US Air Force Announces Proposed Force Structure Changes

Released on Friday, February 3, 2012
United States of America
A-10A Thunderbolt II
C-130H Hercules
C-130J Super Hercules
C-17A Globemaster III
C-27J Spartan
C-5 Galaxy
C-5M Super Galaxy
CC-130J Super Hercules
E-8C Joint STARS
F-15C Eagle
F-15D Eagle
F-16C Block 50
F-16C Block 52
F-16D Block 50
F-16D Block 52
F-35A Lightning II
KC-135 Stratotanker
KC-46A Pegasus
King Air 350
RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawk
U-2S Dragon Lady
AFB - Air Force Base
AMP - Avionics Modernization Program
ANG - Air National Guard
ANGB - Air National Guard Base
DoD - Department of Defense
FY - Fiscal Year
ISR - Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
JROC - Joint Requirements Oversight Committee
SLEP - Service Life Extension Program
USAF - United States Air Force
New Strategic Guidance

For the last decade, the United States has undertaken extended operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. As we responsibly draw down from these operations, take steps to protect our Nation��s economic vitality, and protect our interests in a world of accelerating change, we face an inflection point. The changing geopolitical environment and our changing fiscal circumstances merited a reassessment of U.S. defense strategy. Out of this assessment, the Department of Defense (DoD) developed a strategy that transitions our defense enterprise from an emphasis on today��s wars to preparing for future challenges, protects the broad range of U.S. national security interests, advances the Department��s efforts to rebalance and reform, and supports the national security imperative of deficit reduction by reducing defense spending. The resulting strategic guidance provided a set of precepts to guide decisions regarding the size and shape of the force over subsequent budget cycles.

To implement the new strategic guidance, the Joint Force will need to recalibrate its capabilities and make selective additional investments to succeed in the following missions: countering terrorism and irregular warfare, deterring and defeating aggression, projecting power despite anti-access/area denial challenges, countering weapons of mass destruction, operating effectively in cyberspace and space, maintaining a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent, defending the homeland and providing support to civil authorities, providing a stabilizing presence, conducting stability and counterinsurgency operations, and conducting humanitarian, disaster relief, and other operations.

These missions will determine and shape the capabilities required by the future Joint Force, and the Air Force must continue to provide key capabilities in all 10 mission areas. However, the overall capacity, or size of the force, will be based on the requirements that the following missions demand: countering terrorism and irregular warfare, deterring and defeating aggression, maintaining a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent, and defending the homeland and supporting civil authorities. U.S. forces will no longer be sized to conduct large-scale, prolonged stability operations.

The new guidance requires U.S. forces to remain capable of deterring and defeating aggression by any potential adversary. Credible deterrence results from maintaining both the capabilities required to deny an aggressor the prospect of achieving his objectives and from the complementary capability to impose unacceptable costs on the aggressor. Our planning envisages forces that are able to fully deny a capable state��s aggressive objectives in one region by conducting a combined arms campaign across all domains �C land, air, maritime, space, and cyberspace. Even when U.S. forces are committed to a large scale operation in one region, they will be capable of denying the objectives of �C or imposing unacceptable costs on �C an opportunistic aggressor in a second region.

The Air Force employed this guidance to prepare an FY13 budget request that ensures the Air Force meets the capability and force-sizing requirements directed by the new strategic guidance, and is:

Adaptable and capable of deterring aggression and providing a stabilizing presence, especially in the highest priority areas and missions in the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East, while still ensuring our ability to maintain our defense commitments to Europe and other allies and partners;

Ready, rapidly deployable, and expeditionary such that it can project power on arrival;

Capable of conducting homeland defense and providing support to civil authorities;

Armed with cutting edge capabilities that exploit our technological, joint, and networked advantage;

Able to reconstitute quickly or grow capabilities as needed; and

Manned and led by the highest quality professionals.

To deliver the capabilities required by the new strategic guidance and remain within funding constraints, the Air Force made difficult choices in all core functions, including the decision to divest portions of combat and combat enabler forces. The guiding principle was balance. To retain critical core capabilities and maintain our ability to rapidly respond to mission demands, the Air Force balanced risk to force structure and modernization, while maintaining readiness and people programs across all mission areas. We will provide more details about our FY13 decisions on modernization, readiness, and people programs in the coming weeks.

This paper will focus on the decisions we made to divest aircraft and re-mission units, with a particular emphasis on how these choices affect the Air National Guard (ANG) and Air Force Reserve. Our programmed reductions follow detailed assessments of future conflict scenarios and enduring rotational deployment requirements and were chosen to maintain capable and lethal forces while preserving ready and sustainable Active and Reserve Components. The Air Force will be smaller, but will remain highly capable, lethal, ready, agile, and deployable.

Air Force Aircraft Reductions

The Air Force FY 13 Budget Request achieves $8.7 billion in savings across the Active and Reserve Components by retiring over 200 aircraft in FY 13 and nearly 300 aircraft over the FYDP, consistent with the new strategic guidance. Our programmed force reductions are wide ranging and affect over 60 installations. Without the Total Force re-missioning actions described later in the paper, they would have significantly affected 24 units and left eight installations without an Air Force presence. They will have direct impact in 33 states, but in order to support Total Force remissioning, the manpower realignment plan built by the Reserve Components will significantly affect additional units in all 54 states and territories. We will be able to provide manpower adjustments by installation and state in the coming weeks.

Our analysis of requirements driven by the new strategy shaped all of our decisions. Our force sizing analysis answered two complementary questions: what is the maximum, or surge, requirement posed by the force sizing model of the new strategy; and what is the steady state, or post-surge, requirement for deployed rotational forces? Because the new guidance requires the Joint Force to be capable of fighting one large scale, combined arms campaign with sufficient combat power to also deny a second adversary, and deemphasized large-scale, prolonged stability operations, our FY13 budget request accepts risk by retiring fighter, mobility, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft excess to the surge requirements of the new force sizing construct. Although the U.S. has removed all combat forces from Iraq and the new strategic guidance reduces the steady state requirement for ground forces, we expect Air Force steady state rotational requirements to remain nearly constant, or perhaps increase, under the new strategy. This continuing rotational post-surge requirement is a key factor in determining the required mix between Active and Reserve Component forces due to differences in sustainable deployment rates and operations tempo.

Where possible, we attempted to retire all aircraft of a specific type, allowing us to also divest the unique training and logistic support structure for that aircraft. Where that was not possible, we worked to retire the oldest aircraft first, and redistributed aircraft into effective and economical units, eliminating other units when that was most efficient. Where we retained older aircraft, we are taking steps to ensure they will remain viable into the future.

Combat Air Forces

As directed by the new strategic guidance, we accepted risk in our Combat Air Forces by retiring or reclassifying aircraft from seven squadrons: five A-10 squadrons, one F-16 squadron, and one training/support coded F-15 Aggressor squadron. Because of the Department��s evolving posture, one of the retiring squadrons is an overseas squadron. We chose to retire more A-10s as a result of guidance to size our forces for one large scale combined arms campaign with sufficient combat power to also deny a second adversary, without conducting a large scale, prolonged stability operation. The A-10 remains essential for combined arms and stability operations and we retain enough A-10s to meet the requirements of the new strategic guidance, but multi-role platforms provide more utility across the range of the potential missions for which we are directed to prepare.

After reductions, we retain 54 combat-coded fighter squadrons and maintain the capabilities and capacity required to meet the requirements of new strategic guidance at increased risk while providing a bridge to the Fifth Generation F-35. Although we transfer five F-15 Aggressor aircraft to attrition reserve status and eliminate one Aggressor squadron flag, we maintain a robust Aggressor training capability. We will relocate our F-16 Aggressor squadron in Alaska from Eielson AFB to Elmendorf AFB, allowing us to achieve savings in base support at Eielson beginning in FY15.

Mobility Air Forces

We also reduced our mobility capacity in line with the requirements of the new strategic guidance and the parallel reductions in land forces, retiring all 27 C-5As, retiring or canceling procurement of all 38 planned C-27Js, and retiring the 65 oldest C-130s. We chose to retire C-5As because of historically lower mission capable rates relative to the C-17 and C-5M. Retiring the entire C-5A fleet provides additional savings in training and logistics support that could not have been achieved by spreading retirements over multiple aircraft types. Divesting the entire C-27J fleet also achieves savings by substituting the lower life cycle costs of the more capable C-130 for the niche C-27J capability. As part of our C-130 retirement strategy, we streamline operations and maintenance by realigning some additional C-130 aircraft to ensure Reserve Component units operate only one C-130 type at any location.

After retirements, we will maintain a fleet of 275 strategic airlifters (52 C-5Ms and 223 C-17s) and 318 C-130s (134 C-130Js and 184 C-130Hs) and our analysis shows that the remaining aircraft are sufficient to meet the airlift requirements of the new strategy, including our commitment for direct support of the Army. We appreciate Congress�� support in adjusting the legislated mandatory number of strategic airlifters. Given the changes in strategy and force sizing, we will be seeking a new minimum of 275 aircraft.

We also retire 20 KC-135s and maintain a fleet of 453 air refueling aircraft, sufficient to meet refined requirements. KC-46 development remains on track for initial deliveries in FY16.

Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance

Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance reductions divest all 18 Block 30 RQ-4s, generating $2.5 billion in Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) savings by choosing to rely on the proven capability of the mature U-2S aircraft and sensors. The U-2 has superior sensor capabilities now, meets the new Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) force structure requirement, and is viable through 2040. We generate additional savings by eliminating funding for all 11 RC-26s while transferring the more capable MC-12 fleet from the Active Component to the Air National Guard in FY14. We also retire one E-8C aircraft that is damaged beyond economical repair.

Reserve Component Aircraft Reductions and Re-Missioning

The Air Force has enjoyed great success in leveraging our Total Force Enterprise to present our enduring capabilities to the Joint warfighter, and we have successfully met the demand of increased operations tempo over the last two decades through a combination of volunteerism, selective mobilization, and the creation of Active, Reserve, and Guard Associations. The Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve are integrated into all major Air Force mission areas, train to the same high standards as the Active Component, and are invaluable partners in meeting our many and varied commitments. Over the years, we have adjusted the mix between Active and Reserve Components to ensure we maintained a ready and sustainable force and could meet our surge and rotational requirements. However, two decades of military end strength and force structure reductions have shifted the ratio of Active to Reserve Component forces. In 1990, the Reserve Component represented 25 percent of the Total Force end strength; that percentage has increased to 35 percent today. Reserve Component aircraft ownership also increased from approximately 23 percent to 28 percent over the same period.

Our Reserve Components have proven to be a superb investment -- providing critical Air Force capabilities through a very challenging time. However, our analysis tells us we have reduced the Active Component to the point that further reductions would limit our ability to respond quickly to multiple crises or sustain long duration commitments without asking our Airmen �C Active and Reserve Component �C to deploy at rates that cannot be sustained by our Total Force Airmen and their families. We also know that the entire Total Force �C Active Component, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve �C depends on the Active Component to recruit, train, and equip the Airmen of the future. Further Active Component aircraft reductions would require detailed analysis to ensure we do not make the Active Component too small to provide the skilled aircrew, maintenance, and support personnel required to sustain the Total Force. Maintaining the appropriate Active/Reserve mix will remain critical to sustaining Air Force capabilities for forward presence and rapid response, meeting overseas rotational demands with a smaller force, and taking care of our most precious resource, our people.

As we were driven to consider reductions in FY13, we carefully considered the ratio between the Active and Reserve Components and made choices that:

1) Ensured the Total Force could fulfill the Air Force��s surge requirements as directed by the force sizing construct of the new strategic guidance;

2) Maintained the balance between Active and Reserve Components required to fulfill continuing rotational requirements at deployment rates and personnel tempos that are sustainable for both the Active and Reserve Components;

3) Made sure the Active Component retained the recruiting, training, and operational seasoning base required to sustain the Active Air Force, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve into the future; and

4) Ensured the Reserve Component remains relevant and engaged in both enduring and evolving missions.

The Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve were involved in all analysis and decisions, and employed the following principles and strategies to build Reserve Component aircraft reduction and re-missioning plans.

The Air National Guard��s Capstone Principles informed Air Force decisions involving the ANG:

1) Allocate at least one flying unit with ANG equipment to each state;

2) Recapitalize concurrently and in balance with the regular component;

3) Manage Air National Guard resources with Air National Guard people;

4) Adopt missions that fit the militia construct; and

5) Build dual-use capabilities.

The Air Force Reserve employed the following realignment strategies in selecting specific locations for aircraft reductions:

1) Ensure aircraft reductions do not negatively impact operational support to the Combatant Commands;

2) Ensure force structure movements do not create any new Air Force bills;

3) Ensure risk is minimized by optimizing crew ratios to exploit expected increase in mission capability rates; and

4) Considered locations that continued to have an Air Force mission due to the presence of another Air Force Component.

Total Force Aircraft Reductions by Fiscal Year

FY 13 Actions: Divests all C-27J aircraft, eliminating aircraft based at or planned for Warfield AGS (Martin State), MD (4), Kellogg AGS (Battle Creek), MI (4), Fargo AGS (Hector), ND (4), Mansfield Lahm AGS, OH (4), Great Falls, MT (4), Bradley , CT (4), and Key Field AGS (Meridian), MS (6). Removes A-10s from Barksdale AFB, LA (retires 21 and transfers three), Selfridge ANGB, MI (21), Ft Smith, AR (20), Ft Wayne, IN (20), and an Active Component overseas location (20). Removes F-16s from Des Moines, IA (21) and transfers Active Component F-16 Aggressors from Eielson AFB, AK (19) to Joint Base (JB) Elmendorf-Richardson, AK (19). Aircraft retirements and transfers result in net reductions of C-130Hs at JB Elmendorf-Richardson, AK (4 H2) (eliminating an Active association), Niagara, NY (3 H2) (eliminating a Reserve association), Rosecrans AGS (St Joseph), MO (10 H2.5), Youngstown-Warren, OH (6 H2), Louisville, KY (1 H2.5), Charleston, WV (1 H3), Cheyenne, WY (1 H2.5), Stratton AGS (Schenectady), NY (4 H2), Dobbins ARB, GA (7 H2), and Pittsburgh, PA (7 H2). The Pittsburgh actions result in the closure of the associated Air Reserve Station at Pittsburgh, PA (closure does not exceed Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) threshold in accordance with 10 U.S.C. �ì 2687). Retires KC-135s from Rickenbacker, OH (6), Pittsburgh ANGB, PA (4), Tinker AFB, OK (4), and Altus AFB, OK (three Active Component) as well as three Backup Aircraft Inventory (BAI) aircraft from Sky Harbor (Phoenix), AZ (1), Sioux City AGS, IA (1), and March ARB, CA (1). Reduces KC-135s at McGhee-Tyson, TN (2) and Gen Mitchell, WI (2). Begins retirement of the C-5A fleet at JB San Antonio (Lackland AFB), TX (5) and eliminates an E-8C damaged beyond economical repair from Robins ARB, GA (1). Retires Active Component Block 30 RQ-4s from Beale AFB, CA (18).

Proposed FY 14 Actions: Removes C-130Hs from Maxwell AFB, AL (7 H2), Naval Air Station (NAS) Joint Reserve Base (JRB) Ft Worth (Carswell), TX (8 H2) and Minneapolis-St Paul (8 H3), and removes C-130Js from Keesler AFB, MS (10). Continues to retire C-5As at JB San Antonio (Lackland AFB), TX (3) and Shepherd Field AGS (Martinsburg), WV (5). Converts Active Component F-15Cs at Nellis AFB, NV (5) from Primary Aircraft Inventory (PAI) to BAI status. Transfers 42 Active Component MC-12s from Beale AFB to the Air National Guard.

Proposed FY 15 Actions: Retires remaining Air National Guard C-5As based at Shepherd Field (Martinsburg), WV (6), and additional Air Force Reserve C-5As at JB San Antonio (Lackland AFB) (2). Eliminates funding for all 11 RC-26 aircraft, retiring aircraft based at Ellington Field (Houston), TX (1), Kirtland AFB, NM (1), Tucson, AZ (1), Fresno, CA (1), Fairchild AFB, WA (1), Key Field (Meridian), MS (1), Dannelly Field, AL (1), Truax AGS (Madison), WI (1), Hancock Field AGS (Syracuse), NY (1), Charleston, WV (1), and Jacksonville, FL (1).

Proposed FY 16 Action: Completes retirement of the Air Force Reserve C-5A fleet by divesting the remaining aircraft at JB San Antonio (Lackland AFB), TX (6). Removes C-130H from Savannah, GA (8 H2) and Little Rock, AR (eight Active Component H3). Removes C5Ms from Westover, MA (8).

Proposed FY 17 Actions: Removes C-130Hs from Niagara, NY (8 H2), Little Rock, AR (three Reserve Component H2), Charlotte, NC (2 H3), and Little Rock AR (six Active Component H3).

Total Force Re-Missioning by Fiscal Year

As a Total Force �C Active Air Force, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve -- we have developed a detailed re-missioning plan that realigns continuing missions to preserve 14 of 24 units, maintains an Air Force presence on seven of the eight affected installations, expands Reserve Component participation in our growing ISR mission, and preserves an appropriate Active and Reserve Component force mix. The Air Force FY13 budget request commits approximately $600 million over the FYDP to execute and sustain re-missioning actions that establish new MQ-1/9 Remote Split Operations Squadrons, transfer the MC-12 fleet to the Air National Guard, thicken Reserve Component ISR and cyber participation, and transfer Active Component C-17s to the Reserve Component.

FY 12 Actions: Transfers six WC-130 aircraft from Nashville, TN to Luis Munoz, Puerto Rico, replacing retiring C-130Es. Establishes an MQ-1/9 Remote Split Operations (RSO) squadron at Nashville. Enlarges Nashville��s Intelligence Squadron into a Targeting Group and creates a new Cyber/ISR Group.

FY 13 Actions: Completing a FY12 PB action, transfers eight C-17s from the Active Component to the Air National Guard at Memphis, TN (replacing C-5As). Adds C-130Hs at Youngstown-Warren, OH (4 H2.5) and Cheyenne, WY (1 H3). Establishes an ISR Group and expands the Net Warfare Sq at Warfield AGS (Martin State), MD to replace divested C-27s; establishes an Intelligence Targeting Group at Fargo AGS (Hector), ND; creates four additional MQ-1/9 RSO elements at Ft Smith, AR (replacing A-10s), Des Moines, IA (replacing F-16s), Kellogg AGS (Battle Creek), MI (replacing C-27s), and Willow Grove, PA; adds KC-135s to Selfridge ANGB, MI (4). Adds A-10s at Whiteman AFB, MO (3).

Proposed FY 14 Actions: Transfers 42 Active Component MC-12s to the Air National Guard by assigning between nine and eleven aircraft to each of four Air National Guard locations -- Ft Wayne, IN (replacing A-10s), Bradley, CT (replacing C-27s), Key Field AGS (Meridian), MS (replacing C-27s), and NAS Ft Worth JRB (Carswell), TX (replacing C-130s). Creates an Active Association at Beale AFB, CA to conduct MC-12 training and provides an additional deployed Combat Air Patrol forward using up to six Air National Guard aircraft. Final aircraft assignments for the four Air National Guard locations and the Active association at Beale will be determined as part of the Air Force's FY14 budget submission after completion of a program plan and operational concept.

Transfers C-130Js to Dobbins ARB, GA (10) (replacing C-130Hs) and C-130Hs to Rosecrans AGS (St Joseph), MO (8 H3) and Great Falls, MT (8 H2) (replacing C-27s).

Proposed FY 15 Action: Transfers eight Active Component C-17s to the Air National Guard at Shepherd Field AGS (Martinsburg), WV (replacing C-5As).

Proposed FY 16 Action: Within the Air Force Reserve, transfers eight C-5Ms from Westover ARB, MA to JB San Antonio (Lackland AFB), TX, (replacing C-5As). Replaces C-130H2s at Savannah, GA (8) with C-130H3s. Replaces Active Component C-130H3s (8) at Little Rock AFB, AR with C-130H1 (7).

Proposed FY 17 Action: Dobbins ARB, GA receives two additional C-130Js for a total of 12. Replaces C-130H2s at Niagara, NY (8) with C-130H3s. Replaces Active Component C-130H3s (6) at Little Rock AFB, AR with C-130H1s (7).

After proposed reductions and re-missioning, Reserve Component end strength will make up 33 percent of Total Force military personnel, a reduction of two percent from the FY12 President��s Budget (PB) position. The Reserve Component will own 24 percent of Total Force aircraft, two percent less than their FY12 PB share. Within the Combat Air Forces, the percentage of total aircraft in the Reserve Component will be 38 percent, four percent less than in FY12. For the Mobility Air Forces, the Reserve Component share shifts from 51 percent to 46 percent.

Additional Actions

In addition to specific re-missioning actions, the Air Force has also taken a variety of steps to secure the future of the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve in a balanced Total Force.

Future Aircraft Flow Down

We remain committed to acquiring the F-35A as our future multi-role fighter. Although delivery of the F-35 has been delayed, it is still the future of both Active and Reserve multi-role squadrons. The Air Force has acquired 12 F-35s to date and plans to acquire over 160 more through FY17. The full-rate production plan is yet to be determined.

We have decided to pursue a scalable Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) for approximately 350 F-16s. Although our oldest F-16s will remain viable through the end of this decade, we plan to begin fielding aircraft with SLEP structural improvements in 2017. The program will ensure the F-16 remains viable and relevant for future Active and Reserve Component multi-role fighter squadrons until the F-35 arrives in greater numbers. We will also upgrade combat avionics for a substantial portion of the SLEP-ed aircraft with aircraft delivery beginning in FY18.

We are committed to developing a detailed aircraft flow down plan that describes how the F-35 and modernized and SLEP-ed F-16s will be integrated into the Total Force and replace aging aircraft. We will build a detailed plan after we have a clearer view of F-35 delivery schedules and have completed Force Composition Analysis studies to determine the optimum Active and Reserve Component unit size and force mix for our remaining multi-role fighter force. As always, the leadership of the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve will be active partners in determining this mix.

We are also committed to making sure our 184 remaining C-130H variants remain viable and relevant. We developed the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) to ensure our C-130H fleet met basic communication, navigation, surveillance, and air traffic management (CNS/ATM) requirements. We later determined that there are less technically complex approaches to meet these requirements and resolve select obsolescence issues. Therefore, our FY13 budget submission terminates the C-130 AMP. However, we have funded an FY13 new start CNS/ATM program to ensure our C-130H fleet will remain viable and relevant, while generating more than $2.2 billion in savings over the FYDP.

Strategic Basing Process

The Air Force Strategic Basing Process was established by the Secretary of the Air Force in August 2009 to create an open, transparent, and consistent process for selecting preferred Total Force basing options. We will employ the Strategic Basing Process to identify preferred Active and Reserve Component basing locations for new aircraft as they become available as part of our recapitalization and modernization efforts.

BRAC 2005 established Eglin AFB as the Initial Joint Training Site for the F-35A. In July 2010, the Air Force announced preferred alternatives for further basing of the initial 250-300 F-35As, identifying Hill AFB and Burlington ANGB as the initial operational locations and Luke AFB as the next training location after Eglin, accommodating all F-35As currently scheduled for delivery through FY19. The Air Force will announce future preferred and reasonable alternatives approximately three years prior to delivery of aircraft to the next round of bases. Given current F-35 production estimates, the next set of F-35 basing decisions will include domestic and overseas bases and will not be required prior to FY17. Over the next two years, we will determine the optimum size of Active and Reserve Component F-35 units and the total number of required F-35 operating locations.

The Air Force is currently developing requirements for the first two KC-46 bases, and expects to approve basing criteria in March 2012, identify candidate installations in June 2012, select preferred and reasonable alternatives in December 2012, and make final decisions in December 2013. These first two bases will begin receiving aircraft in FY16. We will announce future preferred and reasonable alternatives approximately three years prior to delivery of aircraft to the next round of bases. Given current production estimates, the next KC-46 basing decisions will not be required prior to FY14. We are committed to creating associations at all KC-46 operating locations in the continental United States.

Potential Legislative Changes

In coordination with the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, the Air Force and the Department of Defense are reviewing the authorities that might be needed to address the impact of programmed force reduction and re-missioning actions on the affected members of the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and their families.

Air Force Total Force Enterprise and Associations

The Air Force Total Force Enterprise (TFE) management approach provides an inclusive, fact-based, and iterative process designed to maximize combat capability and optimize force structure through a range of innovative organizational constructs and personnel policies that optimize and integrate the capabilities of all Air Force components.

Associations are an integral part of balancing the Total Force to meet the current and future air, space and cyber requirements of the Joint warfighter. Total Force Integration (TFI) associations pair two units, (host and associate) representing two Air Force components, operating together. The host unit is assigned the physical resources for mission accomplishment (aircraft, equipment, facilities) and the associate unit shares those resources. Currently, there are three types of TFI associations: Classic, Active and Air Reserve Component (ARC).

Classic Associations pair units as an Active Component host with a Reserve Component associate which can improve operational synergies and add capacity during surge operations at reduced cost. Active Associations pair a Reserve Component host and an Active Component associate to improve access to aircraft and total rotational capacity by assigning Active Component Airmen in Reserve Component units, allowing the highly experienced Reserve Component to help develop and season maturing Active Component Airmen. ARC Associations pair a Reserve Component host and a Reserve Component associate to deliver operational and organizational efficiencies.

There are currently 100 TFI associations across a variety of weapons systems/functional areas and Air Force Major Commands. The Air Force is planning to add Active Associations at all ARC fighter locations, and Air Mobility Command intends to establish Active or Classic Associations at all continental U.S. KC-46 locations. The Air Force will continue to explore additional opportunities for associations in order to create efficiencies, encourage retention of valuable human capital, and above all, increase Air Force combat capabilities.

New Associations

The Air Force has decided to maintain 18 assigned F-16 aircraft at Air National Guard fighter squadrons to support new F-16 Active Associations at Truax AGS (Madison), WI, Buckley, CO, Joe Foss Field, SD, and Duluth, MN, in addition to the Associations already programmed at Burlington, VT, and Dannelly Field, AL. Although the previously programmed Active Association at Barksdale AFB, LA, is eliminated with the Air Force Reserve Command A-10 retirement, the Active Associations at Whiteman AFB, MO, NAS Ft Worth JRB (Carswell), TX and Homestead ARB, FL will continue as planned. The Chief of Staff of the Air Force has directed the Air Force to develop additional Active Associations at all ARC fighter locations to ensure that the Total Force is able to absorb and season enough young pilots and maintainers to meet future Total Force requirements.

The AF FY13 budget request also establishes C-130J Active Associations at Dobbins ARB, GA starting in FY14, Quonset Point Airport, RI in FY16, and Channel Islands, CA in FY17, as well as an Active Association with a C-130H unit in FY13 at a location still to be determined. Additionally, Classic Associations will be established in intelligence at Fort Meade, MD, Offutt AFB, NE and Hurlburt Field, FL, and in program analysis at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. We have also established a new association with the MC-12W mission transfer to the Air National Guard in FY 14. An Active Association will be stood up to operate the MC-12W Flying Training Unit at Beale AFB, using up to six Air National Guard aircraft. The Active Association will also provide one Combat Air Patrol (CAP) of deployed capability.

The Air Force previously funded a RED HORSE Active Association at Beale AFB, CA, as well as Classic Associations in cyber at JB San Antonio (Lackland AFB), TX; Aviation Foreign Internal Defense at a location to be determined; Security Forces at Davis-Monthan AFB, NM; and intelligence at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, and JB Langley-Eustis, VA. In all, 15 new Associations are programmed, and the Air Force will explore additional opportunities for associations in our FY14 budget submission.

Military Personnel Appropriation Budget Activity Code

We are normalizing our approach to how we program ARC Military Personnel Appropriation (MPA) man day funding by improving the way we forecast, plan, program, and fund MPA man day accounts in our budget build process. These inputs will ensure adequate and predictable funding to support the required level of Reserve Component participation. Our normalization efforts include introducing MPA requirements into our corporate planning process earlier and working with the Office of the Secretary of Defense to create a distinct budget activity with a sub-account dedicated to facilitating more flexible Reserve Component operations, increasing opportunities for Reserve Component participation, and tracking MPA within the Air Force Military Personnel Account. If approved, we would expect to include this account in our FY14 budget submission.

Improving Strategic Planning Transparency and Processes

We have embarked on an effort to examine Active Air Force, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve composition across all the Air Force��s major functions through the Total Force Enterprise Review Process and System Force Composition Analyses. The Total Force Enterprise Evaluation Group reviews and provides oversight of all Total Force Associations and ensures they have met the requirements for effective operations. Force Composition Analyses examine individual weapons systems or processes and make recommendations for an appropriate Active/Reserve Component mix based on analysis of combat requirements, Total Force capacity, and system and manpower costs.

Most importantly, we have strengthened and refined our corporate processes to ensure that the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve are involved at every step of our analysis and decision making. Air Force senior leaders have directed that the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard will continue to be fully represented during system Force Composition Analyses and will participate fully in development of the Core Function Master Plans that guide actions to organize, train and equip the Total Force in each core function.

Air Force Reserve Component 2020 Study

We believe the Air Force Reserve Components set the DoD standard for Total Force integration and operational effectiveness, but we must ensure that we continue to improve our performance and processes to maximize our contribution to the Joint Force of 2020 and beyond. The Chief of Staff of the Air Force and Reserve Component leadership are developing terms of reference to guide an independent study that will evaluate our on-going efforts to optimize the Total Force and make recommendations to guide and shape our future efforts. The study team will likely be led by a former Chief of Staff of the Air Force and will include a former Director of the Air National Guard and Chief of the Air Force Reserve.


We remain fully committed to the essential contributions of the Total Force and have taken proactive steps to:

Address the impact of force structure reductions in our Reserve Components by remissioning units with enduring missions and assigning aircraft with extended life spans and improved capabilities;

Plan for robust use of associations as we field F-35 and KC-46 units;

Increase the number of associations between existing Active and Reserve units;

Normalize our management of Reserve Component man days; and

Improve the transparency of Total Force planning and develop our Total Force vision for the future.

The future of the Air Force depends on sustaining strong and ready Reserve Components, and we believe the Air Force Total Force sets the standard for integrating Active and Reserve Components to improve efficiency and effectiveness in peace and war. The force reductions proposed in the Air Force FY13 budget request were developed in response to new DoD strategic guidance, informed by reduced funding, and shaped by analysis to ensure that the Total Force will continue to fulfill the Air Force��s surge requirements and meet continuing rotational demand. We will ensure that the Reserve Component remains engaged and relevant as the Active Component maintains the recruiting, training, and operational seasoning base required to sustain the Total Force into the future.

Source: USAF Force Structure Changes

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