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Group laying groundwork for Air Force Reserve in 2035

  • Published
  • By Bo Joyner
  • Citizen Airman Magazine

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- What should the Air Force Reserve look like in 2035? That’s the question nearly 50 subject matter experts from across the Air Force Reserve team are focusing on throughout 2019.

The Air Force Reserve Future Force Framework, commonly referred to as AF3, is a year-long project directed by Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, Air Force Reserve Command commander, to reform the organization’s priorities and develop a strategic framework for the command.

“The Air Force Reserve must get ready now for the future fight,” Scobee said. “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.”

The AF3 working group is comprised of people from each AFRC numbered air force, the Air Reserve Personnel Center, all AFRC directorates, and the Reserve headquarters staff. Members have been divided into three subgroups: recruiting and retention, readiness and utilization, and future environmental factors.

The group will look to challenge today’s operational and organizational paradigms to determine the best way to leverage Reserve Citizen Airmen strengths and provide the best value to the nation in the profession of arms.

“Nothing is off the table,” Scobee said. “It’s vital we get this right now so we have the right policy, planning and programming efforts in place to get to where we need to be in the future.”

AF3 members are currently studying what the Air Force Reserve has done historically from a recruiting, retention, readiness and utilization perspective. Members are also looking at future societal, technological and global environment trends, Air Force and joint plans, and what Air Force Reserve strengths and criteria might look like in the future as they create their framework.

“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, AF3 project lead.

From a recruiting and retention standpoint, the group has begun by researching factors that historically impact recruiting and retention efforts, like operational tempo, pay statuses, hiring authorities and the balance between family, civilian employer and military obligations.  The intent is to clarify tendencies and potentials for drawing and keeping Reserve Citizen Airmen. 

Among the questions being explored by the readiness and utilization subgroup, two examples are: what units have historically done well or poorly in regards to readiness and why, and how has the active duty utilized the Reserve?

The future environmental factors group is looking at a host of factors, including what the lifestyle of working age Americans will look like in 2035, what kinds of jobs Americans will be doing in the future and how the Air Force will fight in the years ahead. “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, AFRC plans division chief.

At the May working group, the team put historical and future estimate information together to begin brainstorming draft recommendations for the Air Force Reserve in 2035.  In November, AF3 results will be briefed to AFRC senior leaders.

(Information for this article was taken from an article written by Maj. Jonathan Lee, Headquarters Air Force Reserve Strategy and Planning Division.)