(U.S.Air Force)Air Force Print News Update for July 16, 2013…United States Air Force sent this bulletin at 07/16/2013 03:28 PM CDT

Air Force Print News Update for July 16, 2013
United States Air Force sent this bulletin at 07/16/2013 03:28 PM CDT

Air Force Print News Update for July 16, 2013  PDF

ポートフォリオ_Photo_Air Force Print News Update for July 16, 2013  PDF

130621-Z-EG664-0632

(U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Connie Reed)

Today’s stories include:

10 special duties become developmental opportunities
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123355755

Special duties require commander nomination
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123356081

Combat Air Forces to resume flying
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123355835

AF encourages Airmen to be key part of SAPR solution
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123355996

Sequestration impact looms despite resumed flying operations
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123355995

All stories in this message as well as any referenced images are in the public domain and do not require copyright release. Story submissions should be sent to afnewsdesk@dma.mil

America’s Air Force… Integrity, Service, Excellence

10 special duties become developmental opportunities

by Debbie Gildea
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Selection for 10 special duty fields is now a nominative rather than volunteer-based process, Air Force officials announced today.

In the past, any qualified Airman who met eligibility criteria defined in the special duty catalog could apply for a special duty opportunity. However, as resources become scarcer, Air Force leaders feel it is increasingly important to deliberately place the most qualified Airmen in several key roles which have an impact on Airmen across the service.

The Air Force formed a cross-functional working group to examine all special duty programs and selection criteria. The group determined that for certain special duties, a more deliberate eligibility and selection process could help maintain manning levels in those positions as well as open a leadership development path for promising enlisted members, said Chief Master Sgt. Steve Nichols, the Air Force enlisted force policy branch chief. The selected special duties are those that create, develop and care for Airmen. In addition some of these selected special duties represent the Air Force enlisted corps on a national stage.

“The identified positions are inherently stressful and demanding, and our volunteers have done an exceptional job over the years – I am confident the vast majority would be nominated under the new process,” Nichols said. “This change allows us to ensure that we are systematically preparing the best of the best to assume their place as tomorrow’s leaders.”

Selected because of their unique leadership roles and the responsibility to mentor and mold young Airmen, the following duties are now developmental opportunities: career assistance advisor, military training instructor, military training leader, U.S. Air Force Academy military training NCO, Airman and Family Readiness Center NCO, first sergeant, USAF Honor Guard NCO, enlisted accessions recruiter and professional military education instructor. In addition, Air Force specialty training instructors identified with a “T” prefix will be developmental special duties.

“The special duties identified are leadership positions with broad impact on Airmen, families and the future of the Air Force,” Nichols said. “Nominees must be capable of and committed to developing and caring for the Airmen in their charge.”

Commanders will nominate their best performers for developmental special duty positions, and personnel teams will work with career field leaders to ensure the right people in the right numbers are selected, Nichols said.

Major commands are tasked with specific numbers for each special duty, so no one command or career field will be overtaxed, he added.

“Nomination for a developmental duty assignment is the commander’s vote of confidence in an Airman – a statement of belief in an Airman’s character, skill and integrity,” Nichols said.

Not all special duty assignments have been designated as developmental, Nichols said. Airmen interested in broadening opportunities can still go to the Equal Plus website and browse, or review the special duty catalog on the myPers website.

For more information about career development opportunities and other personnel issues, go to myPers at https://mypers.af.mil.

Special duties require commander nomination

by Debbie Gildea
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — The selection process for 10 special duty positions now requires unit commander nomination and hiring authority certification, Air Force Personnel Center officials said.

The process change implemented this month affects staff sergeant, technical sergeant and master sergeant positions in special duties selected because of their unique leadership roles and the responsibility to mentor and mold young Airmen, said Chief Master Sgt. Charles Mills, the AFPC Airman assignments division superintendent.

Enlisted developmental special duties deemed developmental because they represent the enlisted corps, and create, develop and care for our Airmen include: career assistance advisor, military training instructor, military training leader, U.S. Air Force Academy military training NCO, Airman and Family Readiness Center NCO, first sergeant, USAF Honor Guard NCO, enlisted accessions recruiter and professional military education Instructor. In addition, Air Force specialty training instructors identified with a “T” prefix will be developmental special duties.

“The selected fields have direct, long-term impact on members’ personal and professional lives and it is critical that they be fully-manned by top quality Airmen,” Mills said. “Past and current volunteers have been outstanding, but this process will help ensure we continue to have top caliber men and women in these positions.”

To be considered for nomination, Airmen must be staff, technical or master sergeants with at least four years of service remaining before they reach their high year of tenure. Nominees must have exhibited excellence in their core career field with a skill level commensurate with their grade, and have an overall “5” on their last three enlisted performance reports.

“As role models and mentors, nominees must maintain very high standards. For example, they must have an 80 or above on the last two fitness tests or a 90 or higher on the most recent test and cannot have a failure in any portion of the test,” Mills said.

In addition, beginning in October 2014, nominees who have not completed their Community College of the Air Force degree must be within 12 hours of completion.

The nominative process is based on a minimum quota for each major command that will be levied every six months. Major commands are encouraged to exceed their minimum quota by nominating as many of their best Airmen for these developmental duties. Major commands will submit nominations to AFPC, but the nomination process begins at the unit level.

“Squadron commanders are in the best position to know their Airmen’s strengths, abilities and interests, so they will review the developmental duties and identify nominees appropriate for a developmental special duty,” Mills said. “They will identify three developmental duties for each nominee.”

Wing commanders and command chiefs will review and validate squadron commander nominations, as well, before they are submitted to the major command.

Once a nominee is certified and accepted by the hiring manager, he or she will get an assignment notification through the personnel assignment system and will have 45 days to complete and submit the special duty application.

Airmen who are nominated for a developmental duty, but are not selected remain eligible for selection, in the event of future openings. Airmen need not wait for a developmental duty nomination to look for career broadening opportunities. There are non-developmental special duties listed in the special duty catalog. Airmen who meet eligibility criteria can still volunteer for one of those, Mills said.

“This is a significant process change, and some Airmen may be uncomfortable with it,” the chief explained.” Keep in mind that a commander’s nomination is a vote of confidence in your ability and character. Not all Airmen will be nominated, and not all nominees will be selected because this isn’t just about filling empty positions. We are building future leaders committed to caring for Airmen and serving their nation.”

For more information about developmental duties and other career opportunities, visit the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil.

Combat Air Forces to resume flying

JOINT BASE LANGELY-EUSTIS, Va. (AFNS) — Combat Air Forces, or CAF, units from multiple commands began flying again today after many stopped flying in April of this year due to sequestration.

The restored flying hour program represents Congressional action on the $1.8 billion overseas contingency operations reprogramming action made peacetime dollars available. The Air Force Council approved the use of $423 million of those dollars to restore flying hours for affected units.

The money reinstates critical training and test operations for the CAF fleet across the Air Force for the remainder of fiscal 2013. This impacts not just Air Combat Command units, but also CAF units assigned to United States Air Forces Europe and Pacific Air Forces.

For ACC, the restored flying hours will be allocated to combat aircraft and crews across the command’s operational and test units, including the Air Warfare Center’s Weapons School, Aggressors and the Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team. Previously announced decisions to cancel some major exercises and all Thunderbirds demonstrations for 2013 remain in effect.

While the return to the sky means a return to crucial training and development for pilots, navigators, flight crews, mission crews and maintainers, the leader of the Air Force’s CAF fleet cautions that this is the beginning of the process, not the end.

“Since April we’ve been in a precipitous decline with regard to combat readiness,” said Gen. Mike Hostage, the commander of ACC. “Returning to flying is an important first step, but what we have ahead of us is a measured climb to recovery.”

“Our country counts on the U.S. Air Force to be there when needed — in hours or days, not weeks or months,” Hostage said. “A fire department doesn’t have time to ‘spin up’ when a fire breaks out, and we don’t know where or when the next crisis will break out that will require an immediate Air Force response.”

The restoration of flying hours only addresses the next 2 1/2 months of flying up until Oct. 1.

“This decision gets us through the next several months, but not the next several years,” Hostage said. “While this paints a clearer picture for the remainder of (fiscal 2013), important questions remain about (fiscal 2014) and beyond. Budget uncertainly makes it difficult to determine whether we’ll be able to sustain a fully combat-ready force.”

Additionally, the restoration comes at a cost to future capability, including reduced investment in the recapitalization and modernization of the combat fleet, he said.

“We are using investment dollars to pay current operational bills, and that approach is not without risk to our long-term effectiveness,” Hostage said. “We can’t mortgage our future. America relies on the combat airpower we provide, and we need to be able to continue to deliver it.”

(Courtesy of Air Combat Command Public Affairs)

AF encourages Airmen to be key part of SAPR solution

by Staff Sgt. David Salanitri
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — In an effort to address the growing concern of sexual assault in the Air Force, the service has kicked off an initiative to give Airmen the capability for their voice to be clearly heard called “Every Airman Counts.”

“I believe Airmen are a key part of the solution to this,” said. Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward, the director of the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office. “They understand the problem, and they know what needs to be done to help conquer it. Now we need them to share those innovative ideas with us and each other. We need our Airmen talking about this issue.”

To enable this dialogue, the Air Force SAPR office members designed a blog to share ideas, collect suggestions, concerns, stories, and questions for Air Force leaders and SAPR officials. The SAPR blog site asks Airmen to make inputs on how the service can better combat sexual assault.

“We can’t fix this issue sitting in the Pentagon,” said Gen. Larry Spencer, the Air Force vice chief of staff. “We need each and every one of you to get engaged in addressing this issue… this crime, and it is a crime. We need to know exactly where you feel the issues are, so we can address them with laser focus. I need every one of you helping us find ways to ensure dignity and respect are prevailing qualities in our daily relationships.”

Content on the site will be driven in part by Airmen making firsthand posts. In addition to the blog, the Air Force is organizing web chats that will be moderated forums for real-time information exchange between Airmen, subject matter experts and senior leaders.

Various experts in the SAPR area will host these discussions to gain a better understanding of the issues at every level.

“We’ve been doing a lot of talking on this issue,” Woodward said. “It’s important that we listen.”

The SAPR blog is just one of many actions the Air Force is pursuing to help address the issues sexual assault within the ranks and to offer support for victims. Other actions include the creation of the Special Victims Counsel program earlier this year, which provides constant support to sexual assault victims throughout the legal process.

Airmen can view the blog and make posts by logging into the Air Force portal with their Defense Department Common Access Card, and clicking on the photo tab titled Every Airman Counts or go to http://afsapr.dodlive.mil.

“‘Every Airman Counts is about you, our Airmen, our most precious resource,” Spencer said. “Our strength lies in our people, so we’re asking all of our teammates to help us stop sexual assaults now. The American people place great trust and confidence in our military. We cannot and will not violate that trust.”

Sequestration impact looms despite resumed flying operations

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force leaders announced July 15 that flying training would resume at numerous units, bringing an end to the three-month halt that resulted from the budget sequestration reductions.

Congress approved a $1.8 billion reprogramming request that transferred money from several programs to pay for near-term shortfalls in war funding, which allowed flight training to resume.

In total, the budget sequestration triggered by Congress’ inability to reach a broader deficit reduction agreement has cost the Air Force $10 billion in fiscal 2013. Absorbing that cut in just seven months forced many damaging steps beyond the halt to flying training, including a near freeze on repairs to buildings, significant reductions in maintenance of aircraft, and the 11 days of civilian furlough that began last week.

The halt to flying reduced expenditures by $857 million for fiscal 2013, but restoring readiness will require major additional investments in 2014 and beyond.

“We all understand that the Air Force has a part to play in the efforts to get the federal deficit under control,” said Dr. Jamie Morin, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller. “The updated defense strategy as well as the drawdown in overseas operations will let us make some reductions. But these arbitrary, across the board cuts from sequestration are undermining the Air Force’s efficiency and effectiveness.”

Congressional approval of this reprogramming request, coupled with efforts under the “Every Dollar Counts” campaign and belt tightening at bases around the world has allowed the Air Force to begin to undo some of the worst damage from sequestration. However, a recovery of flying proficiency will take several months.

According to Air Force officials, the damage will worsen if Congress does not act to avoid a further round of automatic cuts in time for fiscal 2014, which begins Oct.1. In that case, the Air Force would have to reduce training across an even wider swath of units, including likely more than half the Combat Air Forces.

Units across the Air Force are also feeling the effects of the 11 days of civilian furlough, which is reducing crucial services at bases around the world and is projected to cost the average Air Force civilian $3,000 in pay cuts.

“We rely on our civilian Airmen to keep the Air Force in the fight,” said Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning. “Their absence is felt across the board and it impacts our ability to accomplish the mission. General Welsh and I are committed to working with the Secretary of Defense to find a way to bring this disruptive furlough to an early end if at all possible.”

While flying operations will begin the long path to recovering readiness, many other areas of Air Force operations remain seriously degraded. The largest funding reductions came in areas like facilities maintenance, where many installations are addressing only emergency work orders.

“Right now, most bases only have the resources to do emergency facility and infrastructure repairs in order to avoid imminent mission failure or threats to life, health or safety,” said Maj. Josh Connell, who is assigned to Headquarters Air Force Office of the Civil Engineer. “Therefore, vital preventive maintenance is being deferred. Just like with your car, you can save money by not changing the oil, but at some point, it’s going to cost a lot more to repair the damage caused by that lack of maintenance.”

Similarly, the three Air Logistics Centers’ depots have seen their workload reduced by $700 million, meaning that aircraft and engines will not be overhauled on schedule. A broad civilian hiring freeze remains in effect, resulting in thousands of vacant positions across the Air Force. Few of these reductions will be reversed even with approval of the reprogramming action, and the effects are projected to deepen if the sequester reductions last into 2015.

Major Air Force modernization projects were also hit by the sequestration. Some programs were targeted for even further reductions in order to transfer dollars to war requirements, and these cuts will have enduring consequences.

“When we have to disrupt complex acquisition efforts to find near-term savings, we almost always end up costing the taxpayer more for less capability in the long run,” said Lt. Gen. Charles R. Davis, the military deputy to the Air Force Service Acquisition Executive.

“We appreciate Congress’ support for realigning dollars to meet wartime requirements so that we could restore our most critical flying training,” Morin said. While the flying stand down was one of the most visible actions we’ve had to take to reduce spending, no one should be under any illusion that this return to flight means the damage from sequestration has stopped.”

For more information on how sequestration is impacting the Air Force, visit http://www.af.mil/sequestration2013.asp

(Courtesy of Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs)

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