Commentary

January 31, 2014

Wolfenbarger discusses challenges, successes at commanders call

Challenges that lie ahead and a recap of recent successes highlighted Air Force Materiel Command commander Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger’s commander’s call at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Jan. 23.

It was the first of what will be several workforce communication engagements for the general. In the coming months, Wolfenbarger will hold a commander’s call at each AFMC base.

Speaking to a packed base theater crowd, the general acknowledged that 2013 had many challenges. Top among those challenges were budget issues, sequestration and furloughs, all of which in turn had great impacts on mission, quality of life and force management.

“Our challenge now is to figure out how we can get through this period of down-sizing,” she said. “We can do this; we have done it before as an institution. We just have to make the best decisions we can in a non-optimal resource environment. I ask you to bring forward all those good ideas that are out there, because now is the time.”

Wolfenbarger also noted that the AFMC mission – through the AFMC workforce – thrived despite the many challenges.

“As I look back, I want to say how proud I am of the progress we made last year, despite the environment,” she said. “Operating in the new organizational construct has proven tremendous, even powerful, in terms of how it has enabled more mission-effective and more cost-effective operations for us as a command.”

In just one year of operations under the new five-center construct, AFMC avoided or saved $2.7 billion while expertly accomplishing the mission, the general said. That number is only expected to grow.

In looking to 2014 and beyond, Wolfenbarger emphasized the importance of fostering a culture of respect and resiliency, saying everyone has a responsibility to be accountable for himself or herself and to be accountable as a Wingman.

AFMC command chief Chief Master Sgt. Michael Warner, who also spoke at the commander’s call, echoed the general’s perspective.

“We need to be empowered to protect both ourselves and our coworkers from physical, mental, sexual or negligent misconduct,” he said. “We all deserve to be treated with trust, care, dignity and respect.”

Other topics the general and chief addressed as key this year included continuing budget concerns and force management issues.

The recently signed Bipartisan Budget Act increased the Air Force topline budget by approximately $6 billion over sequestered fiscal 2014/2015 levels, which Wolfenbarger noted gives the Air Force some — though not complete — relief and also gives the service some budget certainty.

The general also talked about the Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed on Jan. 17, which restores flying hours and weapon system sustainment; protects the “Big-3″ investment programs (i.e., F-35, KC-46, and Long Range Strike Bomber); provides additional Facilities, Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization funds for installations; and notes that no administrative furloughs are planned for fiscal 2014.

In terms of force management, Warner reiterated that the Air Force is taking 25,000 active duty reductions between now and fiscal 2019 – and plans to take most of them early, at the front end.

“We’ve had drawdowns in the past, but this time we’re taking actions that we’ve never had to take before,” he said. “We’re going to ask some Airmen who are superstar performers to leave. The key for us is that we have to take this seriously: read the guidance, know your vulnerabilities, know your options, talk with your supervisor.

But take it seriously. Make sure you have all the information you need to make the right decision in a difficult situation.”

Wolfenbarger concluded her commander’s call by thanking the entire workforce for their many contributions to AFMC’s success.

“As we proved last year, we will continue to execute our critical mission despite the environment,” she said. “I am so proud of this command. Despite the difficulties and the churn and the uncertainties, you were able to excel at what our Air Force asked of us and demanded of us. And I maintain that you all are up the challenge of doing that again this year and into the future.”




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


 
 

 

News Briefs October 24, 2014

M4/M9 Firing Range closure The Edwards AFB Combat Arms Firing Range is closed for M4 and M9 firing until further notice. Any required firing for PCS or deployments will temporarily be accomplished at March ARB, Calif. To schedule training, contact the Combat Arms section at 661-277-2103. It is strongly recommended that all firing be scheduled as soon...
 
 
town-hall

Edwards community holds town hall meeting

Air Force photograph by Jena Romo Col. Eric Leshinksy, 412th Mission Support Group commander, addresses the audience at a town hall meeting Oct. 15 at the Airmen and Family Readiness Center. The Edwards community gathered at th...
 
 
Instagram by Master Sgt. Sonny Cohrs

Online vigilance helps reduce risk

Instagram by Master Sgt. Sonny Cohrs The Air Force reminds us not to post information about deployment departures, locations, and on-going operations. However, even a simple photo of your family pet can reveal personal informat...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Gathering of Eagles honors 70 years of TPS

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Brig. Gen. Michael Brewer, 412th Test Wing commander, offered the closing remarks for the event, reminding the audience that fundraiser is about preparing for the future. The Flight Test Hi...
 
 
commissary

Giving ‘gift of groceries’? Think Commissary gift cards

No matter the occasion, Commissary gift cards are always available to help family members, friends and organizations give the gift of groceries. “Our gift cards are versatile,” said Randy Chandler, the Defense Commi...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Christian Turner

AFMC command chief visits with Edwards Airmen

Air Force photograph by Christian Turner Chief Master Sgt. Michael J. Warner, Air Force Materiel Command command chief, speaks to enlisted Airmen at Club Muroc Oct. 15. Warner held two enlisted calls speaking to junior Airmen i...
 




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>