had come into the Reserves prior to a particular date, September of 1980,that equation wouldn't be used. My retirement pay would be based on the pay scale of an Active Duty counterpart that's--at the time of the [inaudible].
Lt. Gen. Bradley Okay. You're--you've gotten into something about which I am not aware that there was a date that sets two separate systems up. I'll have to ask. I don't know the answer to your question. I'm sorry. I do know there are a lot of things going on relative to the retirement system. There are a lot of proposals on Capital Hill. There have been for several years. I think there's a lot more support today because of the work that we're doing that is making a lot of members of Congress think that perhaps we should change the retirement system somewhat and offer that retired pay at an earlier age than 60. So there are serious proposals out there about that. There are different forms of it. I don't know what in the end will be passed, if anything, but I think there's a lot of support for that. That doesn't address the inequity that you're talking about. I'll just have to find out about that, and if you'll get with me afterwards and I can get your name, I'll try to get an answer to you on that.
I don't know that piece of it. I know there are a lot of discussions going on about the retirement system and some changes, but I'll get back to you on the inequity. I'm sorry.
There--what we think would make sense, if they want to lower the retirement--DoD is opposed to lowering the age at which one receives his retirement, his or her retirement, because that's going to cost money. What we think would be a reasonable idea is tie that reduction of the age at which you draw it, and I mean move it to 58 or 56 or whatever by having an incentive to stay longer; okay? So I want to attract people to stay with us longer and tie that to earning your pay earlier. In other words, instead of retiring at 50, retire at 54, and get your retirement at age 58; something along that line, for example. That's one of the proposals that's getting serious consideration on Capital Hill. I think that would make some sense, and it has some chance of making it out, I think. Yes, ma'am.
Question: I know that General Mosley has put out a request for [inaudible] the Reserve. How fast is this moving along and what are the challenges that you are seeing that would have to be overcome to do this?
Lt. Gen. Bradley Well, there's a lot going on in some of those areas. The Marine Corps figured out how to do this a long time ago. Apparently, they have one system for everything for Active and Reservists. I don't know why we couldn't have done that a long time ago. I think we have one personnel system, and we are making progress on new personnel delivery systems. We're right in lockstep with the Active Air Force on personnel services delivery that we're going to do.
We'll have all the same systems, and we're all going to go to this new thing called DIMERS and don't ask me to tell what DIMERS means. It's some kind of acronym for something to do with the personnel system; make us all alike, across DoD, the DIMERS. You've probably heard of it.
The pay system, on the other hand, I don't think will be that difficult. I don't know of an enormous effort that's being put into it by General Mosley right now, but it makes sense to have one that makes it easy to transition between statuses. It is sort of difficult and prone to error sometimes. We work hard at preventing those, of course, but the move to have one pay system, I mean we're essentially in the same pay system, but we have to have some different categories based on inactive duty or active duty. You know, so there are differences there that need to be worked out. But I think DIMERS is going to help lead us into that. Personnel services delivery will help with that as well. Who else? Yes, sir.
Question: Sir, are there any plans for full joint multiplication of Reserve Officers?
Lt. Gen. Bradley There's a lot of discussion going on about that. We need to solve that. We don't get the right credit for the jobs that we have in the joint world, and, yes, there are efforts in that area. There are, of course, educational requirements to qualify for joint jobs and to get joint service credit, and a lot of effort has gone on the Joint Staff with assistance to the Chairman for Reserve Matters. He's been leading an effort. I worked on that some when I was in that position earlier. It is hard to break into that, because they have their own manning documents, and to get a position identified for Joint Service credit seems to be almost a bridge too far.
I think we can get there. I don't know why--you know, I'm kind of a simple guy. I don't know why that should be that difficult. Somebody serves in a job as, say, a traditional Reservist in IMA on a joint staff or a unified command staff. I don't know why he or she can't credit for it, but they don't have the positions identified right, and breaking into their manpower system and fixing that seems to be harder than I think it ought to be, but, yes, there are efforts that are ongoing to try to fix that, because we need that credit.
I'll tell you, that joint experience is extremely valuable. Some people have no idea how important it is to have that larger view, larger picture, that you get when you're working on those kinds of staffs. So we need to do that and encourage our officers to go at an earlier age or an earlier point in their career into some of those things, and then come back out, and you become a better airman for doing it I think. Who else? Yes, ma'am.
Question: [Inaudible] but we're learning half of our IMA from [inaudible], and I think I heard you say there is going to be promotion potential for those academies, which there currently is not, and they currently can only stay two years without a waiver [inaudible].
Lt. Gen. Bradley Okay. Thank you. We are working to eliminate any inequities so that anybody that is in those kinds of positions will be considered for promotion like anyone else. I don't think two years is the right answer. I think it's longer than that. I think you--we need to change the regulations or if we need law changes to do it, we'll get those, because we always ask for law changes to help things work better for us, to be more flexible.
So we'll do anything we can to make these inequities go away so there are no barriers between any kinds of service, whether it's in our unit world, traditional Reserve world, IMA world, category B or category E. I want people to continue to be able to serve, and I want people to be considered for promotion equitably.
Now, there may be some significant differences in that regard to--for enlisted promotions versus officer promotions, and I'll have to check into that. I know I've been spending quite a bit of time with my personnel people on the officer piece of that, because we hold those boards. So there is a difference there, but let me find out about the NCO promotions in that regard, because I can't really answer your question on that one, but we're going to eliminate the inequities in the officer system so that everybody is considered. It's an apples to apples comparison when we sit down for a board so everybody has the same opportunity.
Lt. Gen. Bradley Okay. Thank you for your time and attention. Thanks for your questions and comments. Give us some feedback if you have any. I'd love to hear it, but I thank you for your attention.
I've tried to lay out for you is how we're trying to set ourselves up to help the Air Force in the future--that one Air Force, same fight, and so I want to thank you for your service. Thank you for your interest in coming here today, and I look forward to seeing you later in the conference. Thank you.
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