Regarding the Dec. 17 front-page article “Guarding the guard”:

The dispute between the U.S. Air Force and the Ohio Air National Guard once again exposed the anomaly of our current reserve forces. “National Guard” is the modern name for state militias, still under command of state governors and state adjutants general. State militias are useful for dealing with natural disasters, insurrections and other local emergencies, but Ohio doesn’t need its own air force funded by federal taxpayers, nor does any other state. It may be useful for the U.S. Air Force to have backup planes, pilots and mechanics and other support that is not in full-time use but available for emergencies, but the U.S. Air Force Reserve already fulfills that need, at considerable expense.  

Given the current limited budget for defense, which requires the transformation and downsizing of our military and the elimination of superfluous weapons and programs, isn’t one Air Force Reserve enough?     

Edward Steinhouse, Columbia