Welsh Talks Importance of Total Force

Washington Report

(August 25, 2014) Efficiency and seamless integration are the name of the game as the Air Force works to define the roles of each component in the Total Force.

That's according to Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, the chief of staff of the Air Force. Welsh was a featured speaker Saturday at the 136th NGAUS General Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.

Displaying a slide that showed the patches of the three Air Force components, he said, "The whole idea is that while each of these patches is critically important and there's a legacy and a heritage behind each one, they are much more effective when they operate side by side."  

He discussed the Total Force Task Force, a panel that recommends ways to create an effective Total Force. Welsh said the group, which includes a two-star from all three Air Force components, has put forward 73 recommendations on everything from integrating staffs to changing methods of selecting senior officers.

The panel has also been charged with analyzing the force structure mix of the active and reserve component. Welsh said the guidance for the panel from the beginning has been to put as much into the reserve component as possible.

"If we can become more efficient as an Air Force without losing operational capability by putting more things into the reserve component, why wouldn't we?" he said.

Welsh also made a point to thank Guardsmen in the room for their service.

He said, "I don't ever worry about 'Will the Guard respond in a crisis?' I just fundamentally know you will."