Air Force Considers Adjustments to Proposed Force Structure Changes

The Air Force is mulling suggestions put forth by the Council of Governors several weeks ago that would modify some of the proposed force structure changes regarding the Air National Guard in the service’s Fiscal 2013 budget request, said the Air Force leadership Wednesday. “This work is ongoing, and we have not yet reached a conclusion, but we recognize the need to do so in time to meet the appropriate congressional markups that are in front of us in the next couple of months,” Secretary Michael Donley told the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense panel during an oversight hearing. Among the moves being reconsidered are the proposals to strip the Texas ANG’s 136th Airlift Wing in Fort Worth of its C-130s and to remove the A-10s of the Indiana Air Guard’s 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne, said Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz in response to senators’ questions. Donley said the service leadership has been meeting with the National Guard and Air Guard leadership as well as the council’s “empowered adjutants general” to discuss these issues. Schwartz said the Air Force would “be bringing the conclusions of our work to the attention of the more senior people in the [Defense] Department within days.” (Donley-Schwartz joint statement)