A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., are readied for a mission at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, last summer. The Reserve command will inactivate the 917th Fighter Group from Barksdale, retire 24 A-10C Thunderbolt IIs, and transfer three more. A-10s to Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. (Staff Sgt. Ted Daigle / Air Force)
The Air Force Reserve Command recently outlined the steps it is taking to respond to congressionally mandated budget cuts and changes, including creating several new intelligence squadrons while cutting traditional flying units.
The fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act called for the cuts of 520 Reserve airmen, along with 47 aircraft. The cuts are part of an overall total force budget that calls for cuts of 4,860 total airmen.
Here's what you need to know about the Reserve in fiscal 2013.
•New units. Air Force Reserve Command is standing up seven intelligence, cyber operations or network warfare squadrons at bases in Ohio, Florida, Maryland, Nebraska and Texas. Most of these units are classic associate units placed at active duty bases.
•Fighter cuts. The Reserve's fighter cuts are focused on Barksdale Air Force Base, La. The command will inactivate the 917th Fighter Group, retire 24 A-10C Thunderbolt IIs and transfer three more A-10s to Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. The command, however, will gain 24 A-10Cs from the active-duty Air Force in fiscal 2014.
•Mobility cuts. The command plans to retire C-5As during the next three years from Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland while eventually gaining eight C-5Ms from Massachusetts in 2016. The C-5 retirements, however, are contingent on the command providing a Mobility Requirements and Capabilities study to Congress. Five KC-135s also will be retired, four from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and one from March Air Reserve Base, Calif.
•Other cuts. The component will lose a reconnaissance squadron in 2013, with the inactivation of the 13th Reconnaissance Squadron at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. It will also cut the Band of the Air Force Reserve at Robins Air Force Base, Ga.
•Working Group. The NDAA directs the Air Force to convene an intra-theater airlift working group to look at retaining 32 additional airlifters. Air Force officials have said they do not expect to reverse cuts to the C-27J Spartan fleet, and this group could decide to retain additional reserve C-130s.