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Task force established to close gaps between active, Guard, Reserve

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. David Salanitri
  • Air Force Public Affairs Agency
Air Force senior leaders recently constructed a task force to develop the best ways to bring the active, Reserve, and Guard closer together to achieve the most capable force possible.

To meet the challenges of the future, the secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force directed the stand-up of the Total Force Task Force, or TF2, to develop strategic options on the appropriate total force capabilities mix to meet current and future Air Force requirements.

"The results of this task force will inform our strategic planning and programming for fiscal 2015 and beyond, and will also serve as a resource to the congressionally-directed national commission on the structure of the Air Force that will be examining total-force issues later this year," said Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley at the Air Force Association's Air Warfare Symposium & Technology Exposition Feb. 22.

The commission will study 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 task force is led by senior leaders from the active-duty, Reserve and Guard who will work under Lt. Gen. Mike Moeller, who is the deputy chief of staff for Strategic Plans and Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., in coordination with Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve leadership.

The results of their work will inform the Air Force's planning process for fiscal 2015 and beyond. The expectation is for active, Reserve and Guard components to learn from each other, while also looking into the strengths and weaknesses of today's total force efforts.

"The determination of our leadership to break down barriers preventing us from planning and advancing as a total force will drive this effort to success," said Maj. Gen. Joe Balskus, who is the military assistant to the deputy chief of staff for Strategic Plans and Programs. "The team we have assembled from the three components and the extended team members across Headquarters Air Force, the Air Force secretariat, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve is incredibly impressive."

Over the past two decades, the Air Force has become a more integrated force, both operationally and organizationally, across the total force. As a result, senior leaders want to ensure the service is structured in a way that ensures the service can achieve its strategic objectives going forward.

"In view of this increased integration, as well as upcoming strategic shifts driven by post-Afghanistan reconstitution and the new Defense Strategic Guidance, the Air Force needs to undertake a comprehensive review of total force requirements and develop a strategic plan to ensure the Air Force correctly balances the strengths of each of the components to sustain the capabilities required in the years ahead," Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III stated in a memorandum about the task force.

Moeller said he is optimistic about the task force and the synergy it will generate within the planning community.

"Under the chief of staff and secretary's guidance," he said, "we are taking the right steps to bring our Air Force together as one team in order to collaboratively answer one of the most important questions we face as a service, 'what is the most effective balance of capabilities between the active duty, Guard and Reserve?' The task force is designed to be open and transparent, and we will need the help of all stakeholders to ensure success."