How the Guard Has Kept Those Bases

USAF’s Maj. Gen. Gary Heckman, deputy chief for plans and programs, gave a rundown on the service’s force strength at the Aug. 11 BRAC hearing on ANG realignment. Armed with detailed slides, Heckman said that the Air Force for 15 years has been consolidating its aircraft in fewer and fewer squadrons, the better to make them efficient. At ANG’s request, however, the Air Force kept the same number of Guard squadrons and simply cut the number of aircraft in each, making them terribly inefficient. Still, the Guard kept their bases. In the first four BRAC rounds, the Air Force closed 25 active duty installations with a flying mission, Heckman stated. During the same period, only three reserve squadrons and one ANG squadron were closed, with the ANG unit merely shipping to another location.