Keeping the Quality of Life Core: As costs rise and billets shrink, the Air Force has consolidated a lot of support staffing and functions at field operating agencies and will continue to do so, Lt. Gen. Darrell Jones, USAF’s top personnel officer, said Monday afternoon at AFA’s Air & Space Conference in National Harbor, Md. However, he noted that, at the same time, the service is expanding billets in new career fields and standing up squadrons in missions from cyber operations to remotely piloted aircraft. Still, with support staff shrinking at the squadron level, USAF must find new ways to keep up with what airmen think is important as far as services and quality of life. USAF wants to merge the “sense of community” benefits of base and squadron life of younger airmen with older airmen, focusing on “core” areas such as fitness facilities, child care programs, youth programs, and libraries. Jones acknowledged that this is going to be challenging, in today’s budget environment. “We are going to be challenged to fund all of the core,” Jones said.
An Air Force C-17 transport jet recently tested a new technology that could help aviators stay on course even if the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) that much of modern-day aviation relies on is compromised.