The Low Cost Air Guard: The Command Chief Master Sergeant of the Air National Guard, CMSgt. Richard Smith, says ANG’s chief concern as the Air Force transforms itself into a leaner fighting force is to ensure the Air Guard performs missions that will not endanger its culture, specifically its “traditional, part-time role.” Smith testified before the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves last Thursday, explaining that ANG is 65 percent part-time and 35 percent full-time. It is that heavily weighted part-time structure that Smith says offers USAF “comparable combat capability at a significant cost savings.” For example, he says that ANG averages $3,703 for cost per flying hour with the F-16C/D, compared to $4,185 for Air Combat Command’s active duty force. The cost effectiveness is even greater for the F-15C/D, with $8,535 vs. $9, 601. That is why, says Smith, ANG is “ideally suited, structured, and positioned to maximize the capability of [the] Total Force.” (Some state governors were less circumspect last week when they let the commission know that the Pentagon is treading on thin ice with proposed Guard cuts.)
The next Daily Report will be Tuesday, Feb. 19, due to the Presidents Day holiday.
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