Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, go to the web address listed at the end of the story.
Air Force ends conditioned spend account program
The Air Force recently decided to transition existing Controlled Spend Account travel cards to an enhanced Government Travel Card by the end of fiscal 2012.
“The CSA, a pilot travel card program, provided some enhancements for travelers, but also brought about significant challenges for our most frequent travelers and those with unique mission sets,” said Joan Causey, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Operations. “We recognized that for any travel card program to work, it has to work for all travelers. In the end, we were not satisfied that any proposed changes to the CSA program would get us to the desired state for our most frequent travelers.”
The actual transition will occur in August and September and current CSA cardholders should continue to use their cards as normal. The transition strategy allows travelers to continue using their “blue cards” without interruption. The card functionality will be converted to a GTC by CitiBank without the need to get a new card. Also, travelers will once again be provided with a permanent credit limit, and there will be no need to call for “temporary spend limit” increases.
Intel civilians transition from pay bands
More than 6,000 Air Force Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System employees transitioned Sunday from a pay-banded structure to a graded structure similar to the federal general schedule pay structure, Air Force Personnel Center officials said.
The secretary of defense decision to transition all defense intelligence employees currently in pay bands, except National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency employees, to grades will result in use of 15 grades and 10 tenure-based steps similar to the GS structure.
“The secretary’s decision does not represent abandonment of DCIPS and its fundamental tenets of unifying the Defense Intelligence Enterprise within a performance-driven culture,” said Jennifer Mendoza, the AFPC DCIPS program manager.
However, excluding the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, future base pay increases will not be directly linked to performance and employees will be aligned to the DCIPS graded structure, Mendoza explained.
Joy is in the doing for AF women trailblazers
“Things done are won; joy’s soul is in the doing.” This quote from one of Shakespeare’s most ambiguous plays, Troilus and Cressida, appears to be the constant theme behind the careers of many of the Air Force’s most accomplished women.
Whether it was The Honorable Sheila Widnall, the 18th Secretary of the Air Force (1993-97) “â€ and the first and only woman to take the oath of office as the secretary of any of the armed forces “â€ who came out of academia to answer her country’s call; or Lt. Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger, a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy in engineering sciences, who has come up through the ranks to be nominated by President Obama to be the Air Force’s first female four-star general; or Maj. Nicole Malachowski, who in 2006 was the first woman pilot on the precision flying team the Air Force Thunderbirds, the same can be said of each: One success served only to provide the inspiration and firm foundation for the next.
The joy of doing, and a recurring theme of innovation, is also the distinguishing theme throughout others’ careers, as well. The four following highlighted careers are, like the three mentioned above, women who put a human face on Air Force excellence. Whether it’s in academia, service, or leadership, whether they serve stateside or overseas, in times of peace or theatres of conflict, these are very human and inspiring lives.
AF leaders discuss planned force structure changes
The Air Force secretary and chief of staff discussed planned force structure changes, and efforts to balance service active-duty and reserve components, during congressional testimony here March 20.
During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said the service’s fiscal 2013 budget request represents the culmination of many hard decisions regarding the Air Force’s future given new strategic guidance and declining budgets.
“Finding the proper balance between force structure, readiness, and modernization has been our guiding principle,” Donley said. “In short, we determined that the Air Force’s best course of action is to trade size for quality.”
Responding to committee members’ questions regarding the Air Force’s plan to divest its C-27J Spartan fleet and instead rely on the C-130 Hercules, Donley said the twin-turboprop C-27J satisfies a narrow piece of the direct support mission the Air Force provides the Army.