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Air Force Reserve takes center stage at AFA conference

  • Published
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Air Force Reserve Command, from its squadrons to its senior leaders, were highlighted throughout the Air Force Association’s 2019 Air, Space and Cyber Conference here Sept. 16-18.

AFRC leaders played a prominent role during the conference as Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, chief of the Air Force Reserve and AFRC commander, led discussions on “Using the Competitive Edge to Train How We Fight,” and Chief Master Sgt. Timothy White Jr., AFRC command chief master sergeant, joined a panel on “Building Enlisted Leaders.”

The conference kicked off with its annual awards ceremony, and Air Force Reserve units, Reserve Citizen Airmen and their employers were recognized for outstanding achievements.

“It is great to honor this select group of Reserve Citizen Airmen heroes to be selected as AFA award winners for their accomplishments,” Scobee said. “They, along with the other 74,000 Airmen in the command, serve as a lethal, combat force for the nation.”

During his panel, White was joined by his peers as they fielded questions from attendees and spoke to the abilities of the enlisted force.

“We’re a Total Force,” White said. “Neither the Air Force, Guard or Reserve can do it without one another. It’s a team effort. We have the same struggles and same challenges, but as long as we tackle those challenges together, we’re going to prevail.”

One the last day of the conference, Scobee spoke to challenges specific to Reserve Citizen Airmen and shared his three priorities to ensuring combat readiness.

The Air Force Reserve provides roughly 20% of the Air Force’s capability on about 3% of the total Air Force budget, the general said. With traditional Reservists on active status an average of 39 days annually, on-the-job training is key to Reserve Citizen Airmen remaining combat ready, he added.

“In order to be combat ready, you have to be interchangeable and interoperable with all your counterparts… in the joint fight and across our service,” Scobee said. “It’s a huge undertaking and as a result of that our entire organization is focused on readiness.”

Whether leading a single Airman or a team, “we have to ensure all of our Airmen are prepared to do their job,” he said.