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 illustration by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

New inspection system taking form at Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika With the new Air Force Inspection System taking form, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Airmen will no longer spend weeks and months preparing for a one-week inspection, b...
 
 
U.S. Air Force illustration by Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter

15 seconds: A rude awakening

U.S. Air Force illustration by Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter Airmen and their families hit the road every summer to travel and enjoy a little relaxation. When making travel arrangements that involve driving long distances, be sure...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

Nellis’ newest mayor discusses hopes, goals

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Col. Richard Boutwell, 99th Air Base Wing commander, shares a story with a member of the 99th Contracting Squadron during his unit immersion at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Aug. 1...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jason Couillard

Community outreach hosts Honorary Commander induction ceremony

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jason Couillard Col. Richard Boutwell, 99th Air Base Wing commander, speaks to attendees of the Honorary Commander Induction Ceremony at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Aug. 7, 2014. The goal ...
 
 

AF implements static EPR closeout dates, eliminates change of reporting

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — The first in a series of changes to the enlisted evaluation and promotion systems announced July 31 will include implementation of static enlisted performance report closeout dates, or SCOD, for each grade and elimination of change of reporting official EPRs. Evaluation system changes are focused on purposefully evolving the enlisted...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Young

Running toward better health, wellness

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Young Senior Airman Ahlavatuah Garrett-Johnson, 99th Security Forces Squadron installation entry controller journeyman, finishes her Air Force fitness assessment at Nellis Air Force...
 




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