Chief master sergeant of the Air Force shares vision for enlisted Airmen

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Mareshah Haynes
  • Defense Media Activity-San Antonio
The chief master sergeant of the Air Force discussed the outlook for enlisted Airmen during the Air Force Association's Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition Feb. 18 here.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy spoke to several hundred Airmen and civilians about preserving and enhancing the all-volunteer force, one of the four priority objectives in the Quadrennial Defense Review.

"First and foremost we need to manage the operational tempo," Chief Roy said. "Specifically of those chronic critical (Air Force specialties) out there that are always tasked. Many would say, 'Chief that's kind of easy to point out. That's your (pararescuemen and joint terminal attack controller) kind of folks. But also on that list, and would surprise many folks, are contracting and civil engineering.

"We need to manage them in a way that keeps from driving folks out of the force and keeps them at a heightened level of training," he said.

Chief Roy highlighted some of the untraditional missions Airmen are performing, such as provincial reconstruction teams, convoy and agricultural development teams.

"These Airmen are doing the things we've asked them to," Chief Roy said. "Nontraditional? Sure. Important? Absolutely."

Another area the chief is focused on is resetting the equipment.

Airmen are continuing to successfully employ assets that have been in Southwest Asia for nearly 20 years.

"We need to continue to recapitalize our aircraft," Chief Roy said. "Obviously they've been over there for a (long time) and we're going to be there for a long time. Just as our airframes wear out, we need to continue to focus on our agile combat support equipment."

Lastly, Chief Roy spoke about how to support Airmen and families while supporting overseas contingency operations.

"Combat Airman resiliency is kind of new terminology to us, but it's something we really need to focus on," he said. The program is geared to help Airmen who may experience traumatic or stressful experiences while performing their duties.

To cultivate the highest-quality Airmen possible, Chief Roy said his vision is to couple Airmen's combat experiences with training and professional military education opportunities, to including joint PME.