Air Force

August 30, 2013

AFMC command chief talks fiscal challenges, Airmen issues

Tags:
Rebecca Amber
Staff writer

Chief Master Sgt. Michael Warner, Air Force Materiel Command command chief, discussed fiscal challenges facing the Air Force as well as the Defense Department. He also talked about issues affecting today’s Airmen, which included possible changes in promotions and assignments.

Chief Master Sgt. Michael Warner, Air Force Materiel Command command chief, addressed national budget issues and items affecting today’s Airmen during a Chief’s Call Aug. 22 in the Base Theater.

Warner accompanied Gen. Janet C. Wolfenbarger, AFMC commander, on her three-day visit to the high desert last week.

He encouraged Airmen to relate the national budget to their individual, household budget. He said that when an individual reaches a place where they are spending more than they make, there are only two solutions, cut back or make more money. In the federal government, making more money involves either fixing the economy or raising taxes.

Warner explained in simple terms, that a cap was set on the national debt limit under the Budget Control Act in 2011. When congress allowed that limit to be raised, the consequence became a threat of sequestration.

“Sequestration is an automatic 10-percent cut in every funding code in the DOD,” said Warner.

The question that followed is “why is the DOD being hit so hard?” Warner referred back to his comparison of household budgets stating that you can’t cut “the essentials” like a house payment. For the national debt, the essentials include interest payments, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. When you eliminate those items, around 40 percent of the budget is left for cuts and that includes both the Department of Defense and nondefense according to Warner.

“One of the greatest threats in our future is our fiscal reality,” said Warner. He added that his biggest concern is the possibility of future cuts to research, development, evaluation and testing.

“I never want us to fight a fight on the home field and I never want it to be a fair fight. Never do we want to send Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, into battle where they don’t have the technological edge over their enemies. The way that we do this is through our research, testing, development and evaluation and our procurement. Those are items like the F-35, F-22, KC-46 all of those things that give us the edge over our enemies.”

He went on to say that the budget cuts will affect their daily lives and supply of resources.

“If you have things in your workshop that are broken and don’t impact life, safety or mission success, they’re not going to get fixed,” said Warner.

Cuts may also affect the availability of recreational opportunities on base. He identified fitness, child care and ADF dining as “core” programs that are essential to the base. Bowling, golf and Aero Club for example, may not continue to receive the funding that they are used to.

“If you don’t want to lose it, you must use it,” said Warner. “It has to be self-sustaining.”

Another affected area is tuition assistance. “It’s important for us as Airmen to realize that tuition assistance is a benefit, not an entitlement. You’re entitled to base pay, uniform allowance, sustenance allowance and you’re going to get that.”

Warner the Air Force enlisted population uses more tuition assistance than any of the other services. If the funding runs out, Congress does not supply additional funds, it has to be procured through alternate means.

“Every May that I can remember, we ran out of money because of Airmen going to school, which is a positive thing. Then the question becomes, ‘where do we pull the money from?'”

Edwards AFB has a large civilian population that has been affected by the fiscal situation as well. Warner explained how furlough days have affected the civilian work force on base.

“One difference between their pay and what you make is that they don’t get housing allowance or a meal card.”

Another area that may be undergoing major change is the process of promoting Airmen to higher ranks.

Using a new “vectoring” process, the Air Force is looking into evaluating Airmen on their “potential for more.”

“Do the best that you can do everyday and you’re golden,” said Warner. “As an Airman, we are here to serve, not to be served.”

He added that promotions will be based on “star performance” and it will become more difficult to receive an above-average rating on an evaluation.

Warner ended his chief’s call by encouraging Airmen to be good wingmen to each other and to stay informed by reading or watching the news at least once a day.




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


 
 

 
commissary-cards

Ready for the holidays? Commissary cards help spread ‘gift of groceries’

The Edwards Commissary will be closed Thanksgiving Day and will reopen Nov. 28 with normal hours. As the calendar flips toward the holidays, the Commissary Gift Card is always a viable option for anyone wishing to support their...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Airman and Family Readiness Center says thank you

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber At a book reading Nov. 14 at the Base Library, AFRC staff and volunteers helped the children make fall crafts and served them a mini-Thanksgiving meal.   In the season for giving thank...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

412th Ops Group deputy CC retires

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Lt. Col. Michael T. Morgan speaks to the audience during his retirement ceremony at the Air Force Flight Test Museum Nov. 21.   Members of the 412th Operations Group gathered at the Ai...
 

 
Army photograph

Team Edwards remembers Code Talkers during heritage month

Army photograph Pfc. Preston Toledo and Pfc. Frank Toledo, Navajo cousins in a Marine artillery regiment in the South Pacific, relay orders over a field radio in their native tongue in July 1943. In observation of National Amer...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Annual health fair highlights options, open enrollment season

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber More than 300 NASA and Edwards AFB employees attended the annual Federal Employee Health Fair Nov. 20 in Bldg. 3000.   The annual Edwards AFB Federal Employee Health Fair was held in B...
 
 

Gaining Altitude – Growth Opportunities for the Week

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community - This is the season to be thankful.  Most people could easily rattle of the top 10 “thankful” items in their lives.  But isn’t being thankful more than writing down a list of good items?  Thankfulness is a heart issue; it...
 




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>