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Reserve, Guard look for opportunities to shine through focus day

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Air Force Reservists and Guardsmen from around the country gathered here June 8 for the Air Reserve Component Focus Day. About 85 senior ranking officers attended the conference.

Focus days allow senior leadership from the Guard and Reserve a chance to talk about their unique requirements and allows them to show what they bring to the fight in Air Force Space Command, said Lt. Col. Chuck Strong, deputy advisor for the Guard Advisors Office here.

The day began with the National Guardsmen and Reservists at separate briefings from their leadership, then they came together after lunch for a joint discussion.

“This ARC Focus Day, specifically, helps us look at new opportunities for things that Space Command needs to have done and wants help doing from the Reserve and the Guard,” said Lt. Gen. John Bradley, Chief of Air Force Reserve, Headquarters, and Commander, AFRC.

“There’s enough mission around here to be done,” General Bradley said. “No one needs to compete with each other. There’s so much work to go around for all of us it’s helpful to get us all together and talk about and work these issues together instead of working them separately.”

The group discussed budgeting and manpower issues specific to the Guard and Reserves, including a change to law relative particularly to Guardsmen, which allows them to perform missions for AFSPC even though they are in a state status (Title 32) as opposed to federal status (Title 10).

“This is a great forum that was begun a few years ago by Gen. Lance W. Lord, former AFSPC commander, to bring in folks from his staff and out in his numbered air forces and field units, both Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command, to look at Space Command missions for opportunities to integrate Reservists and Guardsmen into some of these space missions,” General Bradley said. “There are not enough people or money for this command, or any other for that matter, to do everything they want to do. Guardsmen and Reservists can bring skills and experience to some of these mission areas, and it’s been very helpful.”

The focus day enhances force multiplication, and helps save money.

“I believe General Klotz values what we can bring to Air Force Space Command. We have been doing a lot for Space Command for a number of years and it has continued to grow and I believe they value our people in what they do,” General Bradley said. Lt. Gen Frank Klotz is the Vice Commander of AFSPC, and the acting Commander.

Most of the Reservists and Guardsmen who attended were experienced, former active-duty Airmen who work in the Colorado Springs area in space related industries.

“It’s a valuable tool and saves a lot of money,” General Bradley said. “We don’t come out here and invent missions for Air Force Space Command to employ Reservists. I think we’re a good wingman for them, and that’s what we try to be, to give them help where they want it.”