PEOPLE FIRST – January 15, 2016


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.

More sexual assault reports show growing trust in system

More military service academy cadets and midshipmen in the 2014-15 school year reported instances of sexual assault and harassment, indicating growing trust in the reporting system, a Defense Department official said Jan. 7.

Dr. Nathan Galbreath, senior executive advisor for the DOD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, said the increase in reporting suggests growing confidence in the response system.

Speaking via teleconference and joined by Dr. Elizabeth Van Winkle of the Defense Manpower Data Center, Galbreath said the department’s assessment teams found “good indicators of progress” in the DOD Annual Report on Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Military Service Academies for academic program year 2014-2015.

The academies received 91 sexual assault reports over the 2014-15 school year, an increase of 32 reports from the previous school year, Galbreath said.

Reports of sexual assault do not reflect how often the crime actually occurs, he added. Instead, he said, the department and many civilian agencies use scientific surveys to estimate how many people experienced a sexual assault.

Solar Ready Vets program begins first class at Hill AFB

The Solar Ready Vets program announced by President Barack Obama during a visit to Hill Air Force Base in April 2015 will begin training the first class of 24 veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce.

The training, which begins Feb. 1 is being provided by Salt Lake Community College in partnership with the Department of Energy, which oversees the initiative. Some of the training will take place in Hill classrooms and some will be online “self-driven” learning.

“We’ve got to be relentless in our work to grow the economy and create good jobs,” Obama said during his visit. “I think everybody here at Hill understands that one of the most important aspects of national security is strong economic security.”

Hill was chosen to be part of the program based on the number of exiting military personnel from the installation, the strength of the surrounding solar market and the capacity of nearby training institutions.

The base acquires 20 percent or more of its overall energy from renewable energy sources. The base’s solar array installation was completed in June 2009, making it Utah’s largest ground-mounted photovoltaic system at the time.

IRS Form 1095 available on myPay

All active-duty, Guard, Reserve, retiree and civilian Airmen will need proof of health care coverage when filing their federal tax returns for 2015.

“This is the first year that Affordable Care Act requires health care validation for filing their taxes and Airmen need this information,” said Robert Burke, the Air Force Accounting and Finance Office director, finance division.

Under the ACA, U.S. citizens and legal residents are required to obtain and maintain a minimum standard of health care insurance, called minimum essential coverage. The proof of minimum essential coverage will be provided by the Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service Form 1095. TRICARE is one of many health providers qualifying for this coverage.

In January 2016, Defense Finance and Accounting Service is required to provide each employee with the IRS Form 1095 for employment during 2015. A hard copy form is scheduled to be mailed to each employee and the form will also be available electronically through myPay under the taxes section.

Building better warfighters through human development

When the mission is to create better leaders, quantifying success presents a challenge, but for one fighter jet training squadron, the proof is undeniable.

The pilots of the 435th Fighter Training Squadron, Randolph Air Force Base, San Antonio, have seen an 85 percent reduction over the past year in both their student dropout rate in the unit’s Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals Course and the washout rate for their students’ follow-on training.

Dubbed the Deadly Black Eagles, the unit attributes this significant success to their commander attending a Profession of Arms Center of Excellence’s course, Professionalism — Enhancing Human Capital, in 2014. The course focuses on generating a foundational understanding of trust, authority and influence to create leaders who recognize how professionalism drives behavior and who can develop environments that build increased commitment to the Air Force core values.

The squadron’s transformation began 18 months ago when the commander, Lt. Col. Mark Schmidt, attended PACE’s course and took the tools he learned back to his team.