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AF personnel chief talks family programs, tuition assistance

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. David Salanitri
  • Air Force Public Affairs Agency
A senior Air Force leader testified in front of Congress Mar. 13 on the impact sequestration has had on Airmen and family programs, to include military tuition assistance.

Lt. Gen. Darrell D. Jones, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, informed members of the House Armed Service Subcommittee on Military Personnel that the March 1-triggered sequestration and lingering continuing resolution, will undermined the Air Force's ability to train and equip Airmen, he said.

A continuing resolution funds the service at 2012 levels.
"
We may not be able to fully fund vital developmental programs for our Airmen as we have in the past," he said. "This action will impact our ability to harness the full potential of our Airmen, as they continue to operate in increasingly complex environments."

Most notably as of late, the Air Force officially suspended military tuition assistance Mar. 11.
Tuition assistance has been an important part of force development for many years, Jones said, and the importance of education is instilled in Airmen from their first day in the Air Force.

"We're going to re-evaluate it for FY14," he said. "We're going to do everything we can to offer a program in FY14, but realistically, we're going to have to reduce the parameters of the program to lessen the budgetary impact on our Air Force."

Jones foot-stomped that TA is suspended for the rest of the fiscal year -- not canceled altogether. He reflected optimism the Air Force will offer a TA program for fiscal year 2014, but it will be different than what many Airmen are accustomed to.

Programs for families in the Air Force could be impacted as well, Jones stated.
Sequestration "may force us to make hard decisions to determine what support services we can afford to provide under sequestration versus what our Airmen deserve."