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US House Armed Services Committee

DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE

SUBJECT: National Guard and Reserve Programs

STATEMENT OF: MAJOR GENERAL JAMES E. SHERRARD III
CHIEF OF AIR FORCE RESERVE

July 18, 2001

Mr. Chairman, Representative Snyder, and distinguished members of the Committee, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today. I would like to thank the Committee for your continuing support, which has helped your Air Force Reserve address vital recruiting, retention, modernization, and infrastructure needs. Your passage of last year's pay and quality of life initiatives was were especially important as your actions sent an unmistakable message to our citizen airmen that their efforts are truly appreciated.

I am pleased to tell you that the Air Force Reserve continues to be a force of choice for the Air Force and the warfighting Commanders in Chiefs (CINCs), whenever an immediate and effective response is required to meet the challenges of today's world. We are ready in peace or war, available for quick response, and able to stay the course when called upon.

Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) members are essential to nearly everything we do today, and we intend to do more. Our day-to-day involvement has increased markedly in recent years. The Air Force Reserve participated in 11 contingencies in the 37 years between 1953 and 1990, and in the last ten years, we have played a significant role in more than 50 major operations. This is part of life in the Air Force Reserve and we are proud to do it. From the end of Desert Storm until the 1999 Ppresidential Rrecall for Operation ALLIED FORCE, and in every instance since, we have met these obligations with volunteers. The Air Force Reserve ethic of volunteerism is something we are very proud of, believing it reflects the quality and enthusiasm of our people.

The Air Force is a team - we train together, work together, and fight together.

Wherever you find the United States Air Force, at home or abroad, you will find the

active and Reserve side-by-side. You can't tell us apart and that's the way it should be.

The bottom line is that when the Air Force goes to war, enforces a peace agreement or undertakes prolonged humanitarian missions anywhere in the world today, the Air Force Reserve will be there.People are our most important asset. In an effort to retain our best and brightest, we need to reward our people through compensation and promotion and ensure they know their efforts are appreciated. We need to look after their families while they are deployed and reach out to their employers with our thanks for their support. We need to ensure that there is open dialogue among the troops and from the troops to me to make sure that we're doing our job the best that it can be done. More than ever, we need to continue to partner with you to ensure we maintain the strongest air force in the world.

In the Air Force Reserve, we put people first, emphasize readiness, and continue to sustain seek balanced, time-phased modernization and infrastructure programs.

The Air Force is a team - we train together, work together, and fight together.

Wherever you find the United States Air Force, at home or abroad, you will find the active and Reserve side-by-side. You can't tell us apart and that's the way it should be.

The bottom line is that when the Air Force goes to war, enforces a peace agreement or undertakes prolonged humanitarian missions anywhere in the world today, the Air Force Reserve will be there. During my comments today, I will discuss the status of many programs. I should note, however, that the programs I will discuss, and the associated funding levels may change as a result of the Secretary of Defense's strategy review that will guide future decisions on military spending. I ask that you consider my comments in that light.

FY 1999 ended with a bang, as Hurricane Floyd plowed into the coast of North Carolina. As the flooding peaked, AFRC coordinated with Federal disaster response personnel to bring in five HH-60 helicopters from the 920th Rescue Wing at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida to initiate rescue operations. Over the next six days, Reserve rescue crews worked day and night, flying 59 sorties and pulling 215 flood victims from rooftops, trees, cars, and isolated areas of high ground.

Another Reserve mission, Coronet Oak, faced a very difficult transition in 1999. Coronet Oak is an operation that provides C-130s from Air Force Reserve Command and the Air National Guard to US Southern Command to provide airlift support in the Caribbean, and South and Central America. When America transferred the Canal Zone back to Panama in 1999, this long-established operation had to look for a new home. At first, only temporarily placed at Muniz Air National Guard Base in San Juan, Puerto Rico, it was decided to go ahead and make Muniz the permanent location for the operation. Far from ideal for a number of reasons, Muniz was still more cost effective than other locations because basic facilities were available that did not need a huge infusion of money to make them operable. Still, the year was full of growing pains as new logistics trails had to be developed, work-arounds had to be initiated for some of the facility limitations, and so on. The missions continued to flow without a break, though, and our crews flew countless sorties in support of counter-drug operations, embassy resupply, and a variety of airlift requirements.

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2000

It was another busy, productive, but challenging year for Air Force Reserve aircrews. Natural disaster responses, the relocation of a long-standing forward operating location, an election year surge in presidential and congressional airlift support, the growing pains of a new deployment concept, the taking on of new missions, the introduction of a new weapons capability -- the Air Force Reserve was there. Through it all, our outstanding people met the challenges, found ways to succeed, and proved beyond doubt that the Air Force Reserve is an indispensable part of America's Total Force military.

Unfortunately, the heavy rains of 1999 also brought on a potential medical crisis caused by a super-heavy mosquito infestation. In these opening days of the new fiscal year, AFRC stepped to the forefront again with another of its specialized missions, aerial spray. The 910th Airlift Wing, at Youngstown, Ohio, is the only unit in the entire Air Force to provide this critical mission for disease suppression, natural disaster relief, oil spill dispersion, and invasive species management. In the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd, the 910th's specially equipped C-130s logged over 100 hours of flying time spraying 1.7 million acres in Virginia and North Carolina for mosquito control. Again, a superhuman effort by a small number of Reserve crews responding to the needs of their fellow countrymen.

FY 2000 also saw the worst forest fires in US history. Within the Air Force Reserve, only one unit, the 302nd Airlift Wing at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, is trained to support the US Forest Service's fire fighting efforts with the C-130 based Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System. This Last year, the fires were so bad that the 302nd was called early in the season and stayed until rain showers in September finally brought some relief.

From the end of July to early September, 302nd crews flying two aircraft completed 154 sorties in California and Washington, dropping over 400,000 gallons of fire retardant. The crews logged as many as eight sorties per day, going back for load after load of retardant to attack critical points in front of the raging fires. Their efforts have continued to pay off long after the fires died out, as the retardant is also a fertilizer that promotes the rapid regrowth of the fire-charred terrain, helping to prevent erosion as the land comes back to life.

An ongoing mission the Reserve is involved with which has an impact on people's lives throughout the world is the transportation of humanitarian relief goods under the auspices of the Denton Amendment Program. This program allows DoD transportation assets to move humanitarian cargo for free on a space-available basis. Through July (the latest figures available ??),In FY 2000 DoD the Air Force Reserve had moved over two 1.9 million pounds of Denton cargo, in FY 2000, using Army, Navy, Air Force, and other DoD assetsflying 122 missions. Of this, fully one third was accomplished by the Air Force Reserve. AFRC is the top supporter of the Denton program year after year. It provides good training opportunities for our airlift crews while enabling them to make a positive difference throughout the world.

Though the Expeditionary Aerospace Force (EAF) was a completely new concept for the Air Force, the Air Force Reserve's tradition of training to be a deployable force allowed a relatively seamless transition to the EAF and its force projection packages, the Aerospace Expeditionary Forces (AEFs). However, Reserve deployments in the past primarily involved aircrew members and maintenance support personnel, so it was an adjustment for some Expeditionary Combat Support (ECS) personnel such as security forces, civil engineering and services. The transition was not without its growing pains, but after the first few rotations, predictability and timeliness of requirements had vastly improved, transportation was much more efficient, and working relationships between AFRC and the various active duty organizations involved in the AEF process had greatly matured.

Despitesome the initial growing pains challenges, AFRC's transition to AEF support must be considered a success by any measure. The command more than met its initial requirements in aviation operations, and support from the ECS side was notable regardless of the problems they faced. The exceptionally strong participation by AFRC security forces was outstanding, and greatly relieved the high deployment stress of their active duty brethren. Overall, more than 14,000 Reservists deployed in support of the AEFs by the end of cycle 1, a testament to the readiness, patriotism, and proud professionalism of the Air Force Reserve.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the outstanding support from our more than 12,500 Individual Mobilization Augmentees (IMAs). Found in nearly every career field, IMAs augment active duty manning by filling wartime surge and national security requirements. Due to sustained high OPTEMPO, active component Air Force intelligence relies heavily upon ARC intelligence personnel to meet peacetime, surge and wartime requirements. This intelligence force provides approximately 40 percent of the overall Air Force intelligence capability. IMAs in Air Force Material Command performed more than 530 projects, ranging from humanitarian services to highly technical resolutions for major support challenges. As with all our reservists, IMAs continue to proudly and professionally meet the challenges of integrating seamless support.

RECRUITING AND RETENTION

While some progress has been made in recruiting and retention, my principal concern today remains attracting and retaining high quality people in an increasingly competitive economic environment. The additional recruiting funding we received last year was sincerely welcomed and we are grateful for your support. In spite of having the highest accessing accession rate of nearly 9,500 personnel, which is our highest number of accessions since FY 1995, we missed our recruiting goal by 14 percent in FY 2000. However, our production recruiters continue to lead the Department of Defense in annual accessions per production recruiter with an average of over 38 accessions in FY 2000. Equally important to Air Force Reserve Command's ability to meet the requirements being levied on us is family and employer support. Their sacrifice and continual support make it possible for our members to carry out their duties in such a spectacular manner.

Recruiting

Historically, the Air Force Reserve accession mix has been between 80 - 90 percent prior service, with 60 75 percent of those drawn from active duty Air Force. High prior service accession rates have contributed to making us one of the most experienced reserve forces in the world. Moreover, we have found that prior service personnel are more likely to be retained until the 20-year point or longer, making the force more stable. In the past, we recruited heavily from trained personnel leaving active duty during the force drawdown and we are currently accessing more than 21 percent of the active duty Air Force recruitable separatee market. , the highest rate ever ??. However, the end of the active duty drawdown demands new recruiting strategies and expectations. By FY 2001, active duty accessibles (those eligible to join the Air Force Reserve) equaled less than one-third of those who left active duty in the early 1990s. If we cannot maintain high accession levels in the prior service market, we'll be forced to increase our non-prior service (NPS) accessions to meet manning needs. As it is, NPS accessions required to meet our recruiting goal may soon quadruple, from less than 1,000 in the early to mid-90s to more than 4,000 in the outyears. As college enrollment and funding opportunities increase, the declining tendency to enlist in the military, a smaller prior service pool as well as the decrease in propensity to affiliate after leaving active service, our reserve recruiters will continue to find innovative ways to reach the NPS market.

Yet, we're making positive in-roads with the NPS market. We believe there are many outstanding young people across America who want to serve their country, but they prefer to do it from home and on a part-time basis. These are the people we are after, especially the ones who are attending college, either full or part-time. To help us attract these candidates and retain our current members, we profess the value of the Selected Reserve Montgomery G.I. Bill (SR-MGIB) that pays up to $9,468 in total benefits. The SR-MGIB is non-contributory on the part of the reservist, and to be eligible, members must agree to a 6-year enlistment. As an added bonus, applicants who enlist in selected career fields that are in short supply can qualify for the SR-MGIB Kicker that pays up to an additional $350 per month. Our NPS numbers are steadily climbing and we're pleased with the progress we're making here. On another front, we're asking all our people to become ambassadors for the Air Force Reserve. Officially, we call it the "Get One Program," and this initiative recognizes reservists who are successful in referring potential applicants to speak with one of our Air Force Reserve recruiters. Studies have repeatedly shown that most people who join the military already know someone who is a member and has good things to say about their experiences.

As of 1 June 2001 we are exceeding our FY 2001 recruiting goal and are hopeful that we will achieve our goal of 10,064 despite the earlier mentioned barriers. We need to increase our recruiting efforts and refocus our advertising to compete. In FY 1999, we increased our recruiting budget to $5.4M and our advertising budget to $8.7M. We have increased our recruiting staff by nearly 10 percent, adding 30 recruiters to help bring our numbers up. Congress has been very responsive in helping us with additional recruiters and funds to do this. Together, these initiatives should help us turn the tide.

Retention

While we continue to meet our overall command retention goal of 82 percent%, the strong economy has had a significant impact on our ability to retain personnel-particularly in critical skills. The unpredictable (note: may or may not be true, but too political to state) economyThe economy will undoubtedly continue to challenge us in attracting and retaining the skilled professionals we need, so we must find new ways to strengthen our retention rates, particularly for full-time pilots and first second term enlisted personnel (note: I think our 6 to 10 year enlisted is a problem). While overall officer retention rates are healthy, the current pilot retention rates do not reflect the projected escalating attrition rates that will challenge all Air Force components. Historically, pilots stayed until retirement, but recent indicators reveal an increase in the number of Air Reserve Technician pilots who are leaving early. As with the active component, increased hiring by major airlines, high OPTEMPO and perceptions of better civilian pay and working conditions are the reasons for leaving. The USAFR predicts a pilot shortfall of 325419 (note: check, I believe current shortfall is 200) by for FY 2002 based on a 35 percent Active Duty pilot capture rate. A Rated Management Task Force has been formed to study this issue and develop a Total Force approach to solve it. We hope that some of the pay incentives, as well as other enhancements such as improvements in scheduling predictability that the EAF provides, an increased use of telecommuting to better manage ancillary training requirements, protection of current benefits and increased parity of benefits will help us solve this problem.

These initiatives should have an equally positive effect on retention of our first term airmen. Our retention rate in this category remained equal to our FY 1999 rate this past year, probably due to OPTEMPO concerns. We believe our plan to relieve some of the turbulence associated with OPTEMPO should turn the trend upward. In the future, we will continue to focus on achieving an equitable parity of pay and benefits, as well as some other important initiatives.

In sum, the matter of recruiting and retention is the issue of greatest concern to me, and we are taking positive steps to fix this situation as I lead the Air Force Reserve into in this new millenium.

OPTEMPO AND READINESS

As full participants in the Total Air Force, our readiness remains good overall, and we are part of nearly every Air Force mission. One of the keys to our success is the leverage inherent in a fully trained and accessible force waiting on call. In reality, today's global situation dictates that we serve as a peacetime augmentation force as well as a ready, wartime force.

Readiness

The current Reserve Component force structure is of sufficient size and composition to meet the wartime requirements identified by the Bottom-Up and Quadrennial Defense Reviews. Reserve missions and roles have expanded, despite decreasing end strength. We are trained and resourced to meet our part of the National Military Strategy and currently are programmed with enough forces to help prosecute two major theater wars. Air Force Reserve units maintain readiness levels on par with active duty units. More than 95% percent of Air Force Reserve units are currently combat ready, closely paralleling our active force. Reserve units have comparable equipment in quantities proportional to their active duty counterparts and participate in day-to-day operations, exercises, and training. In addition, Reserve units train to active duty standards and receive regular inspections from their gaining major commands. Historically, during operational readiness inspections, 100 percent% of the inspected Reserve units received satisfactory or higher ratings, with most of these units rated as outstanding or excellent.

Accessibility & Volunteerism

Volunteerism remains our mainstay. The Air Force Reserve and Air Force lead the way in providing responsive Reserve forces to meet service and national needs. In the Persian Gulf and Haiti, as well as on-going operations in Turkey, Bosnia, Southwest Asia, the Caribbean and Central and South America, the Air Force Reserve responds to all requests for additional forces with volunteers only. And, while the 1999 Presidential Recall activated more than 1500 approximately 1400 Reservists, hundreds more volunteered as well.

The Air Force Reserve remains on the leading edge of volunteer participation for peacetime operations, as demonstrated by the implementation of the Expeditionary Aerospace Force (EAF). By using volunteers, we minimize potentially adverse impact on readiness and training, recruiting, and retention. Long range Aerospace Expeditionary Force (AEF) scheduling allows our personnel to plan well ahead and to volunteer for deployments that best fit their schedules, permitting better management of PERSTEMPO. Reserve resources integrate with those of the Air National Guard and the active Air Force to provide maximum capability for our AEFs.

Of concern is the impact of OPTEMPO on our Reserve families. Between EAF, other operations, exercises, and required inspections, participation rates continue to rise steadily each year. The Reserve set a record pace for OPTEMPO in 1999 as a result of Operation ALLIED FORCE. Then, an average of nearly 3,000 Reservists deployed overseas each month and worked more than 712,000 Military Personnel Appropriation (MPA) mandays, the highest number since Desert Storm. In FY 2000, our average number of personnel deployed overseas averaged nearly 1,700 per month. and we continue at this same pace in FY 2001 We began FY 2001 at a lower number but grew to over 2,000 deployed in March. This total does not include the number of Reserve Personnel Appropriation mandays and other training days that also were worked. There can be no doubt that the days of the "weekend warrior" are long gone.

This level of participation provides unique challenges for the Air Force Reserve. Aircrew members are participating an average of 125 days per year, with some weapons systems averaging even higher. Unit personnel average about 90 days and Individual Mobilization Augmentees (IMAs) average 69 days per year. This is in addition to their civilian jobs and comes at a time when the economy is supporting near full employment.

Approaching limits

Our force is leaning forward to meet each new tasking as it occurs, but this is not without cost. While we have received few complaints from our Reservists' employers, our people tell us that their bosses have started to question their participation. Our solution is to provide as much notice as possible of impending deployments as well as to educate our employers about the importance of their Reservists' contributions. We strengthen our partnership with civilian employers in several ways. We foster two-way communication between Reservists and their employers, sponsor Employers' Days and support Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Bosslifts, all of which give civilian employers the opportunity to see what their Reservist does when he or she is away from work. We also have vigorously pursued feedback from employers and they have expressed an interest in monetary relief. We strongly support efforts to recognize the sacrifices of employers of members of the Ready Reserve and National Guard. As long as we have the backing of our Reservists' employers, we anticipate being able to continue to meet future requirements with volunteers. But we must continue to be able to manage the rotation of our forces and the length of their deployments.

The Air Force Reserve is also aggressively pursuing ways to better leverage the time of Air Force Reservists. We are building a telecommuting program, restructuring our inspections program and reviewing ancillary training requirements. Finally, we continue to pursue the quality of life issues that are key to our people. As noted earlier, our focus is on entitlements, improved lodging facilities, family services, reducing personnel turbulence and parity of benefits, regardless of length of orders.

Reserve Health Care Reform

While pay is only one reason people join the Reserve, there is more involved in their decision to stay than just money. A number of intangibles are part of the total decision process, most of which are characterized as quality of life issues. Advances in Reserve quality of life are in no small part the result of congressional interest. A number of recent initiatives have lightened the burden a Reservist carries. In 1999, medical care for members who are injured while on inactive duty was clarified and extended in the FY 2000 bill, dental plans were expanded and the Secretary of Defense was given the authority to waive Tricare deductibles for dependents of members called to active duty for less than one year. The positive effect these measures have had on the USAFR is enormous. It provides peace of mind to our members to know that they and their families will have access to health care when they need it most.

This past year demonstrated that the health care provided for our Reservists has cleared some major hurdles, but still has a few to go. I know that health issues have been the subject of several hearings this year. We appreciate the Congress' continued interest in the welfare of our members.

 

MODERNIZATION

For the past 30 years the C-141 has been the backbone of mobility operations for the United States military in peacetime and in conflict. In the very near future the C-141 will be retired from the Active Duty Air Force. However, the Air Force Reserve continues the proud heritage of this mobility workhorse. AFRC crews will continue to fly the C-141 through FY06. It is crucial that we remain focused on flying this mission safely and proficiently until follow on missions are found.

With the release of the Mobility Requirements Study 05 (MRS-05), it is still uncertain as to follow-on missions for our C-141 personnel. Replacement missions must be more than the insertion of another airframe. They must be a viable mission that includes modernized equipment. I will continue to push for modernization initiatives to keep AFRC the "go to" organization when conflicts arise.

One of the most challenging modernization issues concerns our unit-equipped KC-135s. Five of our seven air refueling squadrons are equipped with the KC-135R, while the remaining two squadrons are equipped with KC-135Es. The KC-135E, commonly referred to as the E-model, has engines that were recovered from retiring airliners. This conversion which was accomplished in the early- to mid-1980s was intended as an interim solution to provide some improvement in capability while awaiting the far more costly conversion to the R-model with its new high bypass turbofan engines and other system modifications. We continue to look for support to convert modernize our remaining KC-135 E fleet.

As AFRC moves into the future and we analyze our interoperability with the Active Component (AC), a key issue is our ability to work within the AC structure while providing like capability. AFRC has 127 C-130s including the E, H, J and the N/P models. Air Mobility Command, as the lead command for C-130 modernization, has published a "Road Map" detailing the fleet modernization schedule. Near term modernization specifics for the AFRC C-130 fleet are additional removable cockpit armor sets for deploying aircraft, traffic alert and collision avoidance systems, and autopilot replacements. These modifications target aircrew safety and survivability. Future plans look to include forward-looking infrared for the HC-130 fleet.

In order to fly productive and effective missions as part of the Total Force, the theater CINC requires aircraft equipped with a core combat capability. We call this core capability the Combat Quadrangle. The quadrangle's sides represent our four focus areas: 24 Hour Operation Capability, Combat Identification Capability, Precision Attack Capability, and High Threat Survivability. All of these core capabilities are required to maintain combat compatibility with the active forces before the theater CINC will allow ARC AFRC participation in theater. With shrinking budgets and reduced active duty force structure, the Air Reserve Components face a challenging goal. Reserve aircraft are poised to make significant progress in the near future. For example, Air Combat Command (ACC) is upgrading the F-16 Block 25/30/32 in all four core areas with Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS), Situational Awareness Data Link (SADL), smart weapons, and the ALE-50

The A-10s are also poised to make progress in satisfying the core capabilities of the combat quadrangle. ACC is upgrading the A-10 with much-needed new Attitude Indicators for safety of flight concerns. The most promising development is the revamped precision engagement program that will incorporate SADL, targeting pods, and smart weapons capability by 2006.

The 403rd Wing at Keesler Air Force BaseFB, Mississippi, oversees both the WC (Weather Reconnaissance) and "Slick" J-model conversions for the Air Force Reserve Command. Once conversion is complete, the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron will consist of 10 WC-130J models and the 815th Tactical Airlift Squadron is scheduled to have 8 C-130Js. Presently, there are four WC-130J models at Keesler undergoing Qualification Test and Evaluation (QT&E). All 10 of the WC-130J aircraft were to be at Keesler in the first quarter of FY 2001. D, but discrepancies discovered during the QT&E are delaying AFRC's acceptance of the aircraft from the manufacturer. AFRC is working with the manufacturer to resolve the QT&E recognized deficiencies.

The acquisition of the LITENING II targeting pod this past spring marked the greatest jump in combat capability for AFRC F-16s in years. At the conclusion of the Persian Gulf War, it became apparent that the ability to employ Precision Guided Munitions, specifically Laser Guided Bombs (LGB), would be a requirement for involvement in future conflicts. Without this capability, AFRC F-16s took a backseat to other fighters that could employ LGBs. A joint effort with the Air National Guard resulted in the fielding of a targeting pod equivalent or better in all aspects to what active duty fighters were using. Delivery of this targeting pod, LITENING II, began this past spring, just in time to support an AFRC F-16 deployment to Operation Northern Watch in support of AEF. -8/9(7/8 or 5/6? Would be in the Spring timeframe). LITENING II affords the capability to employ LGBs effectively in both day and night operations, any time at any place. This capability allows AFRC F-16s to fulfill any AEF tasking requiring a self-designating targeting pod platform, providing needed relief for heavily tasked active duty units. This acquisition has put AFRC F-16s at the leading edge of combat capability, second to none, and ready to deploy and operate in any theater of operation.

In December 1981 the early 1980s as an effort to address the readiness issues initiative to improve readiness for in the Reserve Components, Congress provided funding through an appropriation called the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Appropriation (NGREA). Public laws and legislative language provided that this equipment appropriation would be intended to enhance readiness and combat capability, and to resolve the modernization issues of the reserve forces. The Air Force Reserve Command quickly put it into use as the primary source for modernizing its fleet of aircraft. It procured new weapon systems, miscellaneous and special operations equipment. With NGREA, the AF Reserve AFRC. The AFRC was able to fix many shortcomings in many operational aspects. However. However, several years ago, the Department of Defense initiated a shift in the equipping philosophy by encouraging the Services to be more responsive in funding the equipment needs of its Reserve components. This requires the Air Force to be more cognizant in the budget process by providing the necessary equipment and modernization funding for the Reserve and Guard. As the implementation of this initiative took place and NGREA levels declined as planned (from as high as $362M in 1992 to as low as $5M in FY01).

With potential elimination of NGREA, modernization and relevant Air Force Reserve mission capabilities and combat readiness remain top priorities in a very tightly constrained fiscal environment.

NEW MISSIONS

New missions picked up by AFRC this year support Air Force Material Command (AFMC) with their Test Support and Depot Flight Test requirements. As Reserve Associate programs, AFRC will provides personnel to man these two programs while the aircraft and equipment will be owned by AFMC. The Test Support program at Edwards Air Force BaseFB involves flight testing of new aircraft modifications and equipment. The Depot Flight Test program involves the flight testing of aircraft that are in the maintenance depots for periodic maintenance and overhauls at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. These are excellent missions for the Air Force Reserve as they take advantage of the high experience levels generally found with Reserve personnel. To date, AFRC has approximately 75 percent% of these new positions filled, and operations procedures and agreements are still evolving, but we are looking forward to a long and successful Reserve presence with these important test missions. Congressional support of these mission transfers in the FY 2000 Defense Acts was instrumental in starting these efforts successfully.

In another first, the Air Force Reserve became active in the operational test process last year as well. The 403rd Wing at Keesler AFB is working hand- in -hand with the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Command and Air Mobility Command (AMC) as operational testing required to bring the new C-130J into the inventory continues. The C-130J has many improvements over the older variants of the C-130. Updated engines provide greater power and fuel efficiency and the modernized avionics are a great step forward for this workhorse of our airlift fleet. Changes in the cabin area have also reduced the time and effort involved in loading and unloading cargo. The 403rd Wing's 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron is also working with AMC's 33rd Flight Test Squadron to complete operational testing on the Weather Reconnaissance version of the C-130J to replace their aging aircraft.

The 944th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, is scheduled to transfer from Air Combat Command to Air Education and Training Command (AETC) with student training planned for July 2001. This conversion is the result of an identified F-16 Formal Training Unit (FTU) shortfall that was addressed at the 1996 Aircrew Management Summit. The unit will provide Total Force support for the active duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard that is needed to accomplish F-16 formal training requirements and satisfy the determined FTU shortage.

AETC undertook a study to assess the feasibility of Air Reserve Component Formal Training Unit associate units and approved a program at Corona Top in June 1999. This concept made more active duty fighter pilots available for operational assignments while retaining an experienced Reserve Instructor Pilot cadre to train students in the F-16. Activated in January 2000, the 301st Fighter Squadron operates under the integrated associate concept which requires a manpower and administrative commitment from the USAFR while flying hour, aircraft and facilities are provided by the active duty.

The 94th Airlift Wing (AW) at Dobbins ARB, Georgia transferred from Air Mobility Command to Air Education Training Command in October 1999. The unit converted from a Combat Support coded mission to a Training coded mission. It was determined that the Air Force needed additional C-130 FTU capability and AFRC could provide that support. With a significant portion of the tactical airlift mission in the Air Reserve Components, the additional schoolhouse-basing requirement was necessary. The unit will conducts comprehensive C-130 training for both the H-2 and H-3 models and is already producing students. With an FY 2003 production goal of 72 pilots, the 94th AW will also train navigators and flight engineers, all to augment the Total Force.

In FY 2000, Air Force Reservists joined the 414th Combat Training Squadron, the "Aggressors," as associate members. The program established a Reserve associate organization collocated with the elite 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. The Aggressors provide expert simulation of potential threat systems and tactics during the advanced composite force training conducted on the Nellis ranges over Southern Nevada. The most notable of these exercises is the world-renown Red Flag. The objective of adding reserve personnel is to retain corporate knowledge pertaining to adversary threat and operational expertise in the Aggressors. Additionally, it allows the Aggressors to select from an expanded resource pool to enhance the training received by the Combat Air Force.

Two USAFR full time enlisted positions were established with the Thunderbird Demonstration Team at Nellis in FY 2001. These individuals perform aircraft maintenance duties of Crew Chief and Aircraft Specialist. This mission is considered associate in nature as the reserve personnel are assigned to the Thunderbirds and integrated within the unit.

Today's Air Force Reserve Space Program is an operationally integrated space force that will continue to grow in a robust, highly technical environment. The Air Force Reserve 310th Space Group is the first Air Force Reserve organization totally dedicated to leveraging Air Force Reserve talent to space operations. They will continue to meet the challenge of providing leadership and a vision of future Air Force Reserve space operations involvement.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Today's Air Force Reserve Space Program is an operationally integrated space force that will continue to grow in a robust, highly technical environment. The Air Force Reserve 310th Space Group is the first Air Force Reserve organization totally dedicated to leveraging Air Force Reserve talent to space operations. They will continue to meet the challenge of providing leadership and a vision of future Air Force Reserve space operations involvement.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the outstanding support from our more than 12,000 12,500 Individual Mobilization Augmentees (IMAs). Found in nearly every career field, IMAs augment active duty manning by filling wartime surge and national security requirements. Due to sustained high OPTEMPO, active component Air Force intelligence relies heavily upon ARC intelligence personnel to meet peacetime, surge and wartime requirements. This intelligence force provides approximately 40 percent of the overall Air Force intelligence capability. IMAs in Air Force Material Command performed more than 530 projects, ranging from humanitarian services to highly technical resolutions for major support challenges. As with all our reservists, IMAs continue to proudly and professionally meet the challenges of integrating seamless support.

I cannot say enough about the outstanding young men and women assigned to Air Force Reserve Command. It is these hardworking, professional and patriotic individuals who are the heart and soul of the command. Our accomplishments during this past year are the accomplishments of everyday Americans who are proud to serve.

Equally important to Air Force Reserve Command's ability to meet the requirements being levied on us is family and employer support. Their sacrifice and continual support make it possible for our members to carry out their duties in such a spectacular manner.

Mr. Chairman, in summary, thanks to the cooperative efforts of the Administration and Congress this past year -- we are on the right track. The Air Force is a recognized benchmark for the integration of its active, Reserve and Guard forces. Strengths gained from a strong partnership between the active and reserve components include the experience and civilian skills of its citizen airmen, deep community roots and local focus, quick mission accessibility and a diverse force structure. Furthermore, the Air Reserve Components give the Air Force the means to retain highly skilled individuals as they leave active duty, a valuable option in this economy.

People are our most important asset. In an effort to retain our best and brightest, we need to reward our people through compensation and promotion and ensure they know their efforts are appreciated. We need to look after their families while they are deployed and reach out to their employers with our thanks for their support. We need to ensure that there is open dialogue among the troops and from the troops to me to make sure that we're doing our job the best that it can be done. More than ever, we need to continue to partner with you to ensure we maintain the strongest air force in the world.

In summary, Air Force Reserve Command is committed to meeting our people, readiness and modernization challenges, so we remain a fully integrated partner with the Air Force. Reservists with the support of their families and civilian employers enable AFRC to be fully combat capable and meet its worldwide commitments.

Mr. Chairman, I appreciate thank you and your committee once again for your assistance in making us part of the worlds best Air Force, the USAF. I appreciate the opportunity to meet with the committee today to share my views with you and I look forward to answering any questions that you might have for me.


House Armed Services Committee
2120 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515



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