No Reprieve from the Governors

In a series of meetings, the Air Force was unable to mollify state governors unhappy about planned changes to Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve force structure, said Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz June 11. Answering questions at his Air Force Association-sponsored Air Force Breakfast Program speech in Arlington, Va., Schwartz noted that in building the Air Force’s Fiscal 2013 budget proposal, service officials’ “presumption was that the governors would prefer ‘dual-use assets,'” that could provide not only useful combat capability, but also “support to civil authority . . . when they were not deployed” overseas. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “emphasized those dual-use assets” in the budget build. However, “the governors didn’t see that as a viable proposal,” said Schwartz. “Bottom line is there was give and take over five meetings—at least—that occurred, either with the governors or with their representatives. And, in the end, the parties decided . . . to await the outcome of the legislative process,” he said. Ultimately, “the Congress is going to decide this,” he said. (See also SASC Wants Commission to Study Air Force Makeup.)