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.


 
 

 

Maintenance versus repair … of our Airmen

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. (AFNS) — This commentary is not about aircraft, vehicles, or even any mechanical components. It’s about our Airmen and how we manage their care and development throughout their careers. The maintenance versus repair concept is borrowed from the maintenance community and speaks to how maintenance managers plan, coordinate and...
 
 
DT_pict1

354th Bulldogs improve in-flight sight

A-10C Thunderbolt II pilots of the 354th Fighter Squadron Bulldogs began flying with a new helmet mounted integrated targeting system. The Scorpion Helmet Mounted Cueing System provides pilots with the ability to rapidly cue se...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lynsie Nichols)

Your estimated wait time is…

Did you call the Enterprise Service Desk yesterday, but you’re still on hold today? The Communications Squadron will be uploading the Virtual Enterprise Service Desk application to computers base wide. 1st Lt. Brooke Leigh, ...
 

 

Face of Defense: Shooting victim seeks to inspire others

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON – An Army officer who was severely wounded in a shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, last year is using his near-death experience to give others a new lease on life. “I believe I was given a second chance,” said 1st Lt. John Arroyo, who is recovering at Brooke Army...
 
 
AFAS_pict

AFAS steps up with education programs

Education can be a key to succeeding in life, especially for military members looking to make the Air Force a career. The costs associated with getting an education are on the rise, but the Air Force Aid Society can help take s...
 
 
Fuel_pict

Exchange offers full-service refueling to drivers with disabilities

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service, with the support of U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, is adding a new system to gas stations on military installations worldwide to make it easier for drivers with dis...
 




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