Air Force Reserve Helping DOD Assess Space Force Reserve Component Options

 In U.S. Air Force, Defense, Air, Space, Forces & Capabilities

The out­look for a Space Force reserve com­po­nent is still hazy, but Air Force Reserve Chief Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee said lead­ers from his com­mand are among a group of Defense Department deci­sion-makers who are con­tem­plat­ing dif­fer­ent pos­si­bil­i­ties for inte­grat­ing Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard space func­tions into the military’s newest ser­vice.

“What they’re look­ing at is how do they create a 21st cen­tu­ry model … that will really work for who America is now, and so, what they want to do is create a model for the per­son­nel that includes both … full- and part-time people as we go for­ward,” he told reporters during a media round­table held as part of AFA’s vir­tu­al Air, Space & Cyber Conference.

The team is exam­in­ing mul­ti­ple options, Scobee said, includ­ing one that he char­ac­ter­ized as a sort of “Total Force solu­tion.”

This team is scop­ing out what advance­ment, edu­ca­tion, and lead­er­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties each option would make avail­able to part-time and full-time Reservists, respec­tive­ly, in order to chart the best pos­si­ble path, he said.

“It runs the gamut from the way we do things now in the Air Force to a fully inte­grat­ed place for the reserve and the space com­po­nent, along with a space Guard, as well, so I think there’s a lot of … good work that’s being done,” he said.

The team will present options to the Department of the Air Force and DOD, he said, though Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper is in charge of making the call that will ulti­mate­ly get sent to Congress for approval, Scobee said.

“This holis­tic approach allows lead­er­ship and Congress to make the right deci­sions in cre­at­ing the most effi­cient land­scape for how the Reserve com­po­nents will sup­port the Space Force,” Air Force Reserve Command spokesper­son Col. Beth Kelley Horine told Air Force Magazine in a Sept. 16 email. “In the mean­time, the Air Force Reserve will con­tin­ue to pro­vide crit­i­cal exper­tise and capa­bil­i­ties to space mis­sions via the 11 active-asso­ciate Reserve units as well as Individual Mobilization Augmentees embed­ded within the active com­po­nent orga­ni­za­tions.”

Scobee said his pri­or­i­ty is ensur­ing that what­ev­er plan is final­ly picked carves out a place for part-time Reservists. He also expressed excite­ment at the unique oppor­tu­ni­ties the Space Force could the­o­ret­i­cal­ly offer these per­son­nel.

“What’s inter­est­ing is that … Space Force, for the most part, when they deploy, they deploy in gar­ri­son, and most of the equip­ment is really hard to touch because it’s in space, so it’s a great model for a part-time force that has high-end jobs across the nation get­ting after things like SpaceX and all the automa­tion that we have at dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies across the board, whether it’s Apple, you know, Waymo, or Tesla,” he said.

Those orga­ni­za­tions cur­rent­ly employ Air Force Reservists, who, as a result, can bring those spe­cial­ized skillsets to the warfight­ing table, Scobee noted.

“I’m really excit­ed to see how the Space Force is going to inte­grate that into the things that they’re doing,” he said.

Until Congress decides what it wants a Space Force reserve com­po­nent to look like, the Air Force Reserve space per­son­nel will find them­selves in a bit of orga­ni­za­tion­al limbo, Horine explained.

“Until a leg­isla­tive deter­mi­na­tion is made on the Reserve con­struct for the Space Force, IMAs will remain assigned to USSF orga­ni­za­tions as USAF Airmen,” she wrote. “Our Traditional Reservists will remain aligned under 10th Air Force and will con­tin­ue to sup­port their clas­si­cal­ly asso­ci­at­ed units, regard­less of that unit’s Service affil­i­a­tion.”

However, until leg­is­la­tors make a deci­sion, these ser­vice mem­bers’ Reserve sta­tus­es won’t change, she said.

Air Force Magazine source|articles

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