LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (LR AIR FORCE BASE) – Significant changes would come to the Air Force Reserve at Little Rock AFB under the proposed Department of Defense budget request for fiscal 2015.
If enacted into law, the 22nd Air Force, Detachment 1, a C-130 Air Force Reserve unit at the central Arkansas base, would convert to the 913th Airlift Group, and be equipped with 10 C-130 J-model aircraft. The unit would also be authorized to grow to more than 600 Reserve Airmen.
The proposed change in force structure at Little Rock AFB is just one part of an Air Force Reserve-wide shift as detailed in the Air Force portion of the fiscal 2015 President's Budget Request (PBR).
"While we're certainly excited about our future as part of a strengthened Team Little Rock, we understand that this proposed budget request is in the early stages of the political process," said Col. Archie Frye, commander of the effected reserve unit. "We feel, though, that this is a reflection of our incredible skill set, the value-based nature of the Reserve, and our commitment to the global combat airlift mission."
22nd Air Force, Detachment 1, was activated in March of 2011, and worked closely for two years with the active duty 314th Airlift Wing and the Air National Guard's 189th Airlift Wing as part of the Formal Training Unit mission at Little Rock AFB. The unit began a transition to combat airlift in October, 2013, and is currently integrating with the 19th Airlift Wing's 50th Airlift Squadron as part of the Air Force's Total Force Integration initiative.
If approved by Congress and signed into law by the President, most of the proposed force structure changes will occur in 2015 and 2016. The unit's new designation would be a reactivation of the 913th, a Reserve unit of the 22nd Air Force that was deactivated in September, 2007 at its home station of Willow Grove, Penn.
The unit currently has seven legacy C-130 H-model aircraft. Air Force Reserve Command has not yet detailed the disposition of the legacy aircraft if the budget is enacted into law.
"These force structure changes are significant, but they ensure the Air Force Reserve remains an integrated, flexible and combat-ready force," said Brig. Gen. William "Buck" Waldrop, director of plans, programs, requirements and assessments for the Air Force Reserve Command.
The Air Force Reserve is a cost effective, highly efficient and capable force that provides the Air Force about 20 percent of its capability at only about four percent of the total Air Force budget.
For more information of the fiscal 2015 budget proposal, the Department of Defense and Air Force websites have these links: