Check the TAGs: Separate from USAF’s negotiations with Congress over needed force structure cuts is an effort to find a way to make sure Congress and the state Governors aren’t caught off guard by any future unpleasant surprises with regard to Guard and Reserve structure, Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley said Sept. 17 during a press conference at AFA’s Air & Space Conference. Donley said that Paul N. Stockton, assistant secretary of defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs, is heading up discussions with the Council of Governors about how to keep the states in the loop of budget discussions “at the appropriate time” in the budget cycle. Donley noted that budget deliberations at USAF headquarters typically aren’t shared outside the Pentagon because they aren’t official until they appear in the President’s budget. “We do not share that information (about how specific cuts were determined) down to every base, every fort [or] post in the Department of Defense,” Donley observed. Stockton is working on a way to keep “open up the process to The Adjutants General,” who work for the Governors. That’s “not a quick … or easy question to answer,” Donley said. But “we have to figure out how to build that bridge between the Guard Bureau and the TAGS” to share information “at the appropriate time.”
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