Since the start of 2019, a group of almost 50 Air Force Reserve members have been busy imagining what the Air Force Reserve will look like in 15 years.
“Nothing is off the table,” said Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, head of Air Force Reserve Command, in a news release. “It’s vital we get this right, now, so we have the right policy, planning and programming efforts in place to get where we need to be in the future.”
Directed by Scobee, the group comprises airmen from the Air Reserve Personnel Center, all AFRC directorates, and Reserve headquarters staff. Known as the Air Force Reserve Future Force Framework, or AF3, the project will continue throughout 2019.
“The Air Force Reserve must get ready now for the future fight,” Scobee said in the release. “We’re relying on the AF3 team to provide us with a picture of what the Air Force Reserve of the future is going to look like and what we are going to have to do today to meet the challenges of 2035 and beyond.”
As the members of AF3 prepare to “provide the best value to the nation in the profession of arms,” they have been split into three subgroups: recruiting and retention; readiness and utilization; and future environmental factors.
The members of the recruiting and retention group are taking a two-prong approach. They are studying what the Reserve has done in the past to recruit and retain airman, including historical factors that have impacted recruiting. The members are also looking carefully at future societal trends, technology and the global environment, and how challenges can be met to maintain a healthy force.
Two essential questions are being explored by the readiness and utilization group: 1) How has the active duty Air Force used, and relied on, the Air Force Reserve? 2) What Reserve units have historically done well, or poorly, in terms of readiness, and why?
“Not only do we need to understand the future environment we need to be prepared for, but we also need to learn from our past to better inform a future Air Force Reserve,” said Lt. Col. Alison Hamel, the AF3 project lead, in the release.
The future environmental factors group members are looking at things such as working age, future American jobs and how the Air Force will fight.
As the AF3 continues with its work, it plans to brief Air Force Reserve senior leaders this November on what it recommends.
“The Reserve needs AF3 to help us prioritize how we will get after the National Defense Strategy objectives and stay in sync with the Air Force,” said Col. Carl Magnussen, ARFC plans division chief in the release.