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Updated: 4 hours 19 min ago
The approval of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017 provides a number of changes for Airmen, retirees, and families, to include stabilizing readiness and end strength, improving pilot retention, modernizing compensation and benefits and enhancing transparency in the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
On this look around the Air Force the first Japanese F-35 arrives at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona; Edwards AFB in California is testing ways to save fueling cost for the C-17 Globemaster III; and the Air Force band performs at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Hosted by Airman 1st Class Cory Kuttler.
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<strong>FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (AFNS)</strong> &ndash; Air Force TV has released the latest episode of the Air Force's flagship television program, BLUE.<br />
Maintaining a technological edge in defense requires snagging the best and brightest minds for research and development. In this episode, we introduce you to some of the innovative minds working to make the Air Force's technology better, stronger and more efficient today while developing the next generation of innovators for tomorrow. <br />
<p>In ongoing efforts to size and shape the force to current and future requirements, Air Force officials explained why the service needs to grow to 350,000 active-duty Airmen over the next seven years.</p>
<p>The need to increase the end strength comes from the recognition that the Air Force is out of balance with ongoing and projected global demands for airpower, senior officials explained. </p>
<p>&ldquo;The risk of manpower shortage is masked and placed on the backs of Airmen,&rdquo; said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. &ldquo;Because if you go back and look at the data and the way we measure readiness, did we taxi? Yes. Did we launch? Yes. Did we make the deployed destination and accomplish the mission? Yes. </p>
<p>&ldquo;What&rsquo;s masked is the fact that the shortage of people has fundamentally changed the way we do business in terms of the operational risk day to day.&rdquo;</p>
<p>If sequestration caps are removed and additional funding becomes available, the Air Force will consider growing to 350,000 active-duty Airmen during the next seven years. The service is currently on track to grow to 321,000 by the end of 2017, and 324,000 in the following years.</p>
<p style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;">The erosion of readiness started decades ago, but has been exacerbated by sequestration and a continuous high operations tempo, explained Air Force officials. Throughout the last 10 years, the Air Force made steep cuts in overall end strength, especially in the combat air forces.</p>
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<p style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;">The Air Force has balanced risk across the force while maintaining the agility, flexibility and readiness to engage a full range of contingencies, senior leaders said.</p>
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<p>&ldquo;Additional manning is needed not just to meet air requirements, but to support the joint fight,&rdquo; Goldfein said. &ldquo;So when you look through the lens of growth in the United States military, we look through a joint lens and through that lens we see that the Air Force is always a part of every mission. Therefore, you can't have growth in one without growth in the Air Force."</p>
<p>Officials explained the Air Force must continue to grow the force to address key capability gaps and recover and sustain a stronger force for today's missions in the nuclear, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, maintenance and support career fields. It must also continue to resource growing remotely piloted aircraft and cyber mission requirements.</p>
<p>As part of the Fiscal Year 2017 budget request, the service plans to grow the active duty force to approximately 321,000 Airmen by 2018. Additional funding from Congress would be necessary for this growth, but details would have to be prioritized during future budgets submissions, officials said.&nbsp;</p>
<p>While the Air Force acknowledges the demand for more Airmen, officials also commented that it will take time to recruit, access and train additional Airmen.</p>
<p>&ldquo;This is not something you can do immediately,&rdquo; Goldfein said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s actually something you&rsquo;ve got to do over time. This is something we would build over the next seven years in a steady climb.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p>
<p>Ultimately, the Air Force wants to reduce stress on Airmen and ensure we have enough people to support the joint fight and accomplish the missions the nation requires, said Air Force officials.&nbsp;</p>
<p style="margin: 0in 0in 8pt;">Miranda A.A. Ballentine, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy, and Brig. Gen. Michael Cunniff, the adjutant general of New Jersey, helped break ground on a 98-acre solar farm at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Dec. 21.<br />
The 16.5-megawatt solar energy project will be the largest military solar installation in the Northeast and will include more than 50,000 solar panels when it&rsquo;s completed in 2017.<br />
&ldquo;This is a great example of a cleaner, more resilient project, and we&rsquo;re going to be doing more of them,&rdquo; Ballentine said. &ldquo;This project demonstrates the innovative pathways our Airmen and civilians are taking to strengthen mission assurance through energy assurance.&rdquo;&nbsp;<br />
Once completed, the solar array will produce more than 21,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy every year &ndash; enough to power more than 2,500 homes.<br />
&ldquo;Solar power is one of the most efficient and affordable energy alternatives today,&rdquo; Cunniff said. &ldquo;Whether you're interested in solar power because of its economic or environment impact, during these times of budgetary constraints on the federal side and the state side, I think we can all agree this joint solar project could not happen at a greater time.&ldquo;<br />
Affiliates of Starwood Energy Group and Energy Management, Inc. developed the project, which is located on a capped landfill. The project is part of the Air Force&rsquo;s Enhanced Use Lease program that helps create mutually beneficial commercial projects on Air Force land.<br />
&ldquo;New Jersey&rsquo;s leadership in solar energy policies is creating a healthier environment, greater energy independence and more stable energy costs for the region,&rdquo; said Jim Gordon, the EMI president.<br />
More than 15,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions is expected to be reduced, an equivalent of 3,000 cars removed from the road.<br />
&ldquo;We are pleased to contribute to the renewable energy objectives of the United States military, and appreciate all of the support for this project from the Pentagon, Air Force Civil Engineer Center and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst,&rdquo; said Brad Nordholm, the senior managing director and co-head of Starwood Energy.<br />
True Green Capital and affiliates will build, own and operate the solar array in partnership with the Conti Group.</p>
The Air Force is nearing completion of a service-wide recertification of all installation 1.5 mile-run and 2.0-kilometer walk courses following the recent discovery of courses that were too long at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas and Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts.
Long rows of white marble headstones line the landscape of Arlington National Cemetery, each memorializing a fallen U.S. military member with a unique story of service to the nation. Nestled within Section 60 of the sprawling cemetery lies a marker for Air Force Maj. Troy Gilbert, an American Airman whose story and long journey home to his final resting place is an unusual one – and one which for nearly a decade lacked an ending since most of Gilbert’s remains had been missing and unrecovered somewhere in Iraq until this October.
The U.S.-led coalition launched one of its largest airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant near Palmyra, Syria, Dec. 8, dealing a significant blow to the terrorist organization’s ability to finance and enable its means of war.
This week's photos feature Airmen from around the globe involved in activities supporting expeditionary operations and defending America. This weekly feature showcases the men and women of the Air Force.
Registration for the 2017 Air Force Marathon will begin Jan. 2 at 9 a.m. EST. Registration will
Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James held a Facebook town hall to address concerns from Airmen and their family members Dec. 12.
Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James held a Facebook townhall to address concerns from Airmen and their family members Dec. 12.
Air Mobility Command Airmen worked around the clock to ensure Israel’s first two F-35 aircraft were
75 years ago, the world changed as U.S. military installations across Hawaii were devastated in an attack by the Japanese military. Look back at how the events of the Pearl Harbor attack changed Hickam Air Force Base.
As unmanned aerial systems, also called drones, become more popular, the Federal Aviation Administration and local bases have established policy on how and when to operate drones.
This week's photos feature Airmen from around the globe involved in activities supporting
The Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day 75th Anniversary Commemoration took place at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, as several survivors were in attendance.
The Air Force has selected 531 senior master sergeants for promotion to chief master sergeant out of the 2,229 eligible.