Equipping the Force

The Air National Guard, like the other reserve components, lacks at least 25 percent of its required equipment, as of October 2009, according to a new report from the Center for a New American Security. “When Guardsmen and reservists do not possess and train on the modernized equipment they will use during deployments, pre-mobilization readiness declines, ‘boots-on-ground’ time in theater decreases, morale plummets, and the flexibility to reassign units from one mission to another disappears,” reads the document. Dennis McCarthy, assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, who spoke Thursday in Washington, D.C., during the official launch of the report, said he agrees with most of the findings, but took issue with the finding on equipment. He acknowledged that the Defense Department was going to have to think creatively to tackle the problem. Perhaps use of simulators might become more prevalent, he said.