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.
Carter talks budget, readiness at Nellis
Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited Nellis Air Force Base Feb. 4 during the last leg of his defense budget installation visits.
After meeting with service members at the California-based Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Carter spoke to Nellis Airmen to preview the fiscal 2017 defense budget and discuss its impact on the Air Force.
“The key is readiness; that’s the key to the Air Force today and tomorrow, and it happens here,” Carter said. “What I’m asking the Air Force to do is maintain a very high level of readiness.
The defense secretary spoke about attaining a lasting defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, while also ensuring the department is ready for potential conflict with higher-end adversaries and more technologically advanced threats in the future.
Carter said the men and women of the Air Force — like the ones he visited earlier in the day at the 66th Rescue Squadron and 823rd Maintenance Squadron — will be the keys to the direction the Defense Department plans to take the service in the future.
Air Force announces year two adjustments
Incorporating various observations and assessments from the first year under the new enlisted evaluation and promotion systems, the Air Force is making several adjustments for year two to ease execution and strengthen processes.
In 2015, the Air Force began execution of the new enlisted evaluation and promotion systems with the goal of ensuring performance as the main factor when promoting or evaluating Airmen. The new systems also increased a commander’s opportunities to identify top performers and clearly indicate an Airman’s promotion potential to the boards.
Enlisted performance reports available for review by senior NCO evaluation boards will decrease from the previous 10 to five years beginning with the calendar year 2016 master sergeant evaluation board. This change allows an increased focus on recent performance and compliments implementation of restricted stratification and forced distribution rules that also emphasize recent performance.
With the change from reviewing 10 years of reports decreased to five years, the Air Force is also transitioning to a single-phase process for the upcoming master sergeant evaluation board.
122 specialties get high year of tenure extension
Eligible senior airmen, staff sergeants, technical sergeants, and master sergeants in 122 Air Force specialties can apply for a high year of tenure extension and, if approved, will be able to extend between 12 and 24 months past their current HYT.
Eligible Airmen who apply for an extension should be approved by their unit commander or civilian leader, and should meet regular re-enlistment criteria as well. Airmen with a re-enlistment restriction are not eligible to apply for an HYT extension.
The HYT extension application window is open through May 31, 2017.
Eligible Airmen with a current HYT in February 2016 should apply as soon as possible to obtain approval prior to their current HYT. Eligible Airmen with a current HYT March 1 through May 31, 2016, should apply at least 30 days prior to their current HYT. All other eligible Airmen should submit their requests for extension at least 120 days prior to their current HYT.
Biking brings hope to wounded, recovering vets
Members from Creech Air Force Base volunteered as part of the Ride 2 Recovery program and brought more than 20 wounded and recovering veterans together for the Vegas Challenge Feb. 1 through 3 in Blue Diamond, Nevada.
The challenge provided wounded veterans the opportunity to come together with others battling some form of injury. Nestled in the rocky mountainous terrain of the Nevada desert, the veterans biked for more than 20 miles over a three-day span for team building, confidence boosting and physical therapy.
Paul, a 799th Security Forces Squadron resource advisor, is a representative for Project Hero, which is a local chapter of the R2R providing daily interaction and training with the veterans. He said seeing the change in the veterans after participating in the events is amazing.
“What this program does is exercising for rehabilitation through bike riding,” Paul said. “Not only does it help with the physical portion, it also helps with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and gets them out there socializing with other people.”