Generals discuss Guard, Reserve, on call Air Force

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Mareshah Haynes
  • Defense Media Activity-San Antonio
Two Air Force generals explained the importance of the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard to the on-call Air Force during the Air Force Association's Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition Feb. 19 here.

Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, the director of the Air National Guard, and Lt. Gen. Charles E. Stenner Jr., chief of the Air Force Reserve Command, were on hand to speak to and answer questions from attendees about how the two components integrate with the active-duty component to answer the nation's call.

"It is my belief, that the top priority for me right now is to maintain a strategic Reserve," General Stenner said. "We have to maintain that. That's what the nation asks us to do. It's also asking us to leverage that strategic Reserve on a daily basis to provide the operational force the defense business requires on a daily basis."

On any given day, 7,000 air Reserve component Airmen are deployed around the world in direct support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and other contingencies, General Stenner said.

"We're all in, every day, day in and day out as part of the three component Air Force," he said.

General Stenner said his second and third priorities are to preserve the Reserve triad - military commitment, family and civilian job - allowing Airmen to maintain those aspects of their lives and leveraging the strengths of each component.

"That gives us maximum flexibility in delivering any capability that we have that is required around the world for the warfighter," General Stenner said.

He also stressed the importance of having the same up-to-date and modernized equipment as the active-duty force does to help facilitate the seamless integration of the components.

General Wyatt echoed some of the same sentiments as General Stenner and highlighted the unique capability of the Air National Guard.

"We face many of the same challenges that General Stenner mentioned," General Wyatt said. "Our Airmen are a little bit different than Airmen in the other two components, in that we take an oath to two constitutions, the federal Constitution, as do all members of the United States Air Force, and also state and territory constitutions."

Air National Guard Airmen support federal missions and provide military capabilities to their state governors to use within the confines of the state.

General Wyatt said Guard members are trained, equipped and inspected to the same standards as active-duty members. Air National Guard members can be ready to mobilize anywhere in the world within 72 hours.

"Things that are important to the Air National Guard are the same things that are important to the United States Air Force," he said.

Both officials agreed training and readiness are keys to Guard and Reserve members deploying and becoming part of the total-force package.

"We like to think we answer the nation's call with the same quality as our active-duty brothers and sisters," General Wyatt said.