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730th AMTS integration helps develop cost-conscious culture

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kenneth W. Norman
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
An Air Force Reserve squadron recently re-activated and integrated into the 97th Air Mobility Wing. This integration embraces the total force concept and also makes the base more cost efficient.

"Total Force Integration was designed to be a cost efficiency initiative and an effort designed to show that we know there are some elements of the reserve, guard and civilian forces that are cheaper to operate than active duty," said Lt. Col. Jonathan M. Philebaum, 730th Air Mobility Training Squadron commander. "With the financial austerity that our government finds itself in, we have to find ways to do things cheaper and TFI is one of those ways."

The re-activation of the 730th AMTS at Altus AFB, June 13, exemplified the TFI plan by integrating reserve and active-duty forces. This reserve unit will create a synergy among uniformed personnel, resulting in a more cost-conscious culture, while maximizing tax dollars and training opportunities.

"This activation is a significant milestone on the way to us being at full operational capability," Philebaum said. "We are transitioning now from stand-up mode to a more complete integration."

The 730th AMTS, assigned to the 452nd Operations Group, March Air Reserve Base, Calif., in concert with the 97th Air Mobility Wing under the Air Education and Training Command, train C-17 Globemaster III and KC-135 Stratotanker aircrews. Students from active-duty Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and more than 15 foreign countries will attend the training, comprised of more than 20 courses.

"Our goal with the integration is to fold into whatever active-duty processes that are already in place here," Philebaum said. "We fold in and get the mission done so that the mission does not stop."

Total Force Integration is saving the Air Force money.

The integration of the 730th AMTS has already begun to save the Air Force money because the Air Force can use three reservists for the price of one active-duty member, said Philebaum. Once the 730th AMTS has reached full operational capacity, it will man 25 percent of the instructor force at Altus AFB.

Another aspect of TFI is to consolidate today's Air Force to a more cost-efficient size.

"After the roll out is completed in Afghanistan, changes will need to be made to our infrastructure. In order to be efficient, we must find ways to consolidate our missions and economies," said Brig. Gen. Karl McGregor, 452nd Air Mobility Wing commander. "We will do this by 'right-sizing' and combining our resources."

The integration of the 730th AMTS does not mean there will be any changes to the mission here.

"What is integration? We just do it - we do whatever the mission is," said Philebaum. "We aren't here to setup anything separate; we don't look at the mission differently. All of our ships are going the same direction - that is integration."

In recent years, TFI has proven to be the formula for success, with exceedingly high rates of mission effectiveness throughout areas of responsibility. This formula has since been applied to everyday missions of the Air Force, as the total force works together to accomplish the objectives set forth by combatant commanders while training the way they fight -- together.