Make Peace Within

The Air Force’s number one priority today ought to be “healing” the internal feud about proposed cuts across the active and reserve components, retired Gen. Ron Fogleman, ex Chief of Staff, told attendees of his Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies-sponsored talk in Arlington, Va., on Wednesday. These reductions would disproportionately affect the Air National Guard. “I understand you have to look at dwell time,” said Fogleman. That’s been the Air Force leadership’s principle reason for apportioning the cuts as it has. But there are larger issues at stake, he said. Fogleman said he sits on a panel with the chief operating officers of the four largest airlines in the United States. “They tell me that within the next five to 10 years, there are going to be about 10,000 airline pilots retiring,” he explained. He continued, “I think the United States Air Force is going to have a hell of a fight on its hands trying to retain pilots in that period of time.” As a result, he said, “we’re going into an era when we can’t think about what is Active, what is Guard, and what is [Air Force] Reserve. We have to think total Air Force,” said Fogleman. He noted, “we need friends and we need advocates. So we have to get over this internal fight.”