News | Sept. 21, 2018

CAFR discusses Reserve priorities during AFA

By Lt. Col. Erin Dick Air Force Reserve Policy Integration

The new Chief of the Air Force Reserve and Commander, Air Force Reserve Command made his first official appearance this week at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space, and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee participated in a Total Force panel discussion, along with Mr. Shon J. Manasco, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs; Gen. James “Mike” Holmes, commander, Air Combat Command; and Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, director of the Air National Guard. The panel was moderated by former Secretary of the Air Force F. Whitten Peters.

Scobee talked about the Air Force Reserve’s critical contributions to today’s missions and the importance of being prepared to meet future National Defense requirements before hundreds of active duty, Guard and Reserve Airmen.

“We find ourselves in a much different environment than we have been in the past, and the Air Force Reserve must ensure our strategies and priorities are in alignment with the National Defense Strategy,” Scobee said. “This includes continuing our very successful Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance, cyber, and space missions, along with our legacy missions, across the entire spectrum of the Air Force. My goal is to ensure we move in lock-step with the missions our Air Force is undertaking and the intent of the NDS.”

To meet that goal, Scobee stated the Air Force Reserve needs to prioritize strategic depth and accelerate readiness, develop resilient leaders, and reform the organization.

In addition to discussing mission and operational priorities, Scobee spoke about the importance of caring for Reserve Citizen Airmen.

“We’re taking a hard look at how we might provide better support to our Airmen, so that when they’re on duty, they can focus on training and not administrative tasks. We want our Airmen to use their time getting after the job of being an Airman.”

Scobee also addressed Air Force Reserve recruiting and retention challenges and the need to meet and maintain end-strength goals.

“It’s important we meet our end-strength numbers and grow to 70,000 Airmen, which is a big number for us,” he said. “As the economy has started to improve, all of the services and components are trying to recruit out of the same talent pool. To meet this challenge, we’re trying to give our Airmen the ability to serve in the status that best suits the needs of the Air Force, our Airmen, and their families.”

Scobee highlighted the Air Force Reserve’s ongoing participation in world-wide operations, stating “Every day, approximately 6,000 Reserve Citizen Airmen are on orders supporting contingency operations and other missions around the world.” Last year, the Air Force Reserve contributed 4.4 million man-days to support military operations around the world.

In closing, Scobee reflected on the Air Force Reserve’s rich heritage and recent 70th anniversary celebration.

“I’m proud to represent our 70,000 Airmen (74,000 if you count our great civilian Airmen), who are answering our Nation’s call, and who are working together to build the agile, combat-ready force of the future. We’re always ready and always there to fly, fight, and win in every domain. That’s what we do, and that’s what we will continue to do, alongside our Air Force and Joint partners as we adapt to the new world environment.”

In addition to speaking on the Total Force panel, Scobee represented the Air Force Reserve on the Senior Leader Perspective panel and participated in a media roundtable.