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Lag Behind Active Duty: Noting that the Air National Guard has become "more of an operational force," in his prepared remarks before the House Armed Services readiness panel April 27, Air Guard boss Lt. Gen. Harry Wyatt said that level of effort has brought increasing aircraft readiness challenges "as long-term costs in operating and maintaining older aircraft continue to rise due to more frequent repairs, fluctuations in fuel prices, and manpower requirements." However, he also emphasized, "These rising maintenance costs are not solely confined to aircraft" and noted, as "one example," equipment for the air support operations community, which includes tactical air control party and combat weather airmen. Wyatt said the Air Guard's air support operations airmen are "in the beginning stages of modernization, but continue to experience incompatibilities and lag behind their active duty counterparts in critical mission areas." (Also see above, Making an "Interesting Point")