Recognizing the Total Force

Michael W. Wynne
Secretary of the Air Force

Congratulations! As the leader in Total Force Integration, the Air
Force continues to benefit from one powerful, cohesive team formed by
our active-duty Airmen, Air National Guardsmen and Air Force
Reservists. In my travels around the Air Force, I see this synergy
firsthand and realize that our training and operations make it
impossible to differentiate between the three components. Whether it is
the C-17 landing in the combat zone or the mechanic working on F-16s in
Vermont, the Total Force is making it happen.

We simply could not accomplish today’s dynamic mission without the
Total Force integration of our Guard, Reserve and active-duty force.
Gone are the “strategic reserve” days of the Guard and Reserve. Today,
our total force sacrifices daily through extended deployments in the
most challenging missions we have. As an integral part of this highly
skilled team, the Guard and Reserve train to the same high standards
set by our active duty, operate the latest equipment and participate in
every mission across the spectrum of operations.

Our active duty, Guardsmen and Reservists stand side by side in our
fight in the Global War on Terrorism. Nowhere was this more apparent
than in the recent airstrikes that killed the leader of Al-Qaeda in
Iraq, Abu Al Zarqawi. In Balad, the 332nd Expeditionary Maintenance
Squadron mirrors where our Air Force is going: an active duty
commander, an Air National Guardsman as operations officer, and a
Reservist as first sergeant. The collective efforts of active, Guard
and Reserve forces continue to yield tremendous successes for the joint
team and our Nation.

So what does this mean for you, the individual Airman? First, this
means that we have a healthy respect for those Total Force members who
support our mission. Second, we need to adhere to the set standards, to
ensure that as we assemble the Total Force we remain prepared to
execute the assigned mission. Third, we need to use the diversity
represented by the Total Force to continually look for better ways to
accomplish our mission.

Total Force has moved from a future concept to today’s reality. One
team, one fight, with a shared, disciplined combat focus. The continued
dedication and service of all Airmen – active, Guard and Reserve – make
a grateful Nation proud. Thank you for all you do!