Crisis Call-Ups

The Air Force would have to call up the Guard and Reserve in any armed conflict beyond those its already fighting because of sequestration, Air Combat Command boss Gen. Mike Hostage said in a July 27 interview. Hostage said he’s got just enough ready Active Duty forces available to meet existing and near-term combat needs in “named operations” such as Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and the nuclear mission, but no more. “Where I’ve taken a risk is a contingency,” he said. “If Syria…Iran…or North Korea blows up, I don’t have a bunch of excess forces I can immediately shift to that conflict. I’m going to have to pull them from other places.” He explained that the Air Force is “looking at using mobilization authority to have greater access to Guard and Reserve forces. The problem is, that’s very expensive, and if sustained over a long period of time, we’ll likely have some political and economic ramifications that may make it hard to continue that.” However, “we’re going to give it a try because I fundamentally don’t have enough Active Duty operational forces to meet the requirement, given the sequester.”