Ready Now and Focused on the Future

  • Published
  • By Lt. Gen. John Healy

This year, we honor the men and women who established the Air Force Reserve 75 years ago. Incidentally, this year also marks the one-year anniversary of TASKORD ’22, which prioritized readiness and transformation. I had the opportunity to reflect on both while meeting with your wing commanders during this year’s Air Force Reserve Command Wing Commander and Command Chief Conference.

In my discussions during the conference, two themes emerged. First, TASKORD ’22 could not have been the success it was without the diligence and dedication of Airmen at all levels, from new recruits through numbered Air Force commanders. I am immensely grateful to every Airmen for their hard work. Second, the command is ready to build on its successes and move forward with TASKORD ’23.

TASKORD ’23 reiterates the priorities of Ready Now and Transforming for the Future. It amplifies the call to be combat ready and meet combatant command requirements. What does combat ready mean? It means fulfilling your requirements to be developed, committed and trained. Combat-ready Reserve Citizen Airmen hone their technical and leadership skills during every UTA and IDT, because they have limited time to become experts in their craft before returning to their civilian careers.

But as every Reserve Citizen Airman knows, maintaining this state of perpetual readiness is no easy task. Skills atrophy. Equipment breaks. Health degrades. While readiness is ultimately a personal responsibility, you are not alone. The second priority of both TASKORD ’22 and ’23, Transforming for the Future, is how the command helps you meet your readiness obligations. The command is empowering your wing commanders and front-line supervisors to enhance awareness and improve accountability through data dominance.

One way that we’re doing this is by fielding first-in-the-Air Force tools helping commanders partner with their Airmen to find and fix readiness gaps. For example, there are several tools on the Reserve App Store that give commanders real-time insights into travel vouchers and unit budgets. These tools will help us normalize operations so that your ability to participate will not be affected, even during a continuing resolution.

UTAs and AT can continue as normal operations despite other funding constraints. During such times, my expectation is that Airmen participate in UTAs and work with leadership to plan and schedule ATs as soon as possible. I also expect that units will use the available tools to spend and plan to end with zero dollars remaining at the end of a continuing resolution.

Additionally, your commanders and I are consistently advocating for concurrent and proportional fielding of the same technology used by our Regular Air Force counterparts. We are expanding our exercise participation to train as many Reserve Airmen alongside their active-duty partners as possible.

For example, over the summer, Reservists participated in exercises in South America and the Pacific to hone their expeditionary skills and warrior mindsets. Soon, the command will present an Expeditionary Air Base capability for the 25.2 Air Force Force Generation cycle, allowing Reserve Citizen Airmen to fill gaps that other major commands cannot fill, while providing our members with stability and predictability in their deployment cycles.

For 75 years, the Reserve has been ready to fight in possible early conflict. Faced once again with the prospect of great power competition, we must remember that conflict can occur any day. And because of this, we must remain perpetually ready. We are reliable, trained and equipped. We are a surge capability and a lethal force multiplier who operate every day alongside our active-duty partners. We will be there in a moment’s notice should our nation call.

TASKORD ’23 is how the Air Force Reserve will be prepared for conflict against our pacing threats. Our country depends on each and every Airmen being ready now and focused on the future.