Air Force Commission Approaching Report Deadline

Created in the fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force has been tasked to submit a report, containing a “comprehensive study and recommendations to the President and Congressional Defense committees … to help determine whether, and how, the structure of the U.S. Air Force should be modified to best fulfill current and anticipated mission requirements for the U.S. Air Force in a manner consistent with available resources.”

Since June of last year, the commission has been engaging in hearings, meetings, field visits and data collection in order to gather all relevant information prior to reporting to Congress on Feb. 1. Commission members and staff have traveled from D.C. to Oklahoma, Michigan, Hawaii and New Jersey for public hearings open to members of the community.

But it hasn’t been an easy job. As a federal commission, it too has been subjected to the civilian furloughs, sequestration cuts and tight deadlines. Despite it all, the commission continues to work diligently to find and account for a variety of topics and voices of the Air Force Total Force.

During this month, the commission will continue to prepare its report. Thus far, the commission has indicated that a variety of themes will be explored, ranging from the management of the future force to resourcing to mission set allocation.

Ultimately, in a time of declining and restrained budgets created by the Budget Control Act, one commissioner stressed the importance of creating a process to look at and optimize force structure regardless of budgets.

In what looks to be its final public act, the commission will hold an open hearing Thursday in Arlington, Va. It will hear testimony from the Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James with a focus on the following themes:

  • The Uncertain Future Strategic Environment
  • The Inexorable Resource Trend
  • Enduring Roles of the Components
  • Shaping and Sizing the Force
  • Managing the Force

NGAUS will continue to monitor and inform the commission as it prepares to finalize its report.

The commission extended its public comment deadline to today. Any documents may be submitted by email to

For more information, as well as copies of written testimony and future activities of the commission, feel free to check out its website.

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