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Hugging It Out: Belying recent headlines over a strain in the Total Force relationship surrounding the Fiscal 2013 Pentagon budget submission, Director of the Air National Guard Lt. Gen. Harry “Bud” Wyatt told attendees Tuesday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference that the state of the Air Guard is “strong,” and there is no deep-seated conflict between the Guard and the active Air Force. “There is no conflict, but we have different views on how to accomplish the mission,” Wyatt told a packed room that included Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, and CMSAF James Roy among attendees. Wyatt explained that the Air Force “had reasons” for the budget it submitted, but Congress and the Council of Governors voiced their disagreements on the product and the process, and now the force has to come back together to get a budget in time. He noted that much of the distress could have been avoided if the governors and other parties were included or kept informed of the deliberation process. Wyatt suggested that USAF and the Guard use its “political connections” —and the Guard’s new clout on the Joint Chiefs—to help build a better Total Force, “not block it.” The Adjutants General are not opposed to change, Wyatt said, but they want to know what the future will be and if possible get a “little bit of stability” rather than the tumult and mission changes that have come in the wake of the 2005 BRAC. Wyatt said if the components can work on these points the Active-ARC relationship will be “a whole lot better than it has been.”