Flexibility is the key to a successful Total Force, Air Force senior enlisted leaders told members of the congressionally mandated Air Force structure commission, according to a commission release. “We need to change the rules and laws about how we have access to the airmen, and how they move from one component to another,” said CMSAF James Cody during the commission’s Oct. 25 hearing in Arlington, Va. CMSgt. Cameron Kirksey, Air Force Reserve Command’s command chief, argued for a better definition of “deployment.” For example, under current regulations, voluntary overseas deployments by Air National Guardsmen and Reservists are not considered mobilizations, and time spent in responding to natural disasters is not factored in, states the release. Kirksey said that needs to change. “The fact is, time away is time away from home and family and employers,” he said. During the commission’s Oct. 24 session, also in Arlington, Dennis McCarthy, commission chairman, said the members are on track to meet their Feb. 1 deadline for submitting a report to Congress with their recommendations on how to configure the Air Force to best meet current and future mission requirements with available resources.
When the Air Force sets a new program baseline for the B-52 re-engining this fall, there will be “some” cost increase, because the project wasn't previously fully funded, and the Air Force has a better handle on actual supplier costs and knowledge from ground testing, program officials said.