CMSAF visits Dover AFB
By Airman 1st Class William Johnson, 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 21, 2014
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (AFNS) -- Team Dover hosted Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody and his wife, retired Chief Master Sgt. Athena Cody, Nov. 18 - 19, 2014, to visit and thank Airmen and their families and tour the unique facilities and missions of Dover AFB.
The visit also allowed Cody to interact with Airmen of all ranks and to establish a dialogue with open and honest feedback regarding the enlisted evaluation and promotion system changes as well as the future path of the Air Force.
Cody spoke about the important role Air Mobility Command plays in combat and humanitarian operations throughout the world and how Dover AFB contributes to the mission.
"There is no place on the globe that we cannot reach and that does not happen without rapid global mobility and that's what Air Mobility Command is all about," Cody said. "The ability to reach and maintain global vigilance and strike capability around the world cannot happen without the Air Mobility Command."
Cody's visit began with a tour of the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs and a walkthrough of the Joint Personal Effects Depot. The Charles C. Carson Center houses the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations which combines the functions of both Air Force Mortuary Affairs and Port Mortuary. AFMAO is the only port mortuary within the United States.
Cody reinforced to Airmen at AFMAO the importance of their mission and how they personally affect families and the military's ability to honor fallen service members. He also toured the 436th Aerial Port Squadron, the largest aerial port within the Department of Defense. He was shown how the super port's mission helps sustain retrograde operations.
The chief wrapped up the first day of his trip with an all-call. Hundreds of Airmen attended and were able to ask questions about the new enlisted performance report system and force reduction programs.
He spoke extensively about the new EPR system and why changes needed to be made and said the current system does not give credit to the top performers in the way it was designed to.
"Our system today is inflated, despite our best efforts to curtail that we have not been successful," Cody said. "It's essential that everyone understands that first and foremost performance counts. It needs to be the heaviest weighted factor in how we evaluate our Airmen."
Another hot topic addressed by Cody was force reduction and the potential for additional cuts to Airmen through 2015.
Cody said that as of now, the Air Force does not believe it is going to have any significant force management in 2015 leading up to fiscal year 2016, but this will ultimately depend on if the budget that was submitted is approved.
"This has been a very difficult year for our entire Air Force," Cody said. "Because of the fiscal realities, we have had to become a smaller Air Force and have had to tell a lot of good people that they can no longer serve. It was a decision that had to be made based on a fiscal reality. We could no longer afford the size force that we were into the future and still maintain necessary readiness of today and readiness of tomorrow."
Even with the 2014 force reduction, Cody praised Airmen for their ability to accomplish the Air Force mission every single day.
"I guarantee I could pull anyone's EPR that is here and find where you found a way to accomplish more with less, somewhere you did more with less resources and less time," Cody said. "You should wear that as a badge of honor because that's the innovative spirit that exists in every Airman and it is the constant improvement we are always looking for."
Cody wrapped up the visit by hosting an Airman's breakfast.
"We really enjoyed our visit here with the Airmen and families of Team Dover," Cody said. "The Airmen and their families' level of dedication and motivation to do what the Air Force and their country ask of them is always inspiring to Athena and I. It is evident from my visit here that the mission performed by the men and women of this base has extremely positive global impacts. You should all be very proud to be a part of Team Dover."