By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James conducted her second tweet chat March 18, providing insights on a variety of topics in today’s Air Force including diversity, modernization, force management and more. In case you couldn’t participate, here’s a summary of what was covered.
@SecAF23: Thanks for joining in my 2nd tweet chat! I’m ready to update you on a few things & answer your questions. Use #SecAFChat to participate.
@SecAF23: Whenever possible I want to hear from Airmen directly. That’s why these tweet chats are so important to me.
@SecAF23: 1/3 This afternoon, I’m heading to the Hill to present the AF posture to the #SASC with @GenMarkWelsh
@SecAF23: 2/3 We’ll continue to educate about the impact of sequestration on today’s, as well as future readiness.
@SecAF23: 3/3 We are working hard to meet combatant commanders’ most urgent needs & execute the Defense Strategic Guidance.
Q1: I’m concerned there is no alternative if BCA regenerates (probable). Is there a contingency FY16 budget? What will u cut?
A1: We hope so, but it’s Congress’s prerogative.
Q2: Is acquisition excellence still a thing? I’ve worked resources for years and it seems we’re moving away from, not to AE
A2: Yes. We’re working to bend the cost curve to get more for our $
Q3: I’m an AFcivilian @ pentagon noticed we’ve been in a thrifty environment the past few years do you see that changing?
A3: I expect we’ll be in an environment where we’ll have to make every $ count
Q4: How can I best share My Air Force Story on Twitter while complying with AF social media policies?
A4: Great parameters in the AF Social Media Guidebook: http://ow.ly/KuHoW
Q5: In Dec you said there would be voluntary Force Mgt pgms rlsd early this year. Any idea when that’s coming? Asking for a friend.
A5: By exception, Airman can apply for sep in FY15 by directly contacting the Total Force Service Center for eligibility
Q6: What is the future of the A-10s?
A6: The A-10 retirement is sequestration-driven. A-10s will support global msns as long as they are in the inventory
Q7: The changes being made to EPR System will this give Amn with 4s opp to do special duties/OTS apptmnts as well?
A7: Selection for special duties & OTS will continue to be on best candidate basis.
Q8: Can you look into providing more financial help to the NCOs at AFROTC Dets. High cost areas away from bases is tough.
A8: Yes, please be sure to complete the annual Cost of Living Surveys as they help determine entitlements. Tell your friends to do so too!
@SecAF23: Today’s AF is the smallest, oldest & busiest ever. We must think differently to operate in this challenging environment
Q9: Will there be a release of guidance for the E7 promotion boards this May or when public release for 15E7 will take place
A9: Per standard practice, there will be advance guidance before the release takes place.
@SecAF23: We are striving to create a culture which fuels innovation for the airpower successes of the future.
@SecAF23: 1/2 I encourage all Total Force Airmen to participate in the Total Force Climate Survey that opened March 13.
@SecAF23: 2/2 We can only make improvements if we know what’s on your mind! The survey is open through April 27.
Q10: As an AFROTC cadet will it be more competitive to receive scholarships with the new budget?
A10: We’re continuing to fund scholarships at current levels with no reductions.
Q11: Can/when will the AF do a mass Manpower study to ensure Units are balanced correctly?
A11: Our MAJCOMS are currently completing a revalidation of all their current manpower requirements
@SecAF23: We have 5 minutes left in the tweet chat. Get in your final questions; if I can’t answer, I’ll be sure to follow up later
Q12: What is the USAF stance on LGBT and transgender?
A12: As I’ve said before, I feel anyone who’s qualified should be able to serve.
@SecAF23: I love getting to hear from you directly! Be sure to follow me to keep up w/me between chats
Below are some questions that we didn’t have a chance to answer during the chat:
Q13: Senators Kaine & Ayotte discussed BRAC politicization & viability @ hearing
w/ AsstSECAF Ballentine. What do you think?
A13: We strongly support DoD’s request for another rd of BRAC to reduce our 30% excess infrastructure capacity
Q14: The state of the industrial base for solid rocket motors, RVs, building maintaining new nuke warheads?
A14: More budget certainty aids increase in sustainment of current force until our modernization programs can replace current capabilities
Q15: Also the state of 6th Generation fighter program i.e. what technologies and
will we see defensive DEW on LRS-B?
A15: We define 6th Gen in terms of capabilities, not platforms–we are currently defining how to close adversarial capability gaps
Q16: I wasn’t aware that USAF had a problem attracting high quality officers; how does this fix it?
A16: Attracting & retaining the best Airmen is vital in the current operating environment; esp nuclear, cyber, mx, intel & ISR
Q17: Is SecAF’s diversity initiative really that bold or just a quick band aid on a lingering problem?
A17: Today’s AF is the smallest, oldest & busiest ever. We must think differently to operate in this challenging environment
Q18: Finally, since goals should be measurable, what metric & target value would you propose as the diversity objective?
A18: We are currently building our diversity & inclusion strategy. Establishing metrics and measures of success is part of that process.
Q19: There are others with the same issues. How can we better recognize these people with non-traditional USAF backgrounds?
Q19: (con’t) While building diversity, how do we avoid the perception of favoritism
A19: The #AirForce is focused on inclusion, b/c it creates a culture where all are free to contribute to group success w/o barriers.
Q20: Is the F22 raptor the best/most advanced air superiority fighter currently in service in the world?
A20: Our Airmen who maintain our aircraft are the best in world!
Q21: Why are we remodeling commissaries and building new structures when almost new ones suit perfectly fine?
A21: The Defense Commissary Agency would be the best to answer any questions about commissaries. You can reach out to them at @YourCommissary