Guard’s Flexibility Will Serve the Force Well

“The last 10 years have demonstrated the full potential of the National Guard,” Air Force Gen. Craig McKinley, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, said Tuesday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference. McKinley noted that most of the Air Guard units with new BRAC 2005-induced missions have successfully made the transition. He said that “four or five years ago,” he would have said the Adjutants General would have “fought to the death” to retain their old missions, but today, from North Dakota to California, ANG units are succeeding at cutting-edge missions and new associate unit constructs. On current force structure deliberations, McKinley said the Guard will have to “deal with what we have,” but he believes the Air Guard’s unique capabilities and low operating cost are weighty considerations during a time of severe resource constraints.