Short on Air Guardsmen

Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), chairman of the Senate Appropriations defense panel, questioned why the Air Guard has announced “plans to grow by 7,000 in Fiscal 2010.” He pointed out during a March 25 hearing that ANG had not reduced its end strength when the active Air Force and Air Force Reserve had taken cuts. In response, the new head of the Air National Guard said that the Air Guard currently is short about 2,200 positions to “fully man the missions that the Air Force has assigned.” Because of that, said Lt. Gen. Harry Wyatt, and other new federal and state requirements, the Air Guard wants to increase its end strength from 106,700 to about 113,700 in Fiscal 2010. He said the ANG end strength proposal is driven by “the appetite for Air Force capability.”