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NCSAF visits Tinker units, community

Air Force photo by Micah Garbarino
From right, Lt. Gen. Bruce Litchfield, Air Force Sustainment Center commander, explains a KC-135 production chart to Dr. James Blackwell Jr. and retired Marine Lt. Gen. Dennis McCarthy as Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex Commander, Brig. Gen. Donald Kirkland looks on. Dr. Blackwell is the director and General McCarthy is the chairman of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force. The commission visited active duty, Guard and Reserve units at Tinker Monday and Tuesday.

Air Force photo by Micah Garbarino From right, Lt. Gen. Bruce Litchfield, Air Force Sustainment Center commander, explains a KC-135 production chart to Dr. James Blackwell Jr. and retired Marine Lt. Gen. Dennis McCarthy as Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex Commander, Brig. Gen. Donald Kirkland looks on. Dr. Blackwell is the director and General McCarthy is the chairman of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force. The commission visited active duty, Guard and Reserve units at Tinker Monday and Tuesday.

Retired Gen. Raymond Johns Jr. speaks to members of the 507th and Oklahoma Air National Guard 137th Air Refueling Wing’s command post staff during a visit to Tinker Air Force Base on Aug. 20. General Johns, a former Air Mobility Command commander, is part of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force. The commission is traveling to several bases across the United States to speak with Air Force Reserve, Guard and active duty members about the future force structure. The commission held several question and answer segments to get the perspective from the ground level. They are also very interested in the total force integration, the Reserve/Guard association here and the future possibilities of such associations. (Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mark Hybers)

Retired Gen. Raymond Johns Jr. speaks to members of the 507th and Oklahoma Air National Guard 137th Air Refueling Wing’s command post staff during a visit to Tinker Air Force Base on Aug. 20. General Johns, a former Air Mobility Command commander, is part of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force. The commission is traveling to several bases across the United States to speak with Air Force Reserve, Guard and active duty members about the future force structure. The commission held several question and answer segments to get the perspective from the ground level. They are also very interested in the total force integration, the Reserve/Guard association here and the future possibilities of such associations. (Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mark Hybers)

The National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force tasked with examining cost efficiency in the military visited Tinker Air Force Base on Tuesday. Commissioners Dr. Janine A. Davidson, assistant professor in the school of Public Policy at George Mason University and former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Plans, and retired Lt. Gen. Harry “Bud” M. Wyatt III, former director of the Air National Guard and adjutant general of Oklahoma, ate breakfast with Airmen and visited with members of the 552nd Air Control Wing, 513th Air Control Group, 507th Air Refueling Wing and 137th Air Refueling Wing. They also toured the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex to learn about improvements that have reduced costs and increased production. The site visit and a public hearing held at the Reed Center in Midwest City were part of a tour of 13 Air Force locations. The commission is tasked with studying the integration of the Air Force’s three components — active, Reserve and Air National Guard — and determining if and how the structure should be modified. A report is due to the president and Congress by Feb. 1. (Air Force photo by Brion Ockenfels)

The National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force tasked with examining cost efficiency in the military visited Tinker Air Force Base on Tuesday. Commissioners Dr. Janine A. Davidson, assistant professor in the school of Public Policy at George Mason University and former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Plans, and retired Lt. Gen. Harry “Bud” M. Wyatt III, former director of the Air National Guard and adjutant general of Oklahoma, ate breakfast with Airmen and visited with members of the 552nd Air Control Wing, 513th Air Control Group, 507th Air Refueling Wing and 137th Air Refueling Wing. They also toured the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex to learn about improvements that have reduced costs and increased production. The site visit and a public hearing held at the Reed Center in Midwest City were part of a tour of 13 Air Force locations. The commission is tasked with studying the integration of the Air Force’s three components — active, Reserve and Air National Guard — and determining if and how the structure should be modified. A report is due to the president and Congress by Feb. 1. (Air Force photo by Brion Ockenfels)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla -- Even as the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force received testimony and statements at a public hearing in Midwest City Tuesday afternoon as part of a congressionally mandated fact-finding and analysis mission, U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), exhorted the commissioners to examine the overall structure of the Air Force and to be forthcoming in their assessment of force effectiveness. Senator Inhofe, as ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, helped form the commission.

The public hearing at The Reed Center, along with the commissioners' visit to Tinker Air Force Base in the morning, are part of the commission's mission to comprehensively study the U.S. Air Force and its three components -- the active duty, Reserve and Air National Guard -- for an independent analysis that will determine if and how the Air Force's structure should be modified to best fill current and future mission requirements with available resources. The report and recommendations are due to the president and Congress on Feb. 1, 2014.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin addressed the commission, speaking on the importance of the Air National Guard for the state, saying the state appreciates the level of support it gets from the Guard every day and highlighted examples of critical support provided by the National Guard in times of disaster as well as the partnership with Oklahoma's military bases. Governor Fallin, recently sworn in as the chairman of the National Governors Association, also expressed her strong support for the historic agreement between the Council of Governors and the Department of Defense. She also highlighted the value of the establishment of Dual Status Commanders.

Senator Inhofe, thanking the members for their service, stressed the urgency and importance of the commission's work, and received assurance from the commissioners that they are closely and thoroughly following the legislative intent underpinning the commission's mandate.

The statute forming the commission sets out its work as follows: "The commission shall undertake a comprehensive study of the structure of the Air Force to determine whether, and how, the structure should be modified to best fulfill current and anticipated mission requirements for the Air Force in a manner consistent with available resources."

The commission's report must take into account six considerations as it comes up with recommendations for an Air Force structure:
· meets current and anticipated requirements of the combatant commands;
· achieves an appropriate balance between the regular and reserve components of the Air Force, taking advantage of the unique strengths and capabilities of each;
· ensures that the regular and reserve components of the Air Force have the capacity needed to support current and anticipated homeland defense and disaster assistance missions in the United States;
· provides for sufficient numbers of regular members of the Air Force to provide a base of trained personnel from which the personnel of the reserve components of the Air Force could be recruited;
· maintains a peacetime rotation force to support operational tempo goals of 1:2 for regular members of the Air Forces and 1:5 for members of the reserve components of the Air Force; and
· maximizes and appropriately balances affordability, efficiency, effectiveness, capability and readiness.

For more information on the commission and its mission, visit the website, http://afcommission .whs.mil. Send comments and inputs to Marcia Moore, designated federal officer, by mail at the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, 1950 Defense Pentagon, Room 3A874, Washington, DC 20301-1950, by email at dfoafstrucomm@osd.mil, by phone at 703-571-7057, or by fax at 703-692-5625.