WASHINGTON D.C. --
The House National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus hosted a breakfast with National Guard and Reserve service chiefs on Capitol Hill, April 30.
Senior leaders from each component discussed their top issues and emphasized the need for predictable and stable budgets. In addition, Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, Chief of the Air Force Reserve and Air Force Reserve Command commander, spoke on the importance of retaining Airmen in today’s Air Force Reserve.
“What we are concerned about, the command chief and I, is making sure we are retaining the investments that we’ve made in our Airmen,” said Scobee. “When Airmen make the decision to leave the active component or decide to come into the Reserve component straight off the street, we’re really excited to have them but retaining the investment is [as] important.”
Scobee thanked congress for the Direct Hire Authority for maintainers, which fills open Air Reserve Technician maintenance positions faster and easier.
“What I really want to do is expand DHA to my other critical skills as well, so we can maintain and retain cyber, space and intelligence experts, along with pilots,” said Scobee.
Scobee explained that with the economy performing so well, there are many other opportunities for Airmen in the commercial sector. The plan to expand DHA to other critical skills reduces the hiring timeline and gives more Airmen the opportunity to serve.
“The other piece to retaining Airmen is the medical care,” said Scobee. “I appreciate everything Congress has done for us supporting Tricare Reserve Select.” This issue is increasingly important for families that have a special needs member or someone with acute medical needs.
Allowing Air Reserve Technicians access to TRS would eliminate some of the challenges and lapses in healthcare coverage that Airmen endure when changing statuses and deploying.
“It happened to me when I deployed back in 2008, so I am speaking from experience when this happens,” said Scobee.
Scobee concluded by thanking the Caucus for their continued bi-partisan support for the military.
“This caucus has been so important to what the Reserve and Guard have done, and we really need your support.”
The House National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus is one of the largest caucuses in Congress and was created in 1996 to ensure National Guard and Reserve components have the tools, training, equipment and leadership they require to complete their missions.