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Air National Guard Fighters the Total Force (Maxwell Paper, Number 1)

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Over the last few years, the United States Air Force has found itself involved in an unparalleled number of peacetime contingency operations. At one time, Air Force personnel were supporting five different contingency operations including Provide Comfort, Deny Flight, Uphold Democracy, Provide Promise, and Support Hope. How much longer the USAF can continue to support this level of activity without negatively impacting readiness and morale is unknown. With the Air Force downsizing from a 38 fighter wing equivalent FWE force to a 20 FWE force, there is little doubt of problems ahead if the current pace of operations continues. Already there are signs of trouble. One United States Air Force Europe USAFE fighter wing commander blames an increased operations tempo for his wings 20 percent rise in child abuse cases, 9 percent rise in spousal abuse reports, and an 11 percent rise in alcohol abuse. While these figures represent only one fighter wing, they highlight some of the potential problems that may be encountered by other active duty units as they too struggle under an ever increasing workload. These problems and a growing belief that long-term readiness may soon suffer if the workload is not reduced, convinced Defense Secretary William Perry to direct a greater role for the Air National Guard in peacetime contingency operations. The Air National Guard is no stranger to peacetime contingency and wartime operations. Guard tanker and airlift aircraft, along with hundreds of other guard personnel, are already heavily engaged around the world supporting contingency taskings. In fact, it would be difficult for the USAF to support these operations without the active involvement of Guard tanker and airlift assets. The contributions of these Guard aircraft and people, in many ways, substantiate the importance the Air Force has long placed in the total force concept.

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  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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