News>Chief Roy shares what's in store for enlisted force
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy addresses attendees of the Air Force Association Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition, Sept. 15, 2010, at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md. Among other topics, Chief Roy spoke about Airmen in the joint and coalition fight. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy addresses attendees of the Air Force Association Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition, Sept. 15, 2010, at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md. He mentioned the deliberate development of Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy addresses attendees of the Air Force Association Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition, Sept. 15, 2010, at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md. He stated he believes in building resiliency in Airmen and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)
by Staff Sgt. Mareshah Haynes
Defense Media Activity-San Antonio
9/15/2010 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The chief master sergeant of the Air Force shared his perspective of where the enlisted force is heading during a presentation at the Air Force Association Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition Sept. 15 at Oxon Hill, Md.
Some of the key points Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy emphasized were Airmen's participation in the joint and coalition fight, deliberately developing Airmen and building resiliency among Airmen and their families.
"We're in this joint and coalition fight in a very serious way," Chief Roy said. "I think we're doing a good job in the joint mission, and we make excellent coalition partners."
With more than 220,000 total force Airmen deployed, forward stationed or employed by a combatant command, maintaining and acquiring their skills has become of one the senior enlisted leader's primary focuses.
Chief Roy said Air Force officials have been looking at ways to make combat skills training more efficient and effective for Airmen who deploy frequently and to the same locations.
Many Airmen are at a one-to-one dwell rate, meaning they're deployed for six months and home for six months, but with up to two months of training before deploying, they're actually having about four months at home at a time, Chief Roy said.
"One of the areas we're looking at is credentialing the training," he said. "That's something that we're going to have to really review, really study to get it right, because the last thing we want to do is send people into combat who don't have the right training. We've got to step into this with caution, but it's something we've got to look at because our Airmen are deploying at such a rapid rate."
Credentialing could allow Airmen to skip certain portions of frequently repeated training, letting them spend more time at home with their families during the reconstitution portion of the deployment cycle.
Equipment issues also are being re-evaluated to make sure Airmen have the proper gear to complete the mission including the Airman Battle System-Ground.
"The ABS-G is a set of flame-retardant gear that our Airmen are receiving, in the pattern in our ABUs ... for Airmen who operate 'outside the wire'," Chief Roy said. "Right now, today, we've got it about 90 percent fielded in Iraq. It looks like we'll have it 100 percent fielded in the next 60 days."
Another joint set of gear, with the Operation Enduring Freedom camouflage pattern, referred to as OCP, is ready to be fielded to Airmen in Afghanistan beginning this fall, Chief Roy said.
A new development in enlisted training is that Airmen who attend some joint professional military education schools will be able to apply those credits toward their Air Force PME requirements.
"We have two Airmen, for the first time in about four years, that are going through the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy," the chief said.
He said they are looking at partner nation schools to see if Airmen who attend can get credit for the like-Air Force course "just like we've done in Canada and Singapore."
"We're going to give them full credit for the United States Air Force Senior NCO Academy," he said. "We've been doing that for many, many years in our officer corps, and it has worked perfectly."
Other advancements in training Chief Roy highlighted are introducing combatives during basic military training and developing a single tracking system for on-the-job training documentation.
Lastly, the chief discussed building resiliency in Airmen and families, including programs to help prevent suicides.
"It cannot be just another program," Chief Roy said. "It's got to be heartfelt, and we've got to make sure our Airmen are given those tools before they need them. It's not before they deploy; it's right out of the chute, when they're in basic (military training) when they're in (technical) school. It's all the way through a person's career. We've got to continue to instill resiliency in our Airmen and our families."
9/28/2010 2:10:16 PM ET @Sgt Peanut...shooting on a regular basis cost too much money We need your attention focused on re-writing those bullets on the EPR and awards package for the 10th time and completing that annual CBT for the 6th time this year. And while you are at it can you take off work tomorrow to raise money for the booster club We need to take off work this Friday for a squadron picnic and are really short on cash
NCO , USAF Base
9/17/2010 7:04:14 PM ET How about we shoot on a regular basis. That way when someone does deploy, they know what they are doing with a weapon.
Sgt Peanut, wild blue yonder
9/16/2010 10:15:32 PM ET @NCO - Here, here. The JET taskings have been going on for far too long. We are decreasing the size of the Air Force yet continue to fulfill JET taskings that put Airmen outside the core capabilities. Senior leaders need to push back on the other services to fulfill these taskings. The Air Force has been doing its part in OIFOEFONDHOA since 2001. We do not need JET taskings to show that we are in the fight.
- Capt G, Texas
9/16/2010 10:12:31 PM ET Issuing ABS-Gs to everyone outside the wire is the first step in admitting that the ABUs were/are a failure. Issue everyone an additional uniform with the same camouflage pattern - ABU. How about we just issue that uniform in the first place if it is what is needed to do the job? Yes, the ABUs are an utter failure. And while we are at it, let's get all the services the same camouflage pattern. We work together enough; why do we need different camo patterns?
- Capt G, Texas
9/16/2010 1:13:58 PM ET Im sorry but Operation Enduring Freedom camouflage pattern? How many different uniforms and combinations do we need to have? Last year in Iraq I came home with my ABUs, 8 sets of ACUs and 4 Marine-style desert flight suits. Really? Do we need yet another uniform? Why can't we all just dress alike but wear our individual ranks badges? Also, if we are doing joint missions, why do we not just call us the Army Air Corps again? We have lost the identity of the Air Force by doing joint missions. I did a JET tasking and it was insane. Throw me with an EOD unit playing with IEDs when I hadn't even seen a bomb before. It is just asking for more KIA down range. Let the other services do what they do and keep the Air Force as the Air Force.
NCO, Ft Meade
9/16/2010 8:03:28 AM ET Now that's what I'm talkin' about Chief Roy has finally got around to telling us what he and the AF are doing to improve the lot of our AF people using specific examples of many subjects concerning our Airmen. Kudos to the Chief for getting down to the basics, getting to the point and helping us understand what HE is behind and giving us a SITREP with some meat in it. We hope this will be a continuing trend. CMSgt Dave ButsonUSAF Ret.