Utah Air National Guard faces minimal reduction in staff

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Proposed manpower changes within the United States Air Force would eliminate 10 Utah Air National Guard military positions.

“The Utah Air National Guard has been subject to past cuts and manpower losses, but our organization has been resilient, and we have been able to evolve throughout the years,” said Brig. Gen. David Fountain, Assistant Adjutant General for Air, Utah ANG, in a statement released to FOX 13 News.

The proposed manpower changes are the result of strategic guidance from the Department of Defense and adjustments in Air Force military personnel outlined in the fiscal 2013 President’s Budget.

The cuts will primarily affect the Utah ANG’s flying wing.

Read the full press release from the Utah Air National Guard below:

Air Force officials released force structure changes and resulting manpower impacts from the new DoD strategic guidance and fiscal 2013 President’s Budget Mar. 6. The Utah Air National Guard will be minimally affected by the proposed manpower changes.

The fiscal 2013 President’s Budget adjusts Air Force military end strength to 501,000, with net reductions of 3,900 Active Duty, 5,100 Air National Guard and 900 Air Force Reserve billets.

Under the new force structure changes, the Utah ANG will lose 10 military positions.  The primary impact of the cuts will be to the flying wing.

“The Utah Air National Guard has been subject to past cuts and manpower losses, but our organization has been resilient, and we have been able to evolve throughout the years,” explained Brig. Gen. David Fountain, Assistant Adjutant General for Air, Utah ANG. “Our previous leadership was able to take us through recent changes, like the loss of the 299th Range Control Squadron, and we are fortunate enough to retrain and retain our members allowing them to continue to support our state and federal missions.”

The Utah ANG has approximately 1,400 full and part-time Airmen and nine KC-135 air refueling tanker aircraft.

According to the Air Force Chief of Staff, the Air Force’s strategy is to apply resources to the people, programs, and systems that will best contribute to the new DoD strategic guidance.

“The Air National Guard will internally realign its remaining manpower at units across the United States to properly source emerging force structure requirements and bolster readiness,” explained Brig. Gen. Brian Neal, ANG Readiness Center commander. “We will also repurpose manpower positions at Combat Readiness Training Centers, command and control units and flying squadrons.”

The realignment of military positions will improve our combat capability and ensure we are able to maintain our rapid response requirements as defined in Titles 10 and 32,” Neal added. “Although we will retain fewer units available to deploy, we will maintain overall capacity and sustain command and control structure.”

Members of the Utah ANG have served and continue to serve throughout the world. Some of the recent operations supported include Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn in Iraq, Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya, to name a few.  More than 620 Airmen deployed in Fiscal Year 2011.

For more information on the Utah Air National Guard, visit http://www.151arw.ang.af.mil or check out the “Utah Air National Guard” group on Facebook.