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.
Joint strike fighter on track, costs coming down
Indications are that the F-35 joint strike fighter program — the most expensive aviation program in Defense Department history — is on track, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics told a Senate panel June 19.
Testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee this morning, Frank Kendall said the F-35 will be the premier strike aircraft for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.
“The department’s and my focus has been on the efforts to control costs on the program, and to achieve a more stable design so that we could increase the production rate to more economical quantities,” Kendall told the senators. “Indications at this time are that these efforts are succeeding.”
The program, begun in President George W. Bush’s administration, is about 90 percent through the development program and 40 percent through flight testing.
Kendall said he anticipates being able to complete the development effort within the planned cost and schedule.
Hagel discusses ‘State of DOD’ in Nebraska speech
In a wide-ranging speech recently given at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, his alma mater, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel talked about the necessity of adapting the nation’s military to operate in a world that’s undergoing far-reaching geopolitical, technological and economic change.
“The world is changing, and America’s national security structure, including our military, must change with it,” he said. “How America responds to the challenges of this new world will direct our future.”
Even as U.S. forces transition to a noncombat mission in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, he said, Syria, Iran and North Korea all remain uncertain security challenges whose volatility requires a range of rapid and flexible response. With defense budgets over the foreseeable future also uncertain, the secretary said, vital strategic choices are unavoidable.
Hagel listed forces he said are “reshaping our world” as:
- The rising importance of Asia
- The outbreak of revolution and sectarian conflict across the Middle East and North Africa
- The continuing impact of financial crises and recessions in Europe
SEAC shares joint chiefs of staff’s priorities
“This is a profession we are in, and it’s so much more powerful than just working a 7-to-5 job. It becomes your way of life,” said U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia, senior enlisted advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The SEAC visited RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath June 19 and 20 for an in-depth orientation of the mission, roles and responsibilities the two bases perform. His trip to the bases culminated in a town hall meeting where the SEAC presented to Airmen the chairman of the JCS’ four key priorities: achieve our national objectives in the current conflicts; develop Joint Force 2020; renew our commitment to the profession of arms and keep faith with our military family. Battaglia also discussed a variety of topics to include resiliency, being a relevant and all-volunteer force and embracing innovation.
“The chairman’s priorities are my priorities,” the SEAC said. “I do have some initiatives that are very important to me. Being ready and relevant is critical for us to exist and survive as the all-volunteer force we are.”
AF website focuses on Men’s Health Month
The Air Force Medical Service supports Men’s Health Month to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of diseases among men, such as prostate cancer.
Each year thousands of men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. More than 30 million men suffer from prostate conditions that negatively affect their quality of life.
The Air Force Center of Excellence for Medical Multimedia Men’s Health website http://www.menshealthatoz.org/ offers a guide to prostate health and various conditions that can affect the health of men. It provides a sensitive and informative exploration of men’s health issues, including benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, a condition that involves an enlarged prostate. The program provides specific information covering risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, side effects of treatment and life after treatment.
Other website topics include diagnostic techniques used by health care professionals and insights about the recovery process, while 3-D Animation provides a tool to help patients clearly understand the information. The CEMM Men’s Health website also offers a section with real patients and survivors sharing courageous stories about their own experiences.