Reservists a bargain
Last month, the Reserve Forces Policy Board issued a report to the secretary of Defense on the cost of military personnel. It's the first official report from a Defense entity that makes it clear that the cost of a National Guard/Reserve member is much less than that of an active-component member.
The report shows that in fiscal year 2013, the annual cost to the federal government for a reserve-component member is $123,351, while the cost of an active-component member is $384,622.
I highlight this because as part of the president's 2013 Defense budget, the Air Force proposes to reduce the size and capability of its most efficient and cost-effective forces — the reserve component. More specifically, it plans to close the Air Force Reserve's 911th Airlift Wing based in Pittsburgh this year.
Gov. Corbett and I support a 2013 budget that honors national security yet promotes fiscal responsibility. But based on the Defense Department's own report, it would make the most sense to take a small cut in the active component in order to maintain or expand Defense capabilities by shifting forces to the reserve component. It's a 3-to-1 cost savings that the Air Force must seriously consider.
Maj. Gen. Wesley
Fort Indiantown Gap
The writer is the adjutant general of the Pennsylvania National Guard.