Air National Guard Structure for the Twenty-first Century:
The Multimission Framework for Total Force Integration
For nearly three decades, the Air National Guard has served as a strategic reserve available to the Total Force only during a time of crisis. Today, the days of the “baseball cap flying club” are long gone, and Total Force Integration is firmly ensconced as the only way to fight the nation’s wars. With the added complications of reduced budgetary outlays and high operational tempo, Total Force considerations and organizational constructs become even more important to the mission’s bottom line for the United States Air Force.
Given the myriad of Total Force organizational constructs, is there one “best” unit structure for optimum Total Force Integration? If so, what might that unit look like, and why? If not, what framework of common traits might ensure future success? Lt Col Kevin Dailey offers the Multimission Framework as an answer. His research for the framework originates with an extensive series of interviews with senior service leaders, multiple case studies of the different current constructs, an extensive literature review, and an examination of current challenges. By reviewing the constitutional mandate for the militia forces, the rationale for an Air National Guard, and the complex series of Guard missions, as well as organizational unit types, Colonel Dailey adds further depth to the strength of a new framework built on the common threads of successful models. This framework is built to maximize effectiveness in future integration efforts and is presented as “Multimission Integration.”
The Multimission Framework for operational integration proposed by Colonel Dailey is a synthesis of the successful constructs across the many models currently being utilized throughout the Total Force. Current models in vogue are the Active Associate Wing, the Reserve/Guard Associate Wing, the “Blended” Wing, and the Integrated Wing. Colonel Dailey examined each of these models for its positive and negative contributions to the Total Force. His research presented an ironic challenge: all of them work to varying degrees of success when coupled with good leaders and good people. Can history and research demonstrate a better way forward?
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