The Air National Guard is working with private employers to renegotiate the number of reserve training days for its airmen.
ANG Director Lt. Gen. Scott Rice said the shift to a fully operational reserve force has led to high operations tempo in certain communities.
Airmen with civilian jobs are supposed to devote 39 days to their Air Force duties — one weekend a month and two weeks a year — but it often doesn't work out that way.
“What we’re finding is, it’s not 39 or 40 days,” Rice said at the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies Tuesday. “It’s more like 60, 70, 80 days a year that we’re getting people to go on other trips, other deployments, other training so that they’re operational reserve, not just strategic reserve.”
The airmen must balance their civilian jobs with their service, and their civilian employers can also face stress when sharing employees who are in the Guard.
By renegotiating the amount of agreed upon days that Air National Guardsmen must devote to the force, employers can plan ahead and better accommodate their employees, Rice said.
Since not every community has the same op tempo, Rice said this needs to be discussed on an individual level instead of as a whole to find out who is most affected.
“We are negotiating now across the full spectrum of airlines, large corporations, small corporations and private industry,” Rice said, adding that the 39-day construct is built upon a strategic reserve plan from 100 years ago.
Charlsy Panzino covers the Guard and Reserve, training, technology, operations and features for Army Times and Air Force Times. Email her at email@example.com.