Incoming chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) has laid out priorities for the 110th Congress. Leading the list of six items, of course, is Iraq, followed by Afghanistan. Fourth on the list, behind a wider look at the war on terror, is “fixing US forces.” Skelton, who says his committee will “ensure that the military gets the people, equipment, and training needed,” has been a long-time proponent of a strong defense. He also has been particularly vociferous this year about the state of Army readiness, lately gaining great support lately from Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker, but let’s not forget that the thousands of airmen filling in for soldiers are costing the Air Force money it doesn’t have.
Changes are coming this year for Airmen taking professional military education (PME) distance learning courses. Closer interactions with facilitators, a revised capstone course, and more feedback on test performance are meant to improve the overall experience for distance learning students, who often include members of the Air National Guard.