The U.S. Air Force Celebrated its 73rd birthday and looks ahead to many new developments, including an emerging era of telecommute-enabling technology.
“Today is more than just the United States Air Force’s 73rd birthday,” said Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass. “Today is an opportunity to reflect on where we came from, how we got here and where we are going.”
In a virtual meeting of the Air Force Association Air, Sea, Space and Cyber conference, Air Force Reserve Chief Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee said that the Air Force is pulling out the stops to accomodate its at-home work force.
“We fully embrace this culture of teleworking,” said Air Force Reserve Chief Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee. “Even in the post pandemic environment that we will find ourselves in eventually, a telework culture can remove barriers for us and the reserve component. It’s really about making it easier for airman to serve. I want all our airmen to find it easy to continue to serve, whether it’s in a part-time or full-time capacity.”
Not all of the Air Force and the civilian support will work from home, though. The Air Force is looking at how to evaluate what positions will be best for telework.
“I have not been able to get anyone to explain to me how I fix a B-52 engine through telework,” said Gen. Arnold Bunch, leader of Air Force Materiel Command. “The reality of it is we’ve got to have a harmony and we’ve got to have people like maintainers there or we can’t generate the aircraft, we can’t do the supply chain and we can’t repair the parts.”
Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen Wilson said working at home is here to stay.
““We’ve had an 800 percent increase in our ability to do this teleworking digital experience,” Wilson said. “Nobody wants to go back to what we were doing. So, how do we take this challenge and use it as an opportunity to move us forward?”
But the words of Chief Master Segeant Bass promise the mission remains the same.
“For more than seven decades we have served, fought, bled and died because our great nation needed us,” she said. “We have broken barriers, some cultural and some sonic. We have dared to push boundaries, test our own limits and achieve the impossible. We are, and continue to be, the world’s greatest Air Force. Happy birthday, wingmen!