HomeNewsArticle Display

Wright: We must put Airmen, families first

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth Wright prepares to testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C., March 8, 2017.  The CMSAF was joined by his service counterparts for the hearing.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright prepares to testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C., March 8, 2017. The CMSAF was joined by his service counterparts for the hearing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth Wright prepares to testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C., March 8, 2017.  The CMSAF was joined by his service counterparts for the hearing.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright prepares to testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C., March 8, 2017. The CMSAF was joined by his service counterparts for the hearing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth Wright prepares to testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C., March 8, 2017.  The CMSAF was joined by his service counterparts for the hearing.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright prepares to testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C., March 8, 2017. The CMSAF was joined by his service counterparts for the hearing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth Wright prepares to testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C., March 8, 2017. The CMSAF was joined by his service counterparts for the hearing.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright prepares to testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C., March 8, 2017. The CMSAF was joined by his service counterparts for the hearing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- When Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright received the title of the Air Force’s most senior enlisted Airman less than a month ago, he instantly became responsible for advocating the best interests of more than 398,000 total force enlisted Airmen and their families.

Wright shouldered that responsibility as he testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies regarding the Air Force’s quality of life March 8.

“The ultimate source of air, space and cyberspace combat capability resides in the men and women of the U.S. Air Force,” Wright said. “We must put them first as they face the challenges inherent in serving in the profession of arms.”

During the hearing, Wright updated the subcommittee on the welfare, readiness and morale of Airmen. He answered questions on specialty credentialing, critical infrastructure projects, concerns within the Defense Department school system and the Exceptional Family Member Program.

Wright said, in order to meet global demands, resource emerging requirements, and repair and sustain the force, the Air Force must increase its active-duty personnel from 254,000 to 321,000 by the end of 2017.

“We are the smallest Air Force that we’ve ever been, and there are many challenges that come with the high-ops tempo and the multiple deployments to the many places we help defend around the globe,” Wright said. “That’s why the increase we’re trying to get to is critical.”

Pay and compensation uncertainties are also cause for concern, as the current fiscal year’s National Defense Authorization Act seeks changes to financial benefits – specifically basic allowance for housing.

“This would reverse nearly 20 years of deliberate legislative action to ensure service members are appropriately compensated for their service, and that their salaries remain competitive with private-sector professionals,” Wright said. “While we remain mindful of current budget pressures across the Defense Department, cost savings needs to be tempered by the need to retain our talent, which is truly a national asset.”

The Air Force must also focus on its child care and spouse employment challenges.

“We continue to explore opportunities to strengthen our force,” Wright said. “While some initiatives are force wide, others are more targeted, but all have the same objective – to provide commanders with the most well-trained, deliberately developed Airmen and the most resilient Airmen and families.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
.@HQAirUniversity recently hosted @SecAFOfficial's 66th annual National Security Forum, enabling the sharing of per… https://t.co/qBlG5F69ah
#ICYMI #Barksdale Airmen deployed in support of @CENTCOM Bomber Task Force in early May @DeptofDefense. The #B52 is… https://t.co/o8yJgq72dm
Tomorrow the #AirForce will celebrate @SecAFOfficial's tenure as the 24th Secretary of the Air Force. #WatchLIVE as… https://t.co/mTuhuZaNxu
RT @DeptofDefense: Throughout the history of the @USAirForce, adaptation and innovation have played a key role in sustaining global suprema…
It was "Fangs Out" @HAFB for Exercise Venom 19-01 which aligned with Hill’s Combat Showcase. https://t.co/3UtNLRYcp1 https://t.co/5d3JW876IH
The #B52 Wise Guy, a cold warrior that stood sentinel over America from the darkest days of the Cold War to the glo… https://t.co/yxSgZpsBKY
Have a bright idea for ways to #FuelMoreFight? @AFEnergy's looking for you. https://t.co/nbHISOo0KP
Congratulations to #USAF Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadet Maj. Sydney Cloutier from Pensacola High Schoo… https://t.co/baRvgYsuPC
Grand Forks AFB soon to be known as America's Global Hawk Base once the @319ABW is re-designated as the 319th Recon… https://t.co/EBRkBhkE0f
RT @ConorDaly22: Have to give a big thank you to @usairforce TSgt Amanda Reynolds for drawing us spot number 1 to qualify! Just under 2 hou…
Today, Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch met w/@GovHolcomb & the #AdjutantGeneral of @INGuardsman at the @IMS as part of our ne… https://t.co/r8amzUd8Ko
#DYK: The #USAF's real #CaptainMarvel trained @brielarson for her role as Capt. Marvel. Learn more about Brig Gener… https://t.co/hZNbSzuvNS
Calling all Hoosiers! We're coming to #Indianapolis May 18-20 as part of our new community outreach program -… https://t.co/ywj6LXACAW
.@SecAFOfficial was interviewed by #JojoScienceShow at last week's @Andrews_JBA's #STEM event which featured more t… https://t.co/CwAjk4Foxq
RT @SecAFOfficial: The @USAirForce will now reimburse qualifying licensure & recertification fees incurred during PCS/PCAs up to $500 for s…
.@SJAFB spouse wins #AirForce level award for connecting the team Seymour volunteer to the community learn more:… https://t.co/TtWbSKNs87
#Airmen from across @HQUSAFEPA gather together with sister services and @NATO members to gain critical skills that… https://t.co/vk81NGuJLa
.@53rdWRS #HurricaneHunters and @NWSNHC teams participated in a Hurricane Awareness Tour, gaining safety knowledge… https://t.co/DDc4P7y71n
#DYK, the #AirForce has two deployable labs. These Rapid Assistance Support for Calibration units or RASCALS have b… https://t.co/DhKfKN8bDN