General: No Cutting to Guard End Strength

The Army is going to cut brigade combat teams as part of a plan to shrink the force by 50,000 soldiers, but one of the engineers behind the process says the Guard is not a target.

The Air National Guard may not be so lucky, however.

Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, head of Force Management, Headquarters Army, told Defense News that the reserve component is too valuable to cut as the Army attempts to fall from 570,000 to 520,000 troops.

“There are not reductions in the end strength of the National Guard or Reserve at this point of the analysis,” Ierardi told the publication in a story Monday.

“I would say that generally speaking, as the active component comes down, our reliance on the reserve component will be equal if not more important than it has been,” he said.

No decision has been made regarding the cutting of the Army’s 73 brigade combat teams, but the publication says analysts expect 10 to 15 to disappear.

Ierardi said the Army is looking at whether to cut Stryker, heavy or infantry brigade combat teams.

Meanwhile, word is spreading that the Air Force is considering retirement of a substantial number of Air Guard aircraft. During a recent hearing by the House Armed Services Committee’s tactical air land subcommittee, Rep. Mark Critz, D-Pa., said he had “just learned” that the Air Force may retire all Guard C-5As, three F-16 wings and some C-130s and A-10s.

Lt. Gen. Harry “Bud” Wyatt III, the Air Guard director, told the congressman that it was too soon to make any conclusions, but added that if those aircraft are removed, “you would have the air being taken out of the Air National Guard.”

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