Keep the Squadron Going

During meetings with airmen in Hawaii last week, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh reiterated a theme to leadership and young enlisted members: allow airmen to take the initiative at the wing and squadron levels where the Air Force lives and works. While the Defense Department has meant well by pushing efficiencies and cost-saving initiatives, one of the downsides is that these cuts have landed unduly on the support structures that have held the squadrons together for decades, placing additional burdens on airmen in the process. “The squadron is the fundamental warfighting unit of our Air Force, and we cannot break it,” said Welsh. This is especially the case at a time when the service needs to retain its best people. Billets ranging from administration support to training managers were cut back in order to be more efficient, but this has increased the load of administrative and overhead tasks to the detriment of mission focus and preparedness. Click here to continue to the full report.