ACC Commander Speaks with Airmen

Air Combat Command chief Gen. Mike Hostage spoke to airmen at JB Langley-Eustis, Va., about top issues within the service, including the budget, force management programs, sexual assault prevention and safety. “This sequestration business, the grounding of squadrons, shutting down operations, stopping (temporary duty assignments) and civilian hires has been pretty tasking on the force,” said Hostage. “The good news is I think we have a plan to keep our Air Force in the forefront to replenish, recapitalize where we can, refurbish what we must, and to size ourselves to fit whatever budget Congress puts forth for defense.” The Air Force will need to reduce its end strength by 25,000 within the next five years and the service created a voluntary program for eligible airmen to “incentivize them to do it a little quicker,” said Hostage. However, he cautioned that if USAF doesn’t get the volunteers, involuntary programs will start as early as this summer. He encouraged airmen to continue to take a stand against sexual assaults with the ranks because, “If you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem,” he said. (ACC release)