From the Top: Changing Today’s Air Force Reserve for Tomorrow

Lt. Gen. James F. Jackson assumed command of AFRC July 30, replacing Lt. Gen. Charles E. Stenner Jr., who has served as commander since June 2008. Stenner retired from the Air Force with 39 years of military service.

Lt. Gen. James F. Jackson

Citizen Airman/Feb. 2014 -- The Air Force is constantly evolving in order to remain the world's premier air, space and cyberspace force. Part of our transformation involves standing up new units for emerging missions. In 2013, we had several "firsts" in the Air Force Reserve that serve as some indication of our future pathways to success.

One significant milestone involved the 307th Bomb Wing becoming the first Reserve unit in Air Force history to be nuclear certified, when they excelled during their initial nuclear surety inspection. Our Citizen Airmen in the 343rd Bomb Squadron and 707th Maintenance Squadron demonstrated their expertise and strong Total Force experience in becoming qualified to perform the Air Force nuclear mission, in partnership with the active duty.

Warfighters around the globe are constantly in need of more intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support. This past year, the Air Force Reserve activated the 655th ISR Group to support ever-evolving combatant commander requirements. The 655th ISRG now has units covering the full spectrum of intelligence support, from tactical, full-motion video and signals intelligence exploitation to strategic, higher-level analysis and reporting functions.

Also in 2013, the Air Force established the Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center. This newly created center brings together more than 500 active-duty and Reserve Airmen for the special operations mission. The synergistic benefit of this new organization will pay huge dividends for the nation and serves as another valuable example of integrating the Total Force team.

Another one of our successes last year involved the cyberspace mission area. The 960th Cyberspace Operations Group stood up as the "one-stop shop" for cyberspace missions in the Air Force Reserve. Cyberspace is a man-made domain where the rules and technology are changing at a rapid pace all the time. In this realm, our highly experienced Citizen Airmen leverage their civilian cyberspace knowledge and military experience to stay on the cutting edge.

These evolving Air Force Reserve Command mission areas are needed for today's and tomorrow's joint fight. Our recent successes highlight just a small portion of the diverse capability the Air Force Reserve provides our nation. I appreciate all the hard work, not just of the organizations mentioned, but everything that our Citizen Airmen do every day. I look forward to seeing your impressive accomplishments in 2014.

Thanks for all you do!