ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
While visiting Team Robins personnel here, April 29, 2022, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass discussed important Air Force issues affecting Airmen while emphasizing the force must stay focused on strategic competitors.
“When Airmen understand the threats, then they realize we have to change,” Bass said.
During her visit to Robins, Bass made several stops to meet Active, Guard, Reserve and Civil Service Airmen during two town hall meetings to communicate Air Force priorities directly with the force. Her message was simple- we must accelerate the change we need today to win tomorrow.
“It’s tough to ask people to change when we’ve been successful for the last 75 years… but that’s why we rolled out the Enlisted Force Development Action Plan,” Bass said. “The first objective in that action plan is make sure every Airman- uniformed, non-uniformed, officer, enlisted- understands what’s at stake.”
Shifting focus to strategic competitors, like China and Russia includes preparing Airmen for possible future high-end warfare that spans across multiple domains and uses any advantages and tactics on both military and non-military targets.
During remarks, Bass asked the audience, “What does our Air Force look like in 2030?” emphasizing the need to accelerate change now to prepare for the future. She described that many changes are coming that will focus on the Air Force’s ability to defend the nation and be a competition-focused force.
Change in the Air Force is about setting up Airmen to be prepared to defeat the speed and complexity of threats we face around the globe, she said. That possibly means a shift in manpower to support more cyber, information and space missions.
“We are going to need some career fields that don’t even exist yet,” Bass said. “Some of those career fields are in our cyber and information operations fields. We have new domains, information, cyber and space. If we don’t start to get after those, we are never going to be able to generate airpower.”
When asked about the Air Force Force Generation model, also known as AFFORGEN, and how it relates to the Air Force Reserve, Chief highlighted that the Air Force components are going to be more integrated than they ever have been in the past.
“We are looking at how we are going to continue to capitalize on that integration and how to do that from a holistic talent management perspective,” she said. “I see a lot of interoperability between the active, guard and reserve.”
The goal is for Airmen to be able to go back and forth between the active, reserve and guard components more easily and seize the talent from their experiences.
Other initiatives that are already underway include updating the “Little Blue Book,” Air Force Core Values, and “Little Brown Book,” Enlisted Force Structure, along with the creation of a “Purple Book” that includes the values, capabilities and warfighting concepts of the joint force team. Bass emphasized that these books will be printed in addition to being available online when complete.
The Air Force is moving out on enlisted competency progression, re-imagining enlisted professional military education to address historical gaps over a career, transforming the Airmen feedback process, revamping enlisted performance evaluations and health and wellness, advancing promotion testing, formalizing the career-broadening program, and more.
“We’ve got a lot of changes coming out in our Air Force and I get excited because most of these changes are going to happen with our NCOs and CGOs of today seeing them through in the future,” Bass said.