Citizen Airmen: A History of the Air Force Reserve, 1946-1994 by Gerald T. Cantwell 0000-00-00 00:00:00

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by Gerald T. Cantwell
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Citizen Airmen: A History of the Air Force Reserve, 1946-1994 by Gerald T. Cantwell
Author
Gerald T. Cantwell
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Date of release
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0
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9781410219510
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For nearly fifty years, citizen airmen have served in the nation's defense as members of the Air Force Reserve. Citizen Airmen: A History of the Air Force Reserve, 1946-1994 begins with the fledgling air reserve program initiated in 1916, traces its progress through World War II, and then concentrates on the period 1946 through 1994. The study skillfully describes the process by which a loosely organized program evolved into today's impressive force. The Air Force Reserve story is told within the context of national political and military policy and stresses that over the decades, as national needs have increased, reservists have met the challenges. Initially, the Air Force treated its reserve units as supplemental forces and equipped them with surplus equipment. Shortly after the Air Force Reserve was established in 1948, its members mobilized for Korean War duty and they served throughout the conflict. The Reserve program subsequently fell into disarray and required patient rebuilding. The passage of a series of key federal laws related to personnel issues and the introduction of the air reserve technician program greatly assisted in this rejuvenation process. In the 1960s, the Air Force Reserve demonstrated its mettle as it participated in numerous mobilizations reflecting the Cold War tensions of the era. Reservists were involved in operations ranging from the Berlin Crisis of 1961-1962 to the Southeast Asia mobilizations in 1968. In the 1970s, the Air Force Reserve program assumed heightened importance when the Department of Defense adopted the Total Force Policy. This concept treated the active forces, the National Guard, and all reserve forces as an integrated force. Reservists were now expected to meet the same readiness standards as their active duty counterparts. Since then, the Air Force Reserve has demonstrated its ability to perform a wide variety of missions. Air Reservists participated in American military operations in Grenada and Panama. During DESERT SHIELD and STORM, some 23,500 reservists were mobilized for service. They performed in combat in the Persian Gulf and provided vital support services at overseas locations. Stateside, they served at home stations or other locations in place of deployed active duty personnel. Today, the Air Force Reserve performs major portions of the Air Force mission. Reservists are equipped with front-line weapons systems and have supported United Nations operations in Somalia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Iraq. They have exclusive responsibility for aerial spray operations and weather reconnaissance and they contribute large portions of the airlift and rescue missions. Reservists may also be found performing humanitarian medical missions and varied nation-building projects.

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