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.
SecAF, CSAF testify on fiscal 2017 AF posture
Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee on the fiscal 2017 Air Force posture on Capitol Hill Feb. 10.
Both James and Welsh stressed that the need for airpower continues to rise and the gap between the U.S. Air Force and its closest pursuers is closing.
“Bottom line here is that … we are fully engaged in every region of the world, in every mission area, across the full spectrum of military operations,” James said. “Put simply: we have never been busier on such a sustained and global basis.”
The Fiscal Year 2017 Air Force Posture Statement states the president’s fiscal 2017 budget aims to build, train and equip an Air Force capable of responding to today’s and tomorrow’s threats.
“The United States can’t fight, much less win, today’s wars without airpower,” Welsh said. “That’s just the way modern warfare has moved. The demand signal for that airpower continues to rise.
AF officials announce FY 2017 budget force structure changes
Air Force officials released force structure changes resulting from the president’s fiscal 2017 budget Feb. 12.
This year’s budget request continues the momentum gained from the recovery provided by the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act, but still reflects the tough choices the Air Force was forced to make as the demand for Air Force capability continues to increase as the Budget Control Act looms in fiscal 2018.
The fiscal 2017 budget leverages the total force — active duty, Guard and Reserve — to maintain the service’s ability to support ongoing operations while ensuring the service is ready to face future threats. The budget keeps the active-duty force at 317,000 while posturing the force for future growth. Guard and Reserve manning will remain constant, but the Air Force will continue plans to transfer aircraft and flying missions to Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve locations that would otherwise have no mission due to fleet divestments.
The budget rephases divestment of the A-10 Thunderbolt II to coincide with fielding of follow-on capabilities and will delay retirement of the first A-10s until fiscal 2018.
Air Force continues to improve care in the air
The Air Force is committed to research and development for advancements in en route patient care.
The Air Mobility Command Surgeon General’s office and researchers across the Air Force, to include the 711th Human Resource Wing at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, have been working together to improve how the Air Force provides care in the air. The AMC/SG is responsible for clinical oversight of the Air Force aeromedical evacuation (AE) system.
“Over the last 15 years, the joint community has made tremendous strides in providing care to our wounded warriors,” said Col. Susan Dukes, the En Route Care Research Division chief for the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine at Wright Patterson AFB.
“We now have programs of research specific to en route care. It’s very important to clinicians and researchers to capture lessons learned in order to improve our policies and procedures for patient care,” Dukes said.
About every 12 to18 months, AMC conducts a capability based assessment which informs the surgeon general’s office where gaps are across the en route care spectrum.
AF culture, standards now in palm of hand
A series of mobile applications developed by the 367th Training Support Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is giving Airmen ready access to Air Force standards, culture and basic doctrine.
While the unit — part of the 82nd Training Wing’s 782nd Training Group at Sheppard AFB, Texas — typically focuses on computer-based training in support of aircraft maintenance, its unique skill set proved a perfect match when the Air Force was looking for a way to put the “little blue book” and other core Air Force documents literally into the hands of Airmen.
“Our focus is mainly on developing computer-based training or videos for maintainers on the flightline,” said Tech. Sgt. Kaimi Pacheco, the app designer. “So developing mobile apps is a little out of the norm for us, which is challenging. The other products we create are mostly linear, or step by step, in nature, but when you’re developing apps you have to include functionality that lets the user go in many different directions.”
Still, the team was confident it could not only get the job done, but get it done quickly and exceed expectations.