Air Force

November 26, 2013

Air Force leadership: Service must get handle on pay, benefits

Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. (AFNS) — The Air Force must control the growth of pay and benefits or the service will be hard pressed to perform its primary mission to fight and win America’s wars, the service’s top officer said here Nov. 25.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III said pay, benefits and medical costs constitute about half of the Air Force’s budget — and those costs are growing.

Left unchecked there will come a time when the service cannot do its job “because all we’re doing is paying our people,” Welsh said. Some experts believe this will occur in 2023, others by 2032.

All service leaders agree there’s a problem, he said.

The general said this is not a scare tactic on the part of senior leaders in DOD.

“There is absolutely no motivation for a service chief to try and scare people in his service — none,” Welsh said. “Everything we do is about taking care of them. Nobody cares more about the men and women in our services than the service chiefs. And nobody wants to do what’s right for them more than we do. Scaring them is the last thing on our minds.”

Welsh said no service leader is talking about cutting pay and benefits, just slowing the growth. He speaks of managing growth in a different way.

“Our people will understand that,” the general said.

The U.S. Congress, the Department of Defense and the services have over the past 20 years provided excellent benefits and comparable pay to military members.

“We’ve all benefited immensely and we thank them for that,” Welsh said. “But it is time to slow it down a little bit until we know we can do our primary job, which is fight and win the nation’s wars.”

He wants Congress to consider things like slowing down the growth of the military pay raise for the next couple of years while DOD grapples with fiscal issues caused by sequestration.

The service chiefs understand and accept that the department must do its part to deal with America’s national debt.

“But no one would argue the mechanism of sequestration is the most effective way to do that. It’s absolutely not,” Welsh said.

The way sequestration operates is the problem, he said.

“Every business in the world — if it wanted to downsize and refocus — would take down infrastructure the first couple of years, reinvest the savings in the product lines that work and then make the cuts over the second half of the 10-year period,” Welsh said.

This is not the way sequestration operates. DOD cannot touch infrastructure and personnel accounts are protected. The money has to come from somewhere and that means funds for modernization and readiness will be hit most heavily.

“We haven’t been allowed to slow growth on the pay side or the medical side or do anything about infrastructure costs, so everything is going to come out of modernization, force structure and readiness,” Welsh said. “There is no other option. That’s where the money is.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski)

Grappling, pummeling, trapping: 162nd Airmen learn to ‘close with the enemy’

MARANA, Ariz. – The words on the gym wall summed it up best for 13 security forces specialists who trained at the Western Army National Guard Aviation Training Site here March 17-21. “The defining characteristic of a ...
 
 

Air Force launches new program to capture innovative ideas

WASHINGTON (AFNS) – Air Force officials announced the creation of a new program April 4, designed to harness Airmen’s innovation. Airmen Powered by Innovation, or API, will replace three existing Air Force “good idea” programs – the Innovative Development through Employee Awareness, Productivity Enhancing Capital Investment, and Best Practices programs – and expand the role o...
 
 

AF opens additional TERA, VSP windows

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) – The Air Force will open two new fiscal year 2014 force management temporary early retirement authority application windows, and a new voluntary separation pay application window, Air Force Personnel Center officials said April 14. Commonly referred to as the 15-year retirement, TERA eligibility will be based on the updated...
 

 

The emotionless leader: Trusted and respected by Airmen

LAJES FIELD, Azores (AFNS) – “I don’t want to hurt her career.” “He’s the best NCO I’ve got. I don’t want to see him lose a stripe.” How many times have you heard someone in a leadership position make statements such as these when contemplating disciplinary actions when an Airman or NCO makes a terrible decision?...
 
 

AF updates officer, enlisted voluntary force management eligibility lists

Select Airmen in specific categories who were not formerly eligible for fiscal year 2014 force management voluntary separation are now being offered voluntary separation. These individuals will not be subject to involuntary programs in fiscal 2014. Officers from 33 Air Force specialty codes by year group and enlisted Airmen from seven AFSCs by grade are...
 
 
USAFBlue

USAFA Wings of Blue

Each year, the Wings of Blue Demonstration Team performs at more than 50 special events in front of over 2 million spectators. Demonstration venues include airshows, NFL and College football games, and special events across the...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin