By Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller, Air Force Reserve Command Commander
/ Published March 29, 2017
Citizen Airman/Apr. 2017 --
The fundamental question we have to ask ourselves every day as Reserve Citizen Airmen is, “Are we ready?” Are we ready to respond within 72 hours and provide combat-ready forces to fly, fight and win?
I believe it is critical to understand what it means to truly be ready, and it’s vitally important to hear it from your leadership.
Chief Master Sgt. Ericka Kelly
Command Chief, Air Force Reserve Command
We serve our nation proudly and are ready to defend it against adversaries around the globe. We must be trained and equipped, combat-ready, and deployable within 72 hours because the call to defend our nation can come at any given moment. But we should never lose sight of the quality of life of our Airmen.
Maj. Gen. Randall Ogden
Commander, 4th Air Force
Airmen in 4th Air Force should ask themselves, “Am I ready to answer our nation’s call to provide rapid global mobility at a moment’s notice?” Our Reserve Citizen Airmen do an incredible job of maintaining their military readiness. Just as importantly, they balance their families’ and employers’ requirements, ensuring they are ready for planned and short-notice deployments.
Chief Master Sgt. Brian Wong
Command Chief, 4th Air Force
Although we are faced with funding challenges, administrative hurdles and an increasing demand for our time, Reserve Citizen Airmen get the job done! Our diversity in civilian and military work experience, education, and personal background strengthens our resolve to succeed. We have passion in our hearts and creativity in our minds. Serving at home or abroad, we roll up our sleeves, knuckle through the requirements and complete the mission. We’ve done it before; we’re doing it now; and we’ll do it tomorrow! Our Air Force Reserve is ready. … to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace! Thank you, Airmen!
Col. Adam Willis, Commander
445th Airlift Wing, 4th Air Force
The main reason we are able to maintain our readiness is our people’s resiliency. Our Reserve Citizen Airmen choose to put on a uniform and serve. We are all committed to something greater than individual necessities, the selfishness of me, me, me. Our Airmen know that if one falls down another will lift them up. We succeed as a team and stand ready for the call.
Maj. Gen. Richard Scobee
Commander, 10th Air Force
Are we ready to put combat air power where it needs to be at a moment’s notice? Our priority must be readiness. We owe the American people the best-equipped, best-trained combat-ready Airmen we can produce at the least burden to our taxpayers.
In our fiscally constrained environment, we are challenged to realign and prioritize resources to keep our weapons systems and Airmen “ready.” The bottom line, however, is we ARE ready. … ready to wage combat on our nation’s enemies and protect America.
But, are we ready to defend against a higher capability, peer threat? First, we need a focused, long-term approach to sustain, integrate and modernize our current weapons systems and acquire new systems that will ensure we dominate the battlespace far into the future. Second, we must concentrate on building the right number of combat-ready Airmen who are trained to the highest level. We need resilient warfighters who can ensure all of our joint warfighters never fear attack from air, space or cyberspace.
Combat is demanding. Holding bad people accountable for their actions is arduous. Defending America is vital. And I, for one, don’t want to make it a fair fight.
Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Brandhuber
Command Chief, 10th Air Force
Our Reserve Citizen Airmen are committed to the mission and team. Readiness revolves around our Citizen Airmen. I hope that our Airmen are practicing comprehensive Airmen fitness and that their four pillars are intact. From a strategic level, have we instilled the importance of utilizing the management internal control toolset to report actual data on where our challenges are in personal training equipment? Have we changed the paradigm for wings to report what they are, not what they think we want to see?
Maj. Gen. John Stokes
Commander, 22nd Air Force
Our greatest challenge to readiness is the impact of a continuing resolution and the requirement to prioritize reserve personnel appropriations for those units that are next in the air and space expeditionary force/reserve component period bucket. Have we allocated our precious resources effectively?
Chief Master Sgt. Clinton Ronan
Command Chief, 22nd Air Force
Have we lost focus that the majority of our formations are in mobility positions that require a 72-hour notice? We need to ensure we are ready for prolonged combat action. Extended mobilization requires each of us to hold our readiness to a higher level. Personal accountability will ensure our mission success. Leadership needs to ensure we are training our Citizen Airmen to the highest standards, focusing on challenging and relevant wartime tasks.
Col. Anthony Polashek
Commander, 934th Airlift Wing, 22nd Air Force
Our No. 1 recurring challenge to maintaining readiness is discontinuities in funding. Short-term continuing resolutions, uncertainty of funding levels and lag time in distributing funds constrain our Airmen’s participation and dramatically reduce our ability to train them effectively. Our amazing Reserve Citizen Airmen want to maintain the high level of professional skill and combat readiness that our nation expects and our mission requires. Yet, these Airmen, their employers and their families struggle with the enormously disruptive effects of these funding discontinuities.
We all have to ask ourselves the question, “Am I ready for the fight?”
Over the past few months, I have had the opportunity to visit our Airmen around the world, from Qatar and Afghanistan to Hurlburt Field, Florida, and Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. To say I am impressed with our Airmen and the jobs they do is an understatement! Your skill and dedication to the mission inspire me! You continue to make a profound impact to the joint fight through your continued focus on readiness.
Amidst our budget challenges, I will continue to advocate for more funding, which is so critical to our readiness and posture.
Thank you for your devotion to your fellow Airmen and the mission.