Ready Now! and Transforming for the Future – a Year in Review

  • Published
  • By Lt. Gen. John Healy

August marks my one-year anniversary of taking command as the dual-hatted Chief of Air Force Reserve and Commander, Air Force Reserve Command. My first action upon taking command was to release a TASKORD to empower our Airmen to lead and create the Air Force Reserve our country needs to defeat pacing threats.

To accomplish this, we focused on building readiness and resiliency while expeditiously reforming our organization. This past year, our senior staff held our headquarters staffs and leaders accountable for planning a comprehensive strategy to transform the Air Force Reserve for the future and to develop a force of Citizen Airmen that is Ready Now!

Ready Now!

Ready Now has enabled our leaders at every level to build readiness while maintaining unwavering support to our Airmen. A prepared Air Force Reserve is a mission-ready force with capable and qualified Reserve Airmen.

The readiness of this capable force demands a level of lethality needed to counter our pacing threats in a highly contested environment. In June, the command executed the first in a series of tabletop exercises designed to increase our efficiency and demonstrate the viability of activating a mass number of Reservists in an extremely short period of time.

We will continue with these tabletop exercises until we are more proficient than ever in activating Citizen Airmen with confidence, proving that we can provide any lethal force required by a combatant commander to counter a near-peer adversary.

To increase our strategic depth, nearly 2,000 Citizen airmen have participated in 27 joint-level exercises this fiscal year. We proved our ability to rapidly deploy large combat-credible forces and equipment throughout Europe in Copper Arrow and exercised our ability to deter opportunistic aggression and defend U.S. interests on the African continent in African Lion.

We strengthened bilateral interoperability, capabilities, trust and cooperation with the Philippines and Australia in Balikatan … and these are just a few examples of what our Airmen are doing to enhance our lethality.

Later this year, the Air Force Reserve will participate in Patriot Fury as part of Resolute Sentinel for the first time, providing more than 500 Airmen to prove through execution that AFRC can source, integrate, lead and deploy an agile, independently functional combat wing capable of multiple missions.

Transforming for the Future

Transforming for the Future has employed analytics, new tools and processes to resource every Airman. The era of uncontested Air and Space supremacy is over. It is important that we are prepared to execute the Secretary of the Air Force’s six fights – fights to compete/deter, get into theater, get airborne, gain air superiority, deny adversary objectives and to sustain the fight will all be supported by our Air Force Force Generation model.

AFFORGEN, combined with the evolution of expeditionary airbases, ensure exercises, assets, readiness training and deployments are all contested and predictable. This predictability for our Airmen will not only ensure readiness, but will improve quality of life through scheduling across a battle rhythm.

We have also made vast enhancements in our digital human resources applications. The myFSS software provides a centralized platform for our Airmen to proactively manage their careers, benefits, services, family care and retirement with more applications on the way.

Additionally, the conversion to the Defense Travel System is streamlining the TDY and deployment process and ensures our Airmen are getting orders and reimbursements faster than ever.

There are more changes to come. The TASKORD is being continuously evaluated, with a supplemental TASKORD on the way to further prioritize our lines of effort. Our organization must continue to evolve to support our national defense and our Airmen. To preserve our surge capacity, I will continue to advocate for a concurrently and proportionally fielded Air Force Reserve, promote the immense value added by our force and fight for our greatest weapons system, you, our Reserve Airmen. Here’s to another great year!