An officer who spoke anonymously with the Observer about what's happened was blunt about the real purpose of encouraging airmen to prepare as if inactivation were certain: "It is meant to be a scare tactic ... and it will work very quickly and become a self-fulfilling prophecy," the officer said. "People who want to keep their reserve careers going somewhere in some way, shape or form will take the bait."
The officer was also clear that it's up to Congress to make the next move. "If Congress is slow to act, the unit will already be essentially gone and there won't by anything to save."
Brig. Gen. James Scanlan, the 440th's commander, says traditional reservist positions within the unit will be unfunded after April 1. The clock is ticking. Relying on new Pentagon chief Ashton Carter's promises to discuss the 440th with rookie Sen. Thom Tillis is unlikely to reverse the Air Force actions in time.
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