Harry Falls, Jr., speaks, May 1974
12B-DEL RIO (TEXAS) NEWS-HERALD. Sunday. May 19.1974 AT LAUOHLIN LUNCHEON All-Volunteer Force Working, Says Falls By DAN BUS News Herald SUff Thr all volunteer concept for (lie nation's armed forces In working because the American people are helping to make It work, Col. Harry Falls, wing commander at Laughlin Air Force Base, said Friday. Falls discussed the state of the nation's preparedness in an Armed Forces Day luncheon address before some 50 Del Rio arm political and civic leaders. The wing commander said the all-volunteer force has been in existence for over a year now. This, he said, was the longest period of time that America had relied solely upon volunteers since the draft was ordered before World War II. Falls noted that some critics had feared the elimination of the draft would levae the United States hard pressed to maintain a quality military force. "The all-volunteer force is working for the Air Force. Not only has the Air Force achieved 100 per cent of its recruiting objectives, but we have not sacrificed quality for quantity. "During 1973, for example, nearly 87 per cent of all Air Force Recruits were high school graduates. So far this year, the figure is running about 94 per cent. The fact that we are recruiting these individuals in a zero-draft environment speaks for the success of the all-volunteer force," Falls declared. Falls told of the career and educational opportunites being offered by the Air Force to attract and keep "the best ople available to operate the _" ly sophisticated equipment of" today's modern aerospace forces. More women are being recruited into the Air Force, Falls noted. "By 1978, we plan to have G COL. HARRY FALLS JR. ...Wing Commander some 50,000 young ladies in uniform. This will be nearly a 150 per cent increase over the number of 20,000 currently on active duty, he pointed out. Falls pointed out that spiraling costs have made it necessary for the Air Force to do more with less. Twenty yean ago, defense received two of every three federal dollars. Today only one of every three federal dollars goes to defense. "A defense budget that is 50 per cent less in terms of gross national product than it was 20 years ago offers this country an unparalleled bargain in terms of value received for dollar spent," the colonel asserted. He stressed a quote from Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger to the effect that "a military establishment is most important when it is not used." With no alternative to American strength in maintaining peace in the world, America must "maintain a realistic deterrent in the face of growing Soviet military advancements," he warned. Among the military personnel from Laughlin at the observance luncheon were Col. Richard Hickenbottom, Air Base Group Commander; Deputy Commander for Operations, Col. Forrest E. Kissinger; command chaplain Lt. Col. Robert Way; Senior Airman Advisor, CMSgt. John E. Lindsey; and the current Laughlin Airman of the Month, A1C Jerry Cannon from the Field Maintenance Squadron. Also present were the commanders and first sergeants of each of the squadrons at Lauflhlin. Civilian dignitaries seated with Colonel Falls at the head table included County Judge Sergio Gonzalez, Mayor Alfredo Gutierrez Jr.. Chamber of Commerce President Herb Whitis and Chamber of Commerce Manager Gary Trim. Qudad Acuna, Mexico, was represented at the head table by Jesus Maria Ramon, the sole founder of the Del Rio-Ciudad Acuna Good Neighbor Council who remains active, and by Municipal President Dr. Eleazar Faz Gomez. The 1974 Armed Forces Day luncheon was held in the Laughlin AFB Officers Open FOODWAY Quality Foods STORE HOURS WEEKDAYS 89 Specials Oood Thursday, May 16 thru Wodnosday, May 22, 1974 YELLOW ONIONS HMM tram CfMk Nxk jm ^K.