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AFRC commander visits Tinker AFB

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Oklahoma -- Lt. General John Bradley, Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, visited Tinker Air Force Base May 4. 

During the 4-hour visit the general met with reservists from the 507th Air Refueling Wing and 513th Air Control Group and mission briefings. 

Prior to his departure, a special commander's call was held in the base theater where he had an opportunity to present awards to recent award winners and address reservists at large. 

After congratulating those receiving awards General Bradley addressed the reservists in attendance saying, "It's been a busy year in the Air Force Reserve Command. We've been through a lot of changes and you've seen part of that change here with the addition of the 137th Air Refueling Wing (Oklahoma Air National Guard) associating with the 507th ARW. The reports I've received on this association have been very good," he said. 

The general spoke about the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process saying, "We've uprooted aircraft and positions across the country. We've closed 6 AFRC flying wings. We don't get to move people like active Air Force does. We've worked hard to find jobs for people who wanted to keep working for us. We've had some tough dealings with about 15,000 reserve positions in the past several years. However, I do think we have a good future." 

"We've also been offered new missions in space and UAV missions," he said. The General discussed the reserve wealth of knowledge of working Associate programs saying, "We have a huge amount of experience doing these things. And even though we've been through some challenges with personnel cuts and base closures, we look to the future and that future is bright." 

The general discussed the AEF process and mobilization praising the significant amount of reserve contributions as well as the "phenomenal" performance of Reserve Airmen deployed overseas and stationed in the U.S. "I want to thank everyone for your willingness to volunteer for these deployments," he said, adding that he is working hard to make sure tour lengths can remain short enough to encourage more volunteerism. 

Summing up the general said, "I think the Air Force Reserve is more highly respected and thought of today than at any other time. Your performance has made us look good. Keep it up. I want a good future for the Air Force Reserve. I want your children and your grand children to have the opportunity to serve in the Air Force Reserve."