Air Force Changes Headquarters Manning
Air Force Changes
Headquarters Manning, Organization
DoD News, Defense Media Activity.
Washington D.C. – (DOD
News) – July 14, 2014 – The Air Force is deactivating and realigning
organizations at its headquarters, major commands, numbered air forces and field
operating agencies, resulting in savings of $1.6 billion in the next five years,
Air Force officials announced today. "I will work to ensure the world's best Air
Force is the most capable at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayer," said Air
Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said. "Everyone knows our economy is still not
where it should be. We have a responsibility to ensure that every dollar adds
value to the taxpayers and our national defense."
The changes are a result of a comprehensive effort to reduce
overhead costs, increase efficiencies, eliminate redundant activities and
improve effectiveness and business processes, also known as Air Force Management
Headquarters Review, officials said. The efficiencies created through the
reorganization will help to meet a Defense Department directive to reduce costs
and staff levels by at least 20 percent, eliminating 3,459 positions at
headquarters across the Air Force, both in the United States and overseas, they
As part of ongoing cost-savings initiatives, the Air Force
also will continue to reduce contract spending, operating budgets and travel
To minimize the effect on civilian personnel, officials said,
the Air Force will initiate Voluntary Early Retirement Authority programs and
Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay to foster voluntary reductions before
pursuing involuntary measures. As part of ongoing efforts to responsibly shape
the force, military members were offered a variety of voluntary incentive
"We are aggressively pursuing reductions within the first
year, rather than spread them out over five years as allowed by DoD," James said.
"It's better for airmen, because it provides them predictability and allows us
to re-stabilize our workforce sooner. It also allows us to harvest the savings
earlier so that we can plow it back into readiness and some of our key
The Air Force's goal is to go beyond the 20-percent reduction
mandated by DoD, officials said, so any additional savings can be achieved from
staff functions above the wing level and set to provide additional combat
capability to the combatant commanders.
"The Air Force has been making incremental changes in our
business practices for the last several years, but we must change the way we are
doing business if we are to meet the Air Force's goal to reduce staffing
functions by more than 20 percent," explained Bill Booth, the Air Force’s acting
deputy chief management officer. "Reducing higher headquarters' staffs means we
can save money that can be re-invested in getting ready for combat missions at
the wing level."
The largest initiative will include centralizing policy and
oversight of installation and mission support activities within a newly created
Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, which will report to Air
Force Materiel Command. Execution will remain at the local level.
"The current and projected fiscal climate make it essential
to centralize management and streamline support to the maximum extent possible
in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness, as well as deliver more
standardized levels of service across the Air Force," Booth said. Support
functions currently spread across major command staffs will be centralized at
the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center.
The Air Force will also make changes to the headquarters Air
Force staff organization by splitting Operations, Plans and Requirements, or
A3/5, and Strategic Plans and Programs, A8, and reorganizing them into a new
Operations, or A3, organization that will stand alone and merge the planning
staffs into the new A5/8 organization. The current programming functions from A8
will be merged into the service's financial management organization.
"We will now have an organization, A5/8, that is responsible
for developing, managing and constantly assessing an Air Force strategy that is
bounded by long-range resource projections and another organization, FM, that
deals primarily with the day-to-day budget activities involved in running the
Air Force," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III explained. "Keeping
organizations aligned will ensure we keep moving towards our long-range
strategic goals despite the short-term budget upheaval we face regularly."
The Air Force also will realign several functions that
currently report to the headquarters in an effort to better support combatant
commanders and will realign some field operating agencies to operational major
commands and will merge forward operating agencies with similar missions and
The Air Force Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance
Agency also is being realigned from headquarters Air Force as a forward
operating agency to become part of a new operational numbered air force under
Air Combat Command.
Realigning the Air Force ISR Agency into the new 25th Air
Force within ACC ensures warfighting commands will have the best possible
intelligence from integrated national and tactical ISR capabilities, officials
said, while appropriately realigning operational activities and the agency’s "organize,
train and equip" responsibilities from execution by Headquarters U.S. Air Force
to a major command.
Deborah Lee James
Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III