HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force leaders say increased funding is improving readiness

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein thanked Congress for providing the resources necessary to restore the service’s readiness while testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support Oct. 10.

During her testimony, Wilson praised Congress for passing an appropriations bill on time for the first time in nearly a decade.

“With your help, we have made great strides in a short period of time,” she said. “We are more ready today than we were two years ago.”

After decades of readiness decline, the Air Force is working to accelerate its recovery, ensuring the service is prepared to combat rapidly evolving threats.

Today more than 75 percent of the Air Force’s core fighting units are combat ready with their lead forces packages. The service’s goal is for 80 percent of those units to have the right number of properly trained and equipped Airmen by the end of 2020 – 6 years faster than projected before the Air Force developed a recovery plan.

“Restoring the readiness of the force is our top priority.” Goldfein said. “And the budget Congress recently passed will have a significant impact for Airmen across our active, guard, and reserve components.”

To do this the Air Force is focusing on three key areas: people, training and cost-effective maintenance and logistics.

People
For the Air Force, readiness is first and foremost about people. In fiscal year 2018, Congress provided funding to allow the Air Force to address a serious shortage of maintainers. In September 2016, the service was short 4,000 active duty maintainers, but by December 2018 that number is expected to reach zero.

“Actions by Congress over the last few years has been tremendously helpful,” Wilson said. “Now we must get these Airmen the experience needed to become craftsman at their work.”

In addition to maintainers, the Air Force has placed an emphasis on addressing the national aircrew shortage, first by addressing quality of service and quality of life issues, and also increasing financial incentives and providing more control over assignments and career paths.

The Air Force is increasing the number of pilots it trains from 1,160 a year in FY 2017 to 1,311 in FY 2019, building to 1,500 by FY 2022 and steady state, thereafter.

Training
As part of the readiness recovery, the Air Force is focused on providing relevant and realistic training to maintain an advantage over increasingly capable adversaries. To meet this need the service is investing in operational training infrastructure — ranges and airspace — and simulation.

The Air Force is also improving infrastructure, simulators, threat emulators and training ranges to enhance realism and enable Airmen to train locally for a high-end, multi-domain fight.

Cost-effective maintenance and logistics
The third element of restoring the readiness of the force is weapons system sustainment – the parts, supply and equipment – to make sure our aircraft are ready to go when needed.

“There are a thousand fingerprints on every aircraft that takes off. From air traffic control to crew chiefs to weapons loaders to avionics technicians – it is a total team effort,” Goldfein said. “When the plane is twice the age of the team, it makes it harder. So we are looking at new methods across the board for how we are maintaining an older fleet with a younger workforce.”

The Air Force is already seeing improvements in its depots, increasing depot production by 20 percent, completing 75 aircraft per year.

Engage

Twitter
The Dept. of the Air Force restored military tuition assistance to $4,500 per fiscal year and Air Force Credentiali… https://t.co/b1XKYHpl9y
Twitter
Modern living and educational facilities The Air Force Civil Engineer Center is leading a massive $700 million, mu… https://t.co/wMlJr5T2i3
Twitter
Demonstrating readiness and joint capabilities. #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/88gGGo3CMG
Twitter
The tools are cool, but it's the Airmen that make them go. #AimHigh #ReadyAF https://t.co/kNrKGKPJ13
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Met virtually with @Offutt_AFB first sergeants today. I am grateful for their valuable feedback on #Airmen issues and for…
Twitter
RT @PACAF: #ICYMI: Check out these new photos of fighter aircrew participating in a joint interoperability exercise in the @INDOPACOM regio…
Twitter
Air power on full display 🦅 An F-15E Strike Eagle takes off from @48FighterWing during routine training. An array… https://t.co/g4vZsO5ViY
Twitter
Aeromedical evacuation missions consist of critical care transport teams executing patient movement and care.… https://t.co/rbtAum69VT
Twitter
Less downtime means the mission moves forward faster. Airmen assigned to the 60th Logistics Readiness Squadron fro… https://t.co/Yark70RZAY
Twitter
Yes, even robodog is a very good boy. 🐕 🤖 @TeamTyndall is one of the first military bases to implement “computeri… https://t.co/H1OSccLwjg
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Focus on the things that matter & the things you can control. Anything else is a distraction at best. Have a fantasti…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: COVID-19 precautions have made in-person engagements with #Airmen challenging. However, I’m grateful for the virtual oppo…
Twitter
Preparing for tomorrow's fight, today. #InnovativeAF #ReadyAF https://t.co/sKXDUgZelP
Twitter
Pit stop⛽️ The E-3 Sentry, which is an airborne warning and control system aircraft with an integrated command and… https://t.co/Qw1bifEZf4
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: DOD military medical professionals at @BWI_Airport & @SeaTacAirport began giving rapid #COVID19 tests to service members…
Twitter
Water survival tactics 🚤 Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialists assigned to the 375th Operations Su… https://t.co/Eu2L4SEyYD
Twitter
The 379th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron recently won squadron innovation funds for the purchase and use of… https://t.co/R49nXOK8Jf
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: What can I say? I like to go fast. @NASAKennedy https://t.co/oduSjtG9jc
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,309,754
Follow Us