Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) has put confirmation of Deborah Lee James on hold until she gets answers about possible cuts to the A-10 Thunderbolt attack fighter fleet.
Air Force’s new civilian leader returns from tour of the service’s nuclear sites with a dim assessment of the workforce’s leader development and training culture. In 60 days, the service will recommend an action plan to the Pentagon.
Air Force leaders intend to surpass their share of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s edict to reduce DoD headquarters spending by 20 percent and complete the task several years ahead of schedule. The personnel cuts are part of the service’s plan to shrink its size in order to catch up with decades of deferred spending on readiness and modernization.
Air Force officials say their service already was facing readiness issues because of the high operational tempo of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But sequestration worsened the problems, and continuing the budget caps will set back a readiness recovery.
The Air Force will offer early retirement and buyouts to civilian personnel, in order to eliminate nearly 3,500 positions, officials announced Monday.
The service estimates the cuts will save the Air Force $1.6 billion over the next five years.
Service’s latest strategy document sees a future in which it will need to be more flexible and adaptable, including in its acquisition and personnel policies and organizational structures.
The Air Force can’t afford the programs it thinks it will need over the next decade. The service’s top officer says it’s time to reexamine priorities, with a realistic view of the funding it will get from Congress.
After eight months on the job, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James tells Federal Drive with Tom Temin that even though the service is in good shape, it still faces uncertainty around its budget, overseas operations and readiness.
The Air Force has a list of priorities for fiscal year 2015. They include eliminating 21 general officer billets, addressing the problems with an aging fleet of aircraft and dealing with a budget designed to shrink the force. Still, Secretary Deborah Lee James says the service is in good shape. As the Air Force celebrates its 67th birthday, James gave Tom Temin a status report on the Federal Drive.
A new series of acquisition changes called “Bending the Cost Curve” aims to make the overall Air Force acquisition process more responsive to technological advances, and reduce the time it takes to buy major weapons systems. The Air Force Research Lab will host a technology challenge program with the largest award in military history.