Lt. Gen. Craig McKinley, director of the Air National Guard, said last week it remains a top priority of his to get all of the necessary annual funding to sustain the air sovereignty alert missions that protect the US homeland included in the Department of Defense’s baseline budget. “It’s a tremendous concern … that we have to continually come back and through supplementals and through end-year funding sources to try to compensate those who are serving,” McKinley told the House Armed Services readiness subcommittee April 1. The ANG faces a gap of nearly $35 million in Fiscal 2009 to cover ASA. Such shortages impede the Guard’s ability to create stability and predictable career paths for its airmen, the general said. “We don’t have the ability to sustain our force,” he said. “We need to fix that.” As a result, McKinley said the Guard is working to identify funding so that ASA is fully included in the Air Force’s Fiscal 2010 program objective memorandum. “My goal is to baseline that funding so that units … can have a stable air sovereignty posture [so] that we can have a very capable and competent workforce that is secure doing that mission,” he said.