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.
Nominations open for spirit of service award
Air Force officials are accepting nominations for the 2013 American Legion Spirit of Service Award.
The award is sponsored by the American Legion national headquarters and is presented annually to one enlisted member from each of the military branches for outstanding volunteer service performed off-duty in the local community Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2012.
Enlisted Airmen through staff sergeants are eligible. Organizations and base-level personnel must contact their major command, field operating agency, or direct reporting unit for applicable suspense dates and additional information regarding nomination procedures. Each major command, field operating area and direct reporting unit may submit one nomination. Completed nomination packages are due to AFPC by April 15.
Awards will be presented during the Aug. 23 to 29 American Legion National Convention in Houston, Texas.
Accountability made easy with mobile support
Events ranging from the catastrophic storms in the northeast to the tsunami in Japan have displaced many Airmen and civilians throughout the past few years resulting in numerous reasons to use the Air Force Personnel Accountability and Assessment System.
The Air Force uses AFPAAS to account, access, manage and monitor the recovery process for personnel and their families to include active-duty Airmen, selected Reserve members, Department of the Air Force personnel, nonappropriated fund civilian employees, Air Force contractors assigned overseas and family members.
“In the wake of Superstorm Sandy and in light of the upcoming hurricane season, we advise everyone to log into AFPAAS and verify their personal information as well as family member information,” said Terri Donahoe, Air Force Personnel Center readiness branch chief. “This ensures that in the event of an evacuation or disaster, leaders have your accurate home, work and personal phone numbers, as well as your address, where you’re staying and the names of your family members.”
DOD implements secure program for mobile devices
The Defense Department is rolling out a program that will allow users of a range of mobile devices — working anywhere from remote battlefields to the Pentagon to rapidly share classified and protected data across all components.
More than 600,000 DOD employees, from Soldiers on the front lines to Joint Staff planners, use government-issued mobile devices, mostly BlackBerry phones. Several thousand of the mobile devices in use in the DOD are capable of handling classified data.
The goal of the implementation plan announced today is to ensure that mobile devices throughout the department — as well as their apps, email and other functions, and the wireless networks supporting them — can operate securely in often hostile and remote environments and can adapt to ever-changing technology, even as the number of users expands.
Teri Takai, DOD’s chief information officer, told American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel that the challenge for the DOD has been to design a unified system capable of fully leveraging the potential of devices that often differ in capabilities and sophistication in a way that will allow users to communicate in a secure, wireless environment.
MilPDS upgrade begins
Editor’s note: This is first in a series of articles to inform total force Airmen about personnel programs affected by the Military Personnel Data System upgrade occurring in March.
The Military Personnel Data System is offline for 23 days as of Monday to allow the Air Force Personnel Operations Agency to upgrade and transfer military personnel data to the Defense Information Systems Agency Defense Enterprise Computing Center, Air Force Personnel Center officials said.
MilPDS is the primary records database for personnel data and actions that occur throughout every total force Airman’s career. The system is also used to initiate Airman pay actions, maintain Air Force accountability and strength data and support a host of interactions with other Air Force processes and systems that rely on personnel data.
Planning and preparation for the upgrade have been ongoing for over a year as systems specialists worked to develop an implementation plan and test transfer actions before beginning the full-transfer, said Anthony Delgado, AFPOA MilPDS functional manager.
“MilPDS is an old platform that has not kept up with the times,” he said. “Because systems changes over the years have been so significant, trying to maintain MilPDS in its current state is very risky — we could lose some irreplaceable data. The only viable solution is to bring the entire system down, fully upgrade everything so that it’s compatible with current technologies, and stand it all back up.”