Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin and Ranking Member James M. Inhofe today announced their selections for the Congressionally-mandated National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force.
Chairman Levin selected the Honorable R.L. (Les) Brownlee and Ranking Member Inhofe selected Lieutenant General Harry M. (Bud) Wyatt, III USF (ret.) to the commission.
"Les Brownlee is an individual who has given great service to his country in many venues," Levin said. "His distinguished career in uniform, in Congress, and in the Army leadership brings important practical expertise to the panel from both an intimate understanding of the relationship between the Federal and State levels of government and knowledge of the process for translating national security requirements into military programs. As we reduce our commitments in Afghanistan in the U.S. Central Command, the Air Force and U.S. military forces will be restructuring to meet a revised defense security strategy. It is important than ever that changes in the structure of the Air Force are made in a transparent and objective process."
"As Oklahoma TAG and Director of the Air National Guard, Lt. Gen. Wyatt successfully oversaw an increase in operations and deployments of the men and women of the Oklahoma National Guard and Air National to include support of several natural disasters and multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan," Inhofe said. "He understands that we must maintain the readiness and capability of our total force to ensure our military is capable of providing a strong national defense. His advocacy and ability to anticipate requirements ensured the readiness of that total force. Wyatt's leadership, skill and conviction will be critical to this commission's efforts in providing recommendations to meet future mission requirements for the Air Force and our nation."
The panel, which is required by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, will undertake a comprehensive study of the structure of the Air Force to determine whether, and how, the structure be modified to best fulfill current and anticipated mission requirements for the Air force in a manner consistent with available resources.
Honorable R.L. (Les) Brownlee
The Honorable Les Brownlee served as Acting Secretary of the Army from May 2003 until November 2004. He became the 27th Under Secretary of the Army on November 14, 2001, following his nomination by President George W. Bush and confirmation by the United States Senate. Prior to that, he had served as a professional staff member and staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee under Senators Strom Thurmond and John Warner. Mr. Brownlee is a retired Army colonel. He was commissioned in 1962 as a lieutenant in the infantry through the ROTC program at the University of Wyoming, and he holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Alabama. He is a distinguished honor graduate of the US Army Ranger Course, an honor graduate of both the Infantry Officer Advanced Course and the Army Command and General Staff College, and a graduate of the Army's airborne course and the US Army War College. Mr. Brownlee served two tours in Vietnam and was awarded the Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star with two oak leaf clusters, and the Purple Heart.
Lieutenant General Harry M. (Bud) Wyatt, III USF (ret.)
Lieutenant General Harry M. (Bud) Wyatt, III USF (ret.) recently retired from Air Force service. General Wyatt served most recently as the Director, Air National Guard, from February 2009 until his retirement. Before assuming that position, General Wyatt served as the Adjutant General of Oklahoma, responsible for commanding units of the Air and Army National Guard. General Wyatt entered the Oklahoma Air National Guard in August 1977 upon leaving active duty. General Wyatt served as an Associate District Judge in Oklahoma from January 1998 until January 2003. Before that, General Wyatt maintained a private law practice in Oklahoma until his election to the Oklahoma bench after having earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Tulsa, College of Law in 1980. Prior to entering the Air Force, he was also graduated from Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration in 1971.