Air Force

January 17, 2014

New secretary testifies to commission on total force

Tags:
Staff Sgt. David Salanitri
Air Force Public Affairs Agency, Operating Location P

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James answers a question during a hearing of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force Jan. 9, 2014, in Arlington, Va. The commission is tasked to submit a report by Feb.1, 2014, to the president of the United States and to the congressional defense committees with a detailed statement of its findings and conclusions.

WASHINGTON – The Air Force will rely more on its Air National Guard and Reserve components in the future with the aim to preserve more capabilities as the service seeks to reduce its personnel , the services top leader said Jan.9.

In her first testimony as secretary of the Air Force, Deborah Lee James addressed members of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force.

The commission will make recommendations on whether, and how, the structure should be modified to best fulfill current and anticipated mission requirements for the Air Force in a manner consistent with available resources.

James, who was formally sworn in as the 23rd secretary Dec. 20, 2013, spoke at length about the future of the total force.

I see our Air Force as a smaller Air Force over time, but a more capable Air Force, James said, emphasizing the importance of developing leaders with experience across the components. I would like to see our Air Force 10 years from now be led by a chief of staff who has had major reserve component experience.

The Air Force needs to do a better job of relying on its Guard and Reserve components, she said. As a result, she feels this evolution will preserve the force and its capabilities.

On the topic of readiness, which service leaders have expressed concerns about since sequestration was implemented; James called into question the option of going to a tiered readiness model.

Im not convinced at all that this form of tiered readiness is workable, James said. In fact, Id say its not workable for the Air Force. We need to be ready right away, and not in a tiered approach.

To maintain readiness, the service is slated to reduce personnel by up to 25,000 during the next five years, along with other cost-saving measures.

Looking to the future size of the Air Force, James noted every component will feel the impacts of force management.

No component is going to be totally sheltered by force shaping and reduction, James said. We want to get the best defense for our nation, particularly when resources are scarce.

In 1993, James held the position of assistant secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, and while that job prepared her for her commission appearance, she said she hopes the need for the conversation will disappear in the future.

I hope 10 years from now we wont be debating issues like this because it would be second nature, James said. The key thing is to blur the lines between components.
Throughout her testimony, James noted that developing the Air Force is an indefinite task you can never close the book on, but always improve upon.

We will always be in a certain state of evolution, James said. The final chapter on this is not yet written.

The Commission is tasked to submit a report, containing a comprehensive study and recommendations, by Feb. 1, 2014, to the president of the United States and the congressional defense committees.




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


 
 

 
cmsaf

Q&A with the CMSAF

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody and his wife, retired Chief Master Sgt. Athena Cody, visited Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, from March 31 to April 2. During his visit, Cody met with Airmen to discuss morale, w...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Michael J. Pausic

CSAF discusses Air Force’s need to reset

U.S. Air Force photo by Michael J. Pausic Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III addresses the audience during his speech at the Air Force Association’s monthly Breakfast Series in Arlington, Va., April 2. The Air Force...
 
 
afmc-workplace

AFMC promotes Strengthening Workplace Relationships campaign

During the months of April and May, Air Force Materiel Command will promote its Strengthening Workplace Relationships campaign. Building and maintaining good work relationships is the key to a positive work environment. Many fu...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Ken Wright

Travis C-5M flies into aviation record books

Air Force photograph by Ken Wright A C-5M Super Galaxy from the 22nd Airlift Squadron takes off from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., early April 3, 2015. The flight, which lasted approximately one hour, claimed 45 aeronautical r...
 
 
f16-tanker

F-16, tankers, reach IOC

Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner The 412th Test Wing’s F-16 and Tanker Consolidation Team, at the culmination of a 13-month effort to merge the 416th and 445th Flight Test Squadrons along with the 418th and 412th Flig...
 
 
senate-bunch

Bunch, Brewer confirmed by Senate for promotion

Brig. Gen. Michael T. Brewer, former 412th Test Wing commander.   Air Force officials announced March 27, 2015, the Senate confirmation of five Air Force Materiel Command senior leaders’ nominations. Officials announ...
 




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>