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The Cheaper Alternative

When it comes to operating C-130s and F-16s, the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command provide the most bang for a buck. So says a recent RAND Corp. study cited by Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III, Air National Guard director, in his testimony before a House Armed Services Committee panel earlier this year. Though the study was still in draft form, Clarke felt it provided important data to help emphasize his belief that "investment in the Air Reserve Components of the Air Force" will help "sustain both capability and capacity in an era of austerity." He said, too, that in the post-Afghanistan drawdown, personnel adjustments to the Total Force need to ensure there is a "place for those leaving active duty to continue to use their skills in service of the nation," meaning the Air Guard and Air Force Reserve.