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Looking Forward: The base closure process and the Air Force’s Total Force Integration initiatives will continue to be contentious, but the National Guard and Air Force leadership have an excellent relationship and agree on the need for transformational change to meet 21st century needs. So said Army Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, in a Sept. 19 meeting with Washington-based defense reporters. “We’re in a different place right now; we’re looking forward rather than looking backward,” said Blum, adding that “we have some tough, tough challenges” post-BRAC. Some of the controversies in recent years stemmed from “well-aimed shots in the foot,” he conceded, and some “were the result of good-intentioned legislation.” The simple fact is that mission realignments never please everybody, and there is a natural tendency to be resistant to change.