Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Spare Air Force Reserve Command from budget cuts

By THOMAS L. DAY - Lt. Gen. Charles Stenner, the commander of the U.S. Air Force Reserve Command, is defending his command from looming spending cuts. In a report he provided as a part of the Pentagon’s review of reserve component troops, Stenner warned against cutting resources out of the Reserve Command to maintain resources for the active duty force — a potential recourse for the Air Force as it faces looming budget cuts. Air Force photo — Lt. Gen. Charles E. Stenner Jr. is Chief of Air Force Reserve, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base, Ga. “Trading away highly experienced reserve component personnel to invest in (active duty personnel and operations) ... is a sub-optimal choice,” the report warned. The report, which was dated July 16, acknowledges that “faced with significant budget reductions, the (military) will consider rebalancing the mix of active and reserve components to achieve program savings.” A move to slash the reserve command’s ranks risks “eliminat(ing) reserve component positions that can be used to absorb future losses from the active component,” the report said. “Reserve forces are ready, available and accessible to fulfill operational requirements ... they can be sustained at significantly lower cost than full-time active forces,” the report added. Stenner divides his time between the Pentagon and Robins Air Force Base. He has warned against cutting resources from his command in recent months, telling an Air Force Association-sponsored conference in Florida in February that “the top priority for me right now is to maintain a strategic reserve” of ready airmen in the U.S. Air Force Reserve Command.

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