WARNER ROBINS -- A special commissions recommendation to do away with Air Force Reserve Command came as a surprise to the organizations leader.
Lt. Gen. James Jackson testified three times before the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, which released recommendations that included folding reserve forces under the command of the active-duty Air Force.
This elimination of the Air Force Reserve Command was never brought up, Jackson said in a telephone interview with The Telegraph.
The commands headquarters is at Robins Air Force Base, and it employs about 1,100 people. All of those jobs could be lost if Congress accepts the committees recommendation.
According to the 21st Century Partnership, which advocates for Robins, the command has a $150 million annual payroll and an annual economic impact of about $250 million.
Jackson, the units commander, praised much of the report but questioned whether the commission fully researched the recommendation to eliminate Air Force Reserve Command.
I was disappointed the committee did not visit headquarters, he said. Their analysis is not as deep as it should have been.
Jackson said he learned of the recommendation when he read the report. The report emphasized a need to shift more responsibility to Guard and Reserve forces to save money. Jackson said thats a good idea and should be implemented.
Many of the recommendations, in fact, are being implemented. The Air Force Reserve Command was created by Congress, however, so it will take a vote of Congress to abolish it.
Much of Georgias delegation has come out against it.
Jackson said shifting Reserve forces to active-duty command could seriously impact morale. There are differences in leading part-time forces that active-duty commanders may not fully appreciate, he said.
He is optimistic the recommendation will not be approved.
Im pretty confident that Ive got good, strong support, and this should not be followed, he said.
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.