Air Force

June 13, 2014

Air Force News – June 13, 2014

California

The Air Force awarded a $914,699,474 contract to Lockheed Martin on June 2 to develop a system that will track objects in Earth’s orbit with far greater confidence and fidelity. The projected initial operational capability is fiscal year 2019.

Germany

This past Memorial Day, the 37th Air Squadron at Ramstein Air Base welcomed the Douglas C-47 Skytrain known as Whiskey 7, allowing them to not only commemorate the 70th Anniversary of D-Day but also experience a piece of their squadron’s rich history.

Italy

F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base are conducting close air support training missions this week during Exercise ADRIATIC STRIKE in Postojna, Slovenia. The CAS-focused, multinational exercise tests the interoperability and technical expertise of joint terminal attack controllers or JTACs from nine countries.

Poland

U.S. and Polish airmen started training together June 2 at Lask Air Base during the largest theater security cooperation event ever hosted by the U.S. Air Force Aviation Detachment in Poland. This involved 18 U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft from the 480th Fighter Squadron and nearly 400 personnel from the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.

AF to implement new feedback process July 1

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — In a recent message to Airmen, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody announced plans to begin implementing a more comprehensive Air Force evaluation system for officers and enlisted Airmen.

The first step in the process will be the July 1 implementation of the Airman Comprehensive Assessment Worksheet performance feedback tool, Air Force officials said in a June 9 release.

The ACA Worksheet, tested in 2012 by 45,000 Airmen, introduces a tool and a process designed to improve communication between supervisors and subordinates while reminding Airmen of the importance of Air Force core values and the role they play in accomplishing the mission, said Will Brown, Air Force Personnel Center Evaluation and Recognition Programs branch chief.

Of significance, the ACA form and process require Airmen to assess themselves prior to a face-to-face feedback session with their supervisor.

“This gives Airmen the opportunity to reflect on their own knowledge and awareness of our responsibility, accountability, and our core values, and enables them to identify areas where they need more information and education,” Brown said. “An Airman will complete the self-assessment portion of the worksheet and provide it to the supervisor two or three days before the feedback session, which gives the supervisor time to tailor the session to that Airman’s specific needs.”

To be effective, however, Brown believes all Airmen must follow the process and use the form as it is intended to be used.

“During the test phase, Airmen who used the form and process as intended saw notable improvement in communication, morale and productivity,” Brown said. “Clearly, this is an opportunity for supervisors and their Airmen to grow together. But it will only work if we use it.”

The new form and process illustrate the emphasis the Air Force places on communicating for success. According to Cody, proper feedback is the most important element of a strong evaluation system.

“It is the only way we can cultivate a culture that drives performance. Airmen must know what we expect of them,” Cody said. “We owe them direction and guidance so they can reach their fullest potential and capitalize on opportunities. If we fail at feedback, we fail our Airmen.”

Learning to use the form won’t be hard, according to Brown. Form numbers are the same, AF Form 931 for airmen basic through technical sergeants, AF Form 932 for master through chief master sergeants and AF Form 724 for lieutenants through colonels.

“This is about more than using a form, though,” Brown said. “This is about developing strong relationships with our Airmen. This is about talking to them, caring about what they need and want, showing them how to succeed and teaching them to make good choices.”

The essence of successful evaluation is captured in worksheets that focus on standards like responsibility, accountability, understanding the Air Force culture, and understanding and meeting performance expectations.

In addition, the form requires the rater to clarify the Airman’s role in support of the mission.

“When an Airman can see how he or she directly impacts the mission, that’s motivational,” Brown said. “Too often, young Airmen don’t know how their work impacts the end goal. It’s tough to be motivated and excited when you don’t know if your job matters, so this section will help us educate and motivate our Airmen.”

The new form also includes an individual readiness index identifying whether or not an Airmen is deployable.

“Ours is a mobile force, so this addition helps us remind Airmen that we have global responsibilities,” Brown said.

The performance feedback section is the most familiar part of the form. It requires the rater to tell the Airman specifically how well he or she is doing in job knowledge, leadership skills, resource management, communication and more.

“This section has far more depth than the old feedback forms,” Brown said. “We want to be crystal clear on what the expectations are and how well Airmen are doing. Airmen want to succeed and here’s where we tell them how.”

Also new to the feedback process is the “knowing your Airman” section. Although discussion driven by this section isn’t for evaluation purposes, it enables raters and supervisors to talk about Airmen’s goals and dreams, to vector Airmen toward achieving those goals and dreams, and to help their Airmen find a mentor, and become a mentor.

For more information about enlisted evaluations, and other personnel issues, visit the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil. Select “search all components” from the drop down menu and enter “Enlisted: Evaluations Home Page” in the search window.

 

Inter-American Squadron Officer School candidate applications due in July

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Active-duty captains proficient in the Spanish language may be eligible to attend the Inter-American Squadron Officer School, or ISOS, at the Inter-American Air Forces Academy, Air Force Personnel Center officials said.

“The ISOS program is designed to develop dynamic Airmen ready to lead air, space, and cyberspace power in an expeditionary war-fighting environment,” said 1st Lt. Kyle Seifert, the AFPC force development support chief. “Students practice leadership and managerial skills, using lessons on leadership, military ethics, Air Force core values and human rights.”

Commander-endorsed applications are due July 25.

“The course requires specific language proficiency levels and fitness standards, so interested captains should begin preparing now to make sure they have time to complete all the required documents and coordinate the application for their commanders’ endorsements,” Seifert said.

Fiscal year 2015 class dates will be Oct. 9 through Dec. 10; Feb. 17 through April 15, 2015, and June 8 through Aug. 5, 2015.

For more information about developmental opportunities and other personnel issues, visit the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil. To review ISOS application procedures and eligibility criteria, select “search all components” from the drop down menu, enter “ISOS” in the search window and select PSDM 14-48.




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Air Force News – May 15, 2015

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