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.


 
 

 

AFPC has expanded voluntary FM program waiver authority

The Air Force Personnel Center has been granted expanded waiver authority to waive some active duty service commitments for Airmen interested in voluntary separation under the fiscal year 2014 force management program, AFPC officials announced April 3. For example, we now have the authority to waive aviation retention pay (which requires recoupment of the unserved...
 
 

Air Force 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 year 2014. Officers from 33 Air Force specialty codes by year group and enlisted Airmen from seven AFSCs by grade...
 
 

April 8 – Pulse on Air Force force management

A limited number of Airmen who received notice that their previously approved applications for early retirement had been declined will be given the option to retire if they still desire to do so, officials announced April 8. “We are aware that some Airmen received erroneous (temporary early retirement authority) approvals and were subsequently notified of...
 

 

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 year 2014. Officers from 33 Air Force specialty codes by year group and enlisted Airmen from seven AFSCs by grade...
 
 
Air Force photograph

April 14 marks anniversary of Space Shuttle Columbia’s first landing

Air Force photograph Space Shuttle Columbia lands April 14, 1981 on Rogers Dry Lake Bed at Edwards AFB. Monday marks 33 years since the first re-usable space vehicle successfully returned to Earth on the wings of an aircraft. T...
 
 

Airmen do’s, don’ts regarding political activities

Many Airmen face one question every four years or so, “How politically active can I be? This article provides a brief description of the limitations applicable to service members when it comes to political activity. The political activities of service members are governed by DOD Directive 1344.10, and Airmen in particular are subject to 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>