Wyatt Asks Air Guard Leaders to Look Ahead

WASHINGTON, Nov. 24, 2010 — Times are tough for the Air Nation­al Guard, but Air Force Lt. Gen. Har­ry “Bud” Wyatt III sees many “great” oppor­tu­ni­ties for his 106,700-member force to excel in the future.
“We know there is a mis­match right now of demands on the force and resources,” said Wyatt, the direc­tor of the Air Guard. “I think it will get worse before it gets bet­ter, but I don’t bring you a mes­sage of despair today.

“I bring you a mes­sage of hope and courage because I see great oppor­tu­ni­ty, because we are the most effi­cient force, the most capa­ble force that we have ever been. The coun­try can afford us before it can afford some oth­er things that [it] is look­ing at.” 

Wyatt’s ques­tion for senior Air Guard lead­ers from around the coun­try is: “ANG 2025: Are We Ready?” 

“Are we will­ing to make the tough choic­es that will pos­ture us for the future?” he asked. 

The Air Force announced that Stew­art Air Nation­al Guard Base in New York is the pre­ferred base for eight C‑17 Globe­mas­ter III aircraft. 

“Through the next sev­er­al months and years, there will many of these announce­ments,” Wyatt said. “The ques­tions will be: Are they the type of announce­ments that we as an orga­ni­za­tion can embrace and take for­ward and excel the way we have excelled in our mis­sions in the past?” 

Wyatt said the Air Guard should pre­pare for future demands now. 

“We have got to start shap­ing that force today, to be ready to pro­vide the force that this coun­try needs in 2025,” he said. 

Wyatt said the Air Guard has seen “sig­nif­i­cant change” over the last decade. 

Air­men who have been in the Air Guard for 20 years or less, he said, have been focused on the Air Expe­di­tionary Force construct. 

“They know noth­ing else,” Wyatt said. “They are used to it.” 

Wyatt said that when he joined the Air Guard, the force was not built for such deployments. 

“We have evolved into an air expe­di­tionary force — an extreme­ly capa­ble air expe­di­tionary force. But what will be the demands of tomorrow?” 

Wyatt said he also is proud of the Air Guard’s domes­tic response capa­bil­i­ty, but there are chal­lenges ahead for that mis­sion too. 

“We have 30 per­cent less air­lift now than we did when we respond­ed to Hur­ri­cane Kat­ri­na,” Wyatt said, adding that in fis­cal year 2010 more than 100 emer­gen­cies across the coun­try gen­er­at­ed over 2,250 air­lift sorties. 

“We are on call 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. If that’s not val­ue for Amer­i­ca, I don’t know what is,” he said. 

The Air Guard is slat­ed to under­go many mis­sion changes next year, Wyatt said, as a result of the 2005 Base Realign­ment and Clo­sure Commission. 

“We have under­gone a lot of change and it has been under­tak­en in a short time peri­od,” he said. “The rate of change is not slow­ing at all. We need to reflect on the impli­ca­tions of what we have done in the past as we look to the future of the Air Nation­al Guard.” 

The Air Guard has been through try­ing times before, Wyatt said, not­ing that when Air Force Maj. Gen. Win­ston P. “Wimpy” Wil­son was the direc­tor of the Air Nation­al Guard, he lost 50 per­cent of his air­craft due to resource con­stric­tions. Wil­son con­vert­ed into more mod­ern air­craft and diver­si­fied the force into non-fly­ing mis­sions, Wyatt said. 

On the oth­er hand, when Air Force Lt. Gen. John B. Conaway was direc­tor of the Air Nation­al Guard dur­ing the Rea­gan years, he was faced with a flood of resources. 

“He took advan­tage of the land­scape and he moved us for­ward,” Wyatt said of Conaway’s achievements. 

Wyatt said he needs his senior lead­ers to help him decide how to go for­ward. He plans to con­duct an inter­nal review this year to get an “hon­est assess­ment” of the Air Guard. “We will not lose momen­tum,” he said. “We owe our air­men that effort.” 

Wyatt said the key to the Air Guard’s future is to: “Fig­ure out what we do best, what we do most effi­cient­ly, most cost-effec­tive­ly and grab it!” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefence.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →