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.
The 2014 Critical Days of Summer, May 23 through Sept. 2, focuses on risk management of all summer activities — on and off duty. This year’s theme, “Risk: Double checks, not second thoughts,” reminds Airmen to be responsible wingmen and to take care of themselves, their families, and their teammates.
Last year’s Critical Days of Summer ended with the loss of 21 Airmen. There have already been 27 fatalities this fiscal year as of May 15. According to Bill Parsons, the Air Force chief of ground safety, every Airman has a role in reversing that trend with a summer of zero fatalities.
“We can achieve that goal by using all the risk management techniques available, including activity planning and being responsible wingmen,” Parsons said.
Alcohol, which plays a large part in many summer pastimes, impairs decision-making and is a factor in too many of these tragedies. Other significant factors include speed, distractions and fatigue, he said.
“Each Airman is critical to our mission,” Parsons said.
Three retention boards cancelled
Based on voluntary and other mandatory retirement losses, the Air Force has met the overall end strength goal for chief master sergeant. There is no longer a need to conduct a chief master sergeant retention board this year.
Based on voluntary retirements received, there is no longer a need to conduct a major nurse corps or biomedical science corps enhanced selective early retirement board.
Voluntary separation pay
The Air Force Personnel Center continued processing officer and enlisted VSP applications for the window that closed May 1, with 3,427 enlisted and 932 officer applications approved. Notifications were sent out this week to those Airmen and their commanders.
Additional temporary early retirement authority window
The additional TERA window for deployed Airmen and those serving overseas closed May 13. AFPC received 123 eligible officer and enlisted TERA applications.
The personnel at the 690th Network Support Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Kelly Field Annex are working hard to put an end to long periods of telephone waiting time with a new product called the Virtual Enterprise Service Desk.
The product, also known as vESD, is a client-based application that serves as a communication platform between the Air Force Enterprise Service Desk and all 850,000 plus users in the Air Force network. Currently, the product is going through a trial period and is expected to be released in October 2014.
The ESD provides computer related support to all Air Force military and civilian personnel. The 690th NSS is responsible for establishing, operating and maintaining the ESD.
“This tool helps modernize cyber operations across the Air Force,” said Lt. Col. Mark Reith, 690th NSS unit commander. “It brings the Air Force into industry standards and allows us to use our precious human resources more effectively.”
Work on the application began in March when the 690th NSS partnered with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center and the Air Force Integration Center.
Eligible active-duty officers interested in 2015 advanced academic degree and experience broadening opportunities can now apply for various developmental programs, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced.
Some officers may also be eligible to apply for instructor pipeline programs with the U.S. Air Force Academy and Air Force Institute of Technology.
“The Advanced Academic Degree and Special Experience Exchange Duties program helps us deliberately develop Airmen by focusing on the right education, training and experience at the right time in their careers,” said Sophia Barnard, with the AFPC staff and special duty assignments branch. “It also helps us foster warfighting competencies in world-class leaders.”
Available programs include the Air Force Institute of Technology or Naval Postgraduate School, Education with Industry, Space Lift Education and Crossover Program, Space Acquisition Exchange Program, Acquisition and Intelligence Experience Exchange Tour, and more.