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Air National Guard director discusses the way forward

NATIONAL HARBOR -- Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, the director of the Air National Guard, spoke about mission readiness and other challenges facing the ANG in future years to attendees of the Air Force Association Air and Space Conference and Technical Exposition here Tuesday.

Wyatt discussed how the ANG provides a combat-ready force with interchangeable capabilities for the Air Expeditionary Force, as well as critical skills and capabilities governors can call upon when America's communities are threatened by natural or man-made disasters.

"The status of the Air National Guard is strong, it's strong because the United States Air Force is strong," Wyatt said. "I think our Guardsmen around the country recognize that fact."

Wyatt said it is his belief that a strong ANG creates a stronger Air Force and the goal of the ANG is to ensure the most capable total Air Force possible.

ANG leadership is anticipating potentially difficult times ahead. Wyatt outlined in his comments that the ANG will meet 21st-century challenges by actively shaping the ANG's future with combat-ready, adaptable Airmen as its core.

"In these days of shrinking budgets and where our total force is getting smaller, we're all going to have to find new ways to work together to leverage the particular strengths that the three components [of the Air Force] bring to the fight," Wyatt said.

As the budget process for fiscal year 2014 unfolds, Wyatt recognized there will be tough decisions for leaders to make. He said he believes the ANG can be part of the solution.

Wyatt said this vision depends on partnerships with the Air Force, the states and communities. These alliances are the foundation of the ANG's strength and the key to its ultimate success.

"One of the things that we try to do in the Air National Guard is to leverage those skills and capabilities that are needed for the Title 10 fight and bring those skill sets and capabilities to help the governors with some of the requirements that they have," said Wyatt. "It's really a win-win for the country; it's a win-win for the United States Air Force."

The AFA Air and Space Conference draws top military leaders and dignitaries worldwide, bringing experts, academia, and aerospace specialists together to discuss issues facing the Air Force and aerospace community.

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