Air Force

January 17, 2014

New secretary testifies to commission on total force

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James answers a question during a hearing of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force Jan. 9 in Arlington, Va. The commission is tasked to submit a report by Feb. 1 to the president of the United States and to the congressional defense committees with a detailed statement of its findings and conclusions.

WASHINGTON — The Air Force will rely more on its Air National Guard and Reserve components in the future with the aim to preserve more capabilities as the service seeks to reduce its number of service members, the service’s top leader said Jan.9.

In her first testimony as secretary of the Air Force, Deborah Lee James addressed members of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force.

The commission will make recommendations on whether, and how, the structure should be modified to best fulfill current and anticipated mission requirements for the Air Force in a manner consistent with available resources.

James, who was formally sworn in as the 23rd secretary Dec. 20, 2013, spoke at length about the future of the total force.

“I see our Air Force as a smaller Air Force over time, but a more capable Air Force,” James said, emphasizing the importance of developing leaders with experience across the components.  “I would like to see our Air Force 10 years from now be led by a chief of staff who has had major reserve component experience.”

The Air Force needs to do a better job of relying on its Guard and Reserve components, she said.  As a result, she feels this evolution will preserve the force and its capabilities.

On the topic of readiness, which service leaders have expressed concerns about since sequestration was implemented; James called into question the option of going to a “tiered readiness” model.

“I’m not convinced at all that this form of tiered readiness is workable,” James said. “In fact, I’d say it’s not workable for the Air Force. We need to be ready right away, and not in a tiered approach.”

To maintain readiness, the service is slated to reduce military members by up to 25,000 during the next five years, along with other cost-saving measures.

Looking to the future size of the Air Force, James noted every component will feel the impacts of force management.

“No component is going to be totally sheltered by force shaping and reduction,” James said. “We want to get the best defense for our nation, particularly when resources are scarce.”

In 1993, James held the position of assistant secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, and while that job prepared her for her commission appearance, she said she hopes the need for the conversation will disappear in the future.

“I hope 10 years from now we won’t be debating issues like this because it would be second nature,” James said.  “The key thing is to blur the lines between components.”

Throughout her testimony, James noted that developing the Air Force is an indefinite task you can never close the book on, but always improve upon.

“We will always be in a certain state of evolution,” James said. “The final chapter on this is not yet written.”

The Commission is tasked to submit a report, containing a comprehensive study and recommendations, by Feb. 1, 2014, to the president of the United States and the congressional defense committees.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

Nellis readies for Red Flag 15-2

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 555th Fighter Squadron, Aviano Air Base, Italy, approaches the runway for landing during Red Flag 15-1 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb....
 
 

Nellis to host AF wounded warrior trials

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, British and Australian wounded warriors will convene here Feb. 27 through March 5 for the 2015 Air Force Trials. The trials are an adaptive sports event designed to promote the mental and physical well-being of seriously ill and injured military members and veterans. Nellis...
 
 

75-day leave carryover ending September 30

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Effective Sept. 30, military members will no longer be able to carry more than 60 days of leave into the next fiscal year, in accordance with 2013 National Defense Authorization Act requirements. Unless they are approved for special leave accrual, regular Air Force and Active Guard Reserve members who have...
 

 

AEF Teaming brings new order of business to deployments

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — For many Airmen deployments are hard to understand, and for leaders they’re hard to sell and to sustain. Implemented in Oct. 2014, Air Expeditionary Forces Teaming was designed as a way to improve predictability, visibility and stability for units and Airmen while maintaining the flexibility to satisfy combatant commander...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler

Pushed to limit: Red Flag participants leave prepped for success

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A B-2 Spirit assigned to the 393rd Bomb Squadron, Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., makes a final approach before landing during Red Flag 15-1 at Nellis AFB, Nev., Feb. 6. The B...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo

Air Force Medicine: A vision for future

U.S. Air Force photo Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Thomas W. Travis is the Surgeon General of the Air Force, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. WASHINGTON  — The United States Air Force’s core missions are air and space super...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin