Scobee testifies before House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Lucretia Cunningham
  • Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command

Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, chief of the Air Force Reserve and commander of Air Force Reserve Command, joined his counterparts from the Army, Navy, Marines and National Guard during testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense May 24.

In his opening remarks, Scobee attested to the accomplishments of AFRC throughout the last year and thanked the subcommittee for its continued support on behalf of AFRC members.

“The Air Force Reserve provides strategic depth with rapid surge capability across every Air Force core mission set,” the general said. “Because we are a predominantly part-time force, we provide ready forces at an exceptional value to taxpayers. We are accessible as a force, as evidenced by our daily contributions to global joint force operations. We are committed to attracting top talent by fostering a culture of inclusion in which every Airman can serve to their fullest potential.”

The command’s ability to rapidly surge and provide capacity to Air Force mission sets on demand spoke to the ready force and the impact of past appropriations. Scobee’s examples included the short-notice deployment to support Department of State evacuation operations from Afghanistan in 2021.

“At the same time, we also surged 500 Airmen to support Afghan evacuees here in the United States,” he said. “I’m continually amazed at the accomplishments of our Reserve Citizen Airmen as they met every challenge put before them over this past year.”

Appropriations from the subcommittee on defense provide funding for the National Guard and Reserves’ personnel, operations, maintenance and equipment. In fiscal year 2022, additional funding from the committee helped offset increasing fuel prices and supported AFRC facility sustainment, repair and modernization projects.

During questioning, Scobee touched on bringing additional C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to the Air Force Reserve, and replacing KC-135s at March Air Reserve Base, California, with KC-46 tankers.

“One thing that makes our Air Force so successful is the ability to project power, and the only way you can do that is with a robust air refueling capability,” he said. “Our requested FY23 budget will ensure the Air Force Reserve meets the priorities laid out in the National Defense Strategy to succeed against pacing threats.”

A complete, written version of the Air Force Reserve’s posture statement was submitted to the committee as the meeting’s time was limited. It includes sections on Operational Impacts; Force Structure; Readiness, Training and Staffing; Equipment and Infrastructure; and Taking Care of Our Airmen and Their Families.

The House subcommittee holds this hearing to approve the budget for the National Guard and Reserve components annually. This meeting was Scobee’s last ahead of his retirement in August.