Roger A. Brady
Deputy Chief of Staff, Manpower & Personnel
Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition
September 26, 2006
General Brady: I’m delighted to be with you. I appreciate the introduction from General Peterson, and this is a great time for our Air Force but indeed a challenging time for our Air Force. People all week have been coming up to me saying hey, how are you doing? Well, doing okay. It’s kind of hard in this job to describe how you’re doing. Sometimes you don’t always know how you’re doing. But occasionally a picture, perhaps, gives a better indication of how life is when you’re doing what I do.
That was the briefing at my last Corona, and I was not the bull.
This is a very challenging time for our Air Force and I’m going to talk to you -- I’m not going to talk to you a lot about the drawdown this morning. I’m going to mention it only for a little bit, but I want to talk to you about what some of the developmental challenges we have as a result of the situation we find ourselves in.
You recall, and I’m sure you’ve read it and heard it from these two gentlemen regarding what they established more than a year ago as to what our priorities are. Obviously number one, job one, is we’re going to win the Global War on Terrorism. You’ve got to do that immediately. That’s something you have to focus on first and always.
We also have to develop and care for our Airmen, and we have to modernize and recapitalize aircraft and equipment.
Obviously the piece that I work most is that one right there in the middle, but you can’t really carve that out in isolation from the other two. So we all, all of us on the Air Staff find ourselves working in all three of these realms, but my lane principally is to work that middle issue there.
We found ourselves about a year and a half ago as we began the QDR (Quadrennial Defense Review), in a situation with a lot of bills to pay and a lot of ideas in the building as to who should be doing what missions. Some of the missions that had traditionally been ours and are obviously the mission of Airmen, some people had other designs on.
So the Chief the Secretary, and the Vice Chief took this on in a big way, reestablished our primacy in some important air and space areas, got us some funding for some of the equipment that we needed to recapitalize our force, but it came at a cost. Part of that cost was 40,000 full-time equivalents in terms of our Airmen.
So, we have gone to work on figuring out how to do that. I frequently get questions like, “What the heck are you guys doing?” and “Do you know what the heck you’re doing?” We think we do. We have a plan for doing this that involves obviously, number one, focusing on the war fight. So, as we addressed reductions we focused on keeping immediate capability and capability that goes forward that provides direct support to COCOMs. But, as you work yourself back to garrison from al-Udaid or wherever, those capabilities assumed a little bit lesser priority and took a little bit heavier hit in the big scheme of things.
For example, the manpower and personnel world took huge hits. Manpower and personnel folks are not heavily forward deployed. We have a lot of people to go forward, but you don’t need a heavy footprint forward in the manpower and personnel business. We have a heavy footprint back here, Air Force Personnel Center, et cetera.
So, we set out in this particular tribe to figure out how to do what we do more effectively and we’re actively involved in reach-back, in doing things on the web, call centers, and things of that nature, and that allowed us to get out of what has been forever a heavily manpower intensive personnel business. Others are doing the same thing. My buddy Don Wetticomb, the loggy, is looking a lot at how many places do we need to have engine shocks? What kind of consolidation can we do? How do we reduce back-shop? How do we consolidate back-shop? And all of those things and this whole concept of AFSO Smart Ops 21 is how we must operate to be more effective, to work with a reduced number of airmen.
If you’ve had the opportunity, and you should take the opportunity to go down to the team awards. In the team awards you see some examples of what some bright, bright Airmen in our Air Force have taken advantage of the opportunity to be more efficient in what they do. Things like the Prop Shop at Ramstein, who was taking 35 days to turn a prop, we now do it in five days. Some people who were doing some important medical tests for our families, there were hundreds of people around the Air Force doing these tests and doing lab work on these tests. We’ve now centered that at Lackland and now there are 19 people doing that as opposed to 100 or so people doing it across the Air Force and they’re still doing it in two days.
In the personnel business, NCO retraining is an example of something that we’ve put at the contact center. We used to have 100 or so people doing NCO retraining at every MPF(Military Personnel Flight) in the Air Force. We now have 14 people doing it at the Air Force Personnel Center, and since they do it every day and since they’re a little bit more senior, they don’t make nearly as many mistakes in that process as we have in the past. And oh, by the way, if you decide on Saturday morning while you’re sitting there in your robe with a cup of coffee you want to retrain, you can call them and do that. You don’t have to wait until the MPF opens on Monday morning.
So, our Air Force is doing a lot of things and we’re going to have to do a lot of things to figure out how to operate and maintain the same level of service to our people and get the same mission done with fewer Airmen.
It’s a different Air Force than the one I came in. It’s a smaller Air Force. It’s a less tribal Air Force. And a lot more people are involved in what we have classically been referred to as operations. There is no rear area on the battlefield of today. We’re all there. And when we go forward everybody to some degree or another finds themselves at risk and needs to be able to take care of themselves. So as we develop and care for Airmen, one of the first things you do is help them stay alive.
I remember several years ago there was a big quality of life debate. One of the Marine commandants, I’ve forgotten which one it was, but one of the Marine commandants was being harassed a little bit in the press because he was not focusing enough on quality of life. His response was, helping people stay alive I think is an important quality of life issue. That’s what he was about, and he was right. We’re doing more of that too.
If you go to Lackland Air Force Base today and you haven’t been to BMT (Basic Military Training) in a while, you’ll find that this is not the Air Force that you knew. All of our Airmen are carrying a gun. Scary, isn’t it? We used to go to the range and the NCO would say, “Stand right here, sir. Point right down there.” Then when you got through shooting they’d say, “Stand right there, sir.” They’d go get the gun from you so you didn’t hurt yourself, take it and put it back on the rack.
Well, we’re not that Air Force any more. Our Airmen are all issued a weapon. They can take it apart in their sleep and put it back together. They know how to use it. They’re comfortable with it. It follows them all the way through BMT. Because we’re finding as we go forward, we need a force that has better combat skills, that is physically fit, and to do some of those things we have expanded BMT from six and a half weeks to eight and a half weeks. That’s a big deal. It’s also a lot of money. But we’re going to be a better Air Force for it. Our people are going to be more operationally minded. They are going to have no-kidding better operational skills, and that’s an important part of development.
We also have tasked our wings to be involved in this. As people spin up to go to the AEF (Air and Space Expeditionary Force) there’s some 19 hours of pre-deployment training that again focuses on the combat skills that could be required of us in the AOR (Area of Responsibility). So again, just another example of how we’re becoming more operational.
Language and culture. You hear a lot about culture. You hear a lot in the press about our lack of understanding of other cultures, and that’s a fair hit. And as we deal with a different mindset than we are used to, we are essentially a Western European nation in terms of our outlook on life. But that’s not the mindset that we are dealing within the folks by and large who represent the enemy today. And we find that we are not always attuned to not only the enemy and his thought process, but we find that we also need to be more attuned to our coalition partners because they don’t always have the same mindset that we do, they don’t process information the same way we do. So it has become more and more important as we find ourselves in coalition fights. Gone are the days when you’re going to see us go it alone, probably anywhere in the world. We are always going to go with our allies and coalition partners and the more that we’re able to understand them and they us, the better off we’ll be.
Part of that is understanding their culture and their language, and we’re starting to spend a lot of time doing that. If you’re in ROTC or the Academy now, particularly if you’re a non-technical major -- that would be me -- you’re going to take four hours of a language. I think we probably have the portion of the ACSC (Air Command and Staff College) class that is out of bed is here this morning -- and I think, I am led to believe that they have a choice this year and they are all, whether they like it or not, in a course involving French, Spanish, Arabic or Chinese. Am I right? They will be able to order a beer by the end of the year.
That’s a start. We’re doing that in all of our schools. ACSC and Air War College are both doing that. So we’re going to get involved in this and be more culturally aware and I think more operationally savvy and better coalition partners as we go forward.
The AEF Center, which has now come under Air Force Personnel Center, is also linked to the training that is going on. There’s a lot of training, sometimes very specific training as people go forward. That has to do with combat skills and frequently training with the Army, particularly as we take on some of the duties in the AOR that are, quite frankly, outside the core competency of Airmen.
Science and technology. There’s a bit of a rub here. It’s not that we don’t want to do it, but we are a technology force. We like to think we are the technology force. That means that we need a lot of big brain folks who understand technology. There will always be a challenge in how we balance all of this. The personnelists of the world would like to be able to present to the Chief and Secretary a guy or gal who speaks three languages and also can do differential equations and have a 32 inch waist and run a five-minute mile. Those are hard to come by and it’s also hard to find those people, it’s hard to attract those people because people like that have other options.
Science and technology, we’re always short of engineers and people of a scientific bent. We always have been and we always will be. So, a real challenge is how do we continue to bring on, to assess, develop, to motivate, and to keep people who can develop systems, who can work with our contractors who develop systems, who can be program managers who understand how the electrons are moving, and be effective in a very difficult environment.
The United States is not producing enough of these people. I recently talked to a former Chief Scientists of the Air Force who is back in academia now. He was telling me about these bright young kids that he has in college. Graduate students in some kind of degree that I can’t pronounce. And the interesting thing about it was none of his graduate students are American citizens.
So, we’re not producing. We are not producing a lot of people in academia who can come into the Air Force, and there is a great competition for them with industry partners and other parts of the economy. They have lots of options. So we have to have our unfair share of those folks and we also, when we get them we have to develop them and motivate them, and use them appropriately as we go forward. It’s always going to be a challenge for us.
Let’s talk a little bit about capabilities. This is the slide that I’m going to brief at Corona next week, or whenever Corona is, two weeks. I’ll let you know how it goes.
This is a construct that I plan to present about how we use skill sets. Down at the bottom you have our AFSCs (Air Force Specialty Codes). And across there we have, I went through seven. It actually goes a little further than that, but we have about ten families of AFSCs. The 1’s obviously are the operators; 3’s are support; 5’s are the professional guys. Two hundred and sixty-three AFSCs. When I came in the Air Force there were nearly a million people on active duty. It’s only a short time ago we had 500,000 or more. We’re at 350,000, we’re going to 316,500. Now when you’ve got a million people it probably doesn’t matter how you’re organized or how many AFSCs you’ve got. You can pretty much do want you want to. But when you start getting to 315,000 you’ve got to have the right skill sets, and you probably have to have people that are a little more broadly skilled and a little bit less stove-piped than we have in the past.
Now we operate in the domains of air, space, and cyberspace. And at any given time you’re either an operator, a supporter, or a sustainer. What do I mean by that?
What’s an operator? When I came into the Air Force an operator was somebody that went to navigator or pilot school, period. That’s no longer true. An operator is an Airman who produces desired effects in air, space, or cyberspace in support of national objectives. That can be a whole lot of different people. That can be space guys and gals. That can be intel folks. That can be communicators. A wider range of folks than we have traditionally thought about.
Support folks, okay, people like personnelists and maintainers, et cetera. Sustainment (people) are the folks back home. Sustainment is Air Education and Training Command. If you’re an F-15 instructor at Tyndall, F-16 instructor at Luke, you’re in the sustainment business. You’re part of the sustainment operation, as is acquisition, and all of the schools. All the people that feed the fight.
Now taking care of all the AFSCs you have the functional authorities. I’m the functional authority for manpower and personnel and services folks. You have Dave Deptula taking care of the intel guys, and you’ve got Howie taking care of the operators, et cetera.
But sometimes it takes more than one of these AFSCs to deliver an operational capability.
So we come up with things like strategic communication, combat Airmen and cyber. Let’s talk about cyber.
There’s about six or seven different AFSCs that are going to take to do the cyber business.
So we’re going to take people from intel, some traditional operators, people from space, people from com, people from the behavioral sciences and perhaps others -- six or seven folks. Some lawyers, of course. To put together this cyber force. But now in my view you’re not going to create a cradle to grave cyber guy. I don’t think you’re going to get all the skill sets you might need into one body. So we’re probably going to have some kind of an AFSC or a stamp on your forehead or an SEI (Skill Experience Identifier) that identifies you as a cyber dude. Will we have a cyber school? I don’t know. I think we probably will. We kind of have an AOC (Air Operations Center) school now, fledgling. But I would envision a situation where you would find the skill sets that you need, you put them together and teach them how they operate together in this world of cyberspace. You put some kind of gong on their forehead so you can track them.
And then as they proceed through their career, just like in an AOC perhaps, you would find times when you’re kind of working your stovepipe and there are times when maybe you’re in an AOC in a cyber cell or whatever.
Can you take me back to the prior slide? Maybe not.
What we have not always done real well, and something I would advocate that we do, is that we need to decide who the crew chief is for cyber. I don’t know if it’s on the staff, I don’t know if it’s out in the field, but who is the daddy for cyber? Then that guy or gal needs to help us with the ConOps, decide what kind of skill sets there are, and then I can work, my guys can work with the Secretary and the Chief as to okay, what’s your priority? We’ve got 316,000 Airmen, how do you want to divide them up in all these different mission areas that you’ve got, emphasis areas that you’ve got to meld this force?
The Secretary talks about increasing our intellectual throw-weight, and this gets back to the idea again of you’ve got fewer people. You need people who are smart, agile, flexible, and can do all the varied things that we need to do, that can take on additional missions in an incredibly diverse and increasingly dynamic mission environment.
We’re looking at academic degrees. Academic degrees, when you think about it in an international context, are kind of an American hangup, quite frankly, but it’s what we do. It’s a benchmark that we use to describe how certain people have accomplished a course in a certain body of knowledge, so they’re important to us.
We’re working really hard with General Looney and Steve Lorenz down at Air University to take advantage of all the opportunities we have through distance learning to get people the kinds of academic degrees that they need.
It’s becoming a little bit easier now than it used to be even for people to get more technical degrees. In the past degrees that you got on line or distance tended to be degrees of a management nature. We need those. We’re also looking at the opportunity for how do we get the more scientific, more technical degrees. But we’re looking at advanced degrees and how we accomplish those. How we use experience, the very rich experience that some of our Airmen have to get accredited work and academic credit for work so that people are able to obtain an academic degree by some established milestones and be prepared to function efficiently as they go to the next stage of their career. You’re going to see that in the officer corps and I’m going to talk about it a little bit more in a minute with our enlisted core as well.
Ancillary training and additional duties. I don’t know where to throw this in but I had to talk about it somewhere, so that’s where it is. I am in my fourth decade in the Air Force so I’ve been to this rodeo a couple of times. About every ten years we realize that we’ve been overwhelmed with additional duties and ancillary training, and we’re there.
One of my biggest concerns, when people say well what are your concerns about this, what are my biggest concerns about the drawdown? My biggest concerns are, quite frankly, that we didn’t take enough manpower out of headquarters and we raped the wings. That’s my concern. So we’re going to be going about that in the next few months of fixing that.
I’m concerned because at wing level we have some people, particularly in the mission support group who have more additional duties than they’ve got primary duties. I’m most familiar with, obviously, the personnel folks. We have CSS (Commander’s Support Staff) folks in the squadrons, usually one, sometimes two. And occasionally they do personnel work, but most of the time they’re selling the squadron T-shirt, they’re the impact card guy, they’re the security guy, they’re the fitness monitor, they’re the safe lifting training monitor, they’re the sex and assault monitor, they’re the law of armed conflict monitor, and they’ve got about 18 things to do and two of them have something to do with personnel.
Now I’m not complaining about that. I want personnelists to be all-seeing, all-dancing bears that can do whatever the commander needs done. But those people are going away. So once again, we’re doing -- Once a decade I think we’re morally compelled to go out and say okay, give us all the additional duties, again. Some of them are guys like my fault; some of them are functionals that the Air Staff have pushed down on you; and we need to find out if nothing bad happens if you just quit doing them. Sometimes I wonder how long it would be before anybody found out.
There are some things that are going to be outside our control. There are things that are issued to us from OSD that we pass along to you and we’ll have to sort through that. But we’ve got to look at what we’ve done to ourselves in terms of additional duties and ancillary training.
We also need to align it more with the AEF. I am personally of the view that you don’t do annual training any more, you do 15 month training or 20 month training. Some of the things -- Of course it’s interesting how us functionals fall in love with our own training that we’ve pushed on people, and we want you to do it about every third Tuesday and report back.
I don’t think we need to do that, so we’ve got to take another run at that.
That was just kind of an excursion.
Officers and internships. We found, and this is all under the rubric of okay, we’ve got fewer people, what do we have them doing? And does it make sense?
We went out and I had Bob Allardice, who’s down here on the front row, I had him go out and look at internships. So he went in and polled the force and said tell me about all the developmental programs you’ve got. Everybody was proud to tell. They didn’t realize we were about to whack them. They were proud to tell us about their programs. What we found out was we had internships gone wild. We had as many people in developmental programs that were dreamed up by MAJCOMs or functionals as we had going through Air University programs. We had 7,000 people in internships that we had developed over time. Now I’m not bad-mouthing them. Some of them were excellent programs doing good things for people, developing people. But the question we had to ask ourselves is, where do they fit into Air Force development, or are we just doing more tribal development? And where do they fit into an Air Force career? And can we afford that?
So we’ve looked at all the internships. Next year there are going to be 50 people going to internships total -- 50 people going to internships that are not at AU (Air University) or another brick and mortar school.
That does a couple of things for us. And we’ve taken some of those internships -- For example, there’s one I’m very familiar with that’s a great program, it’s at Air Mobility Command. It’s called Phoenix Hawk. We take some kind of mid-year captains in there, they come in and they work in the TACC (Tactical Air Control Center) for a year and then they spend another year on the staff, either working for the A3 (Operations) or over in the A4 (Logistics). Great program. When I was the A3 there some of them worked for me. Outstanding. And they have a great track record for moving on to good things.
But, what happened as we looked at it is they come in there for a couple of years and then oh, by the way, we PCS (Permanent Change of Station) them and where do we send them? Usually to school. So not only do we have a short tour which generates a PCS which, oh by the way, costs a lot of money, but now we’re sending them to school and somehow that doesn’t make a lot of sense.
We have the Air Force intern program which is about 30 folks who come to the Pentagon every year, and they come and spend a year or two with us. Again, they’re about seven-year captains. Then, oh by the way, this is in the middle of their captain years when you’d think they might be flight commanders or something, and then we send them back for a year or so, and then we send them to school. That kind of doesn’t seem to maybe make sense either, as we looked at it.
So, what we’ve done is we’ve taken those programs and instead of killing them we’re saying let’s slide those things to the right. Let’s make those IDE programs, intermediate development programs, get them older, about the time you should be on a staff anyway, let you spend your captain years in the cockpit or on the base where you ought to be. Then when we move you to that, when we send you to one of these programs, we’re also going to tack a year on so we can save a little PCS money here and it’s going to be a three-year deal. But, in that three years you’re going to do whatever your internship is. You’re also going to sign up for the Steve Lorenz Memorial ACSC Course and get that accomplished, and get JPME-1 (Joint Professional Military Education) and get your staff tour all in three years, and we’re going to do it with two PCS’s instead of three or four.
This is very important. Oh, by the way, did I tell you that I’ve got a billion dollar problem in the PCS account? And I have to reduce 15,000 moves. We move about 160,000 people a year at the Personnel Center. I need to reduce that by 30,000 PCSes next year. The corporate staff, the corporate structure bought back half of those, but I’ve got to find 15,000 PCS moves. Those are some of them. PCS moves have gone out of sight because of oil and the cost of moving household goods, among other things.
So we’re going to make internships more relevant and less costly at the same time. Oh, by the way, people who went through the intern program a couple of years ago, you’re done. We’re going to grandfather you. You’re going to sign up to the Steve Lorenz School. And when you’ve got that done we’re going to go omni, omni, VOR, you're not an IDE guy and your officer selection brief will say, IDE residence, just like somebody that went to ACSC.
Enlisted folks. We have hands-down, it’s not even a close call, we have hands-down the best enlisted force that ever existed. They are incredible. In fact it’s interesting, just last week the Chief brought about 30 squadron commanders and first sergeants in to talk to him. And their spouses. A great group of folks from across the Air Force.
We went over to the Chief’s house. We talked to them all day then we went to the Chief’s house that night. Our spouses were with us, and we were walking around talking to these guys, they were in their civilian clothes. We’ve got first sergeants and lieutenant colonel squadron commanders, and at some point my wife turns to me and says, “I can’t tell the first sergeants from the lieutenant colonels.” I said, “You know, I can’t either.” And that’s pretty cool.
We have always used our enlisted folks heavily and we’re going to use them even more heavily. But we need to prepare them even more than we have in the past and we need to continue to develop them.
Over time we’ve come to the idea that an enlisted person needs to get a community college degree. We’re about to decide that’s not enough.
It’s interesting, I was in Texas last week and I was reading where in Plano, Texas, which is kind of a middle to upper middle class suburb of Dallas. They have decided that to be on their police force you have to have a bachelor’s degree, because of who they’re dealing with, their clientele, and the challenges that face them.
I’ve been talking to Chief Rod McKinley, and we’re kind of coming to the idea that there may be a point in an enlisted person’s career where they need a bachelor’s degree and we need to figure out how to do that. Again, Steve Lorenz and his folks, General Looney and his folks, are helping us figure that out. I don’t know where that’s going to be, but we’re working that issue hard.
So Air University is working on how we provide a bachelor’s degree on-line, and through whatever combination of events and experiences and academic opportunities we get people to that point.
This all gets to the smaller group of Airmen, the more flexible group of Airmen, the better prepared group of Airmen that we need.
All you have to do is see the paper and know anything about the Air Force, and all you guys know a lot about it, to know that we have a dynamic mission set that is doing nothing but grow. Which means in the people business with fewer people, our folks have got to be more agile, and they’ve got to be optimally trained, educated, and equipped to meet the challenges of today and the challenges of tomorrow.
This is an exciting business; it’s a challenging business; resourcing it will be a challenge. But we have the best people in the world.
The AFA is really important to us and it’s very important that we continue to communicate with the AFA and that they understand this and that they help us tell this message to Congress and to the American people.
It is a great time, a challenging time to be in our Air Force and to be in the people business and every one of you, I don’t care what you do in the Air Force, you’re all in the people business because this is what it’s about. Regardless of what tribal affiliation you have among us, you’ve got important people working for you that you must continuer to mentor and grow and develop and sustain so that we can continue to be the air and space and cyberspace force that is the envy of the world and that can advance the priorities of our nation.
Thank you very much. I’ll take your questions.
Any questions? Like am I going to have to buy a new uniform or anything like that? The old guys always ask that question.
Question: Good morning, General Brady.
I’m from a community that’s going to be faced with integrating a Guard/Reserve/active duty unit in the future. Can you tell me about the decision-making process and how the Air Force is going to do that?
General Brady: Yeah. I can tell you what the options are. We’ve found that blended is not the most elegant way to go. Just lots of challenges to that. In the mobility world we have had great success with associate relationships where you have a component that owns the iron and everybody else falls in. It is really effective. The mobility world has done it very well. The fighter world is starting to do it now. Richmond and other places. And I think that you will find until such time as we’re able to be more successful working through all the legal issues of Title 10, Title 32, all that kind of stuff I don’t quite understand, it will be hard to do a true blend.
I think there are cultural differences between the components. I don’t think that’s a bad thing but I think it does have implications for how we organize and how we operate. So I think certainly for the near term you’ll see us in associate relationships. I think that’s what we wanted. We were marginally successful in the BRAC, I think. But we need to get all the capability we can get -- active duty, Guard, Reserve -- onto air patches where the iron is. And in my personal opinion, this is all about how do you maximize the use of the iron? I think that’s how you do it.
The associate relationships are perhaps not the most efficient because you still have some organizations where there is leadership in at least two organizations, but it’s undeniably effective, has been in the mobility world for many years. So when adults get together and figure out how to do that, it works really well. So that’s kind of how I see it.
We’re working really hard on the staff. General Moseley has told General Wood and myself and Howie Chandler, I’d like one personnel system. I'd like one financial structure. I’d like one set of operators. Figure out how to do that. So we’re working our way through that in the A1. Total force is a whole lot more than a bumper sticker that it may have been at some time in the past. Virtually everything we do is total force and will be forever and ever, amen.
Question: Good morning, sir. Major Chuck Paine, ACSC student. I’m a maintainer by trade. In today’s forward-thinking Air Force we’re doing more with less and we’re going to reduce more people here in the new future. Is there any talk about reducing the OpTempo, rap (???) requirements, and things of that nature?
General Brady: No. We’re not going to reduce the OpTempo. I don’t know how you do that. I really don’t know how you do that. But we really do, and we can’t do more with less. However, our skirts are not entirely clean. We have some AFSCs that are heavily tasked, portions of them are heavily tasked. Security forces. People come to me and say man, the security forces are on a one-to-one rotation. Well, as I look at it, that’s not true. The ones that are going are on a one-to-one, but there’s a pot-load of them that aren’t going.
Convoy operators. 2-Tango-1’s. These are the convoy dudes that are really, no-kidding, nose-to-nose with the enemy. Doing incredible work. But only 40 percent of them have deployed. But 20 percent of them have deployed twice or more.
So we’ve got to get everybody an equal opportunity to get sand in their shoes, first of all. To figure out how really stressed we are. We are incredibly stressed in pockets, but I sense sometimes there are places where we’re hiding the pickle, too. We need to make sure that we’re doing this evenly. That’s number one.
I don’t think we’re using our people in every case as effectively as we should be.
And as cliché as it may sound, we’ve got to do the AFSO 21 thing to survive with 40,000 fewer people. There are lots of examples downstairs of some really bright people who have figured out how to do things a whole lot more effectively.
When you announce a 40,000 drawdown, you start into the seven stages of grief. We’re just about halfway through the pissed off stage right now. But some of us are still in denial. But no-kidding, we’re really going to do this.
You may not realize, but we’ve already done 30,000. On July 31, 2004 we had 383,000 faces in our Air Force. Today we’ve got 351,000. We have 30,000 fewer people in our Air Force than we had at this time two years ago.
We’re coming down another 20,000 this year. Another 15,000 or so the next two years.
So this is real. We’ve given up the money. Nobody’s going to ride, the cavalry is not coming to save us from this cut. So we’ve got to get about figuring out how to do it and how to make this work. I’m very confident that we will.
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