Round the Reserve: AFRC Working to Implement Laws That Allow Reservists to Carry Over Leave|
Posted 7/24/2012 Updated 7/24/2012
from Various Sources
Air Force Reserve Command
7/24/2012 - Citizen Airman/Aug 2012 -- Air Force Reserve officials are working to change policy to allow members who earn days of leave to carry those days over from year to year.
New laws and Department of Defense instructions permit Reservists to carry over the leave days. However, policy and procedures have not caught up with the new authority.
"This is a tremendous benefit to our Airmen who historically were forced to immediately use, sell or lose their leave," said Rickey Harrington, deputy chief of the Force Support Division in the Office of Air Force Reserve at the Pentagon. "The new authority provides Reservists more flexibility on how they use leave earned during active-duty activations and mobilizations of 30 or more days."
For each month served on active duty, Reservists and active-duty people earn 2.5 days of leave, which amounts to 30 days of leave per year. However, active-duty people are also allowed to carry up to 60 days on the books as they cross the "use-or-lose" deadline on Oct. 1 each year. In addition, they can sell up to 60 days of leave during an entire career.
"While the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Air Force have moved out on putting this in the appropriate leave regulations, Air Force Reserve policymakers have yet to implement the authority because there are significant issues that need to be addressed," said Col. Nancy C. Zbyszinski, director of personnel in the Office of Air Force Reserve.
One key issue is tracking the leave balance that Reservists will carry forward each year. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service, based in Indianapolis, is not set up to account for Reservists' leave beyond a single year.
According to financial managers at Headquarters Air Force, the leave software automatically pays out to Reservists if the leave is on record one year after the end-of-tour date.
DFAS is working to change the system and to prevent this automatic pay out, according to Lt. Col. C.J. Miller, deputy chief of the Force Sustainment and Requirements Branch in the Office of Air Force Reserve.
"We are working the last of the policy implementation issues, and once DFAS finalizes its system changes we'll push this out to the field," Zbyszinski said. (Col. Bob Thompson, Office of Air Force Reserve public affairs, Washington, D.C.)
Air Force Releases Updated Social Media Guide
Airmen and families have a new resource at their fingertips with the release of an updated and revised social media guide by the Air Force Public Affairs Agency in San Antonio, Texas.
The guide features sections geared toward all members of the total force and their families as well as Air Force leaders. It highlights topics including using social media effectively, security awareness, social media platforms, public affairs programs and social media policy.
"Our social media team has made great strides in updating this guide," said Larry Clavette, AFPAA director. "Airmen and families will see a lot of information they can apply to their social networking practices, whether they've been using social media for years or are just coming onboard with the technology."
While information on social media has been around for several years, the types of platforms people use evolve and new ones start up nearly every day. Regardless of the social media platform used, or whether people use social media personally or professionally, many basic principles apply.
Operations security ranks first and foremost in the minds of many military members, but the casual nature of social media can easily lead to inadvertent sharing of sensitive personal information via personal profiles and accounts. Everyone should make sure they share personal information only with people they trust and understand that no matter how secure they set up their own accounts friends can unintentionally share details about their lives with people who may have malicious intentions.
Though the desire to protect personal information is one reason people may not join social media platforms, unfamiliarity with the platforms is another commonly cited reason for staying out of the social media arena.
"By now, many people are already using social media, so this guide doesn't focus on how to set up new personal accounts," said Capt. Amber Millerchip, deputy director of public communications at AFPAA. "Instead, we focused on how to communicate more effectively on some of the most commonly used social media platforms. We hope everyone finds something in the guide they can use in their personal or professional communications on these platforms."
The social media guide is available on the official website of the Air Force at http://www.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-120327-048.pdf. Questions and comments about the guide can be directed to the AFPAA Social Media Division via the contact information on the guide's back cover. (Tech. Sgt. Karen Tomasik, AFPAA, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas)
Air University Offers Dual-Purpose Online Program
Pursuing intermediate development education and a master's degree are both important for majors and major-selects looking to advance their military careers.
However, embarking on two challenging programs is very time-consuming, especially for Air Force Reservists who also have to worry about their civilian career and family commitments.
Now, Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., is offering people an option to kill two birds with one stone. By completing the Air Command and Staff College Online Master's Program in Joint Warfare Concentration, majors and major-selects earn both IDE credit and a master's degree. The master's degree is in military operational art and science and is the same degree awarded to ACSC resident students.
The program comprises 11 eight-week classes and is open to active-duty, non-extended active-duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard members. In addition, federal civil service employees, GS-12 or higher, with at least two years of service and a bachelor's degree are eligible to participate. However, people who have completed both a master's degree and IDE are not eligible for the program.
Information, including application instructions and points of contact, is available online at http://www.au.af.mil/au/dlmasters.asp. (Staff reports)
New Program Set Up to Prepare Reservists for Basic Military Training
Many Air Force Reservists entering basic military training no longer have to worry about fear of the unknown.
The newly formed development and training flight fills the gap between the time new Airmen enlist and the time they ship off to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, for basic training -- a period that often lasts many months. Filling this time gap provides benefits to new Airmen and to the Air Force.
Instead of waiting around for months and losing the enthusiasm and momentum that
came with the decision to enlist, new Airmen who attend the development and training flight on training weekends can get paid to train and learn.
The Air Force benefits by having Airmen who are prepped to succeed in basic training.
Those who participate in the development and training flight are taught Air Force history, customs and courtesies, core values, and rank structure. They also engage in physical training.
"We try to make the transition from civilian life to military life a little less drastic," said Tech. Sgt. Timothy Mullin, an instructor with the flight at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
Mullin said he expects his students to have an advantage in the early stages of their Air Force careers.
"I wish this program existed when I was a new Airman," he said. "I had no idea how to tell the difference between enlisted and officer. It was all brand-new to me."
Mullin is joined in the development and training flight by four other instructors who come from various units across the 514th Air Mobility Wing. Each of the five instructors offers new Airmen their experience as noncommissioned officers, but their ace in the hole is the flight's program manager, Master Sgt. Joe Gentile, who previously served as an Air Force basic training instructor.
Gentile works closely with recruiters and the flight's instructors to maintain the effectiveness of the program. He said that in the past, too many Reserve Airmen were being sent home from basic training due to academic failure, disciplinary issues or medical problems. To counter this trend, Air Force Reserve Command started development and training flights at six test locations and saw immediate results.
The 514th AMW started its flight in April, and Gentile said feedback has been positive from both trainees and established members of the wing.
Besides the formal training the trainees receive, Mullin said the opportunity to network with NCOs and fellow new Airmen is invaluable.
"The only person I had ever met from the Air Force prior to leaving for basic training was my recruiter," he said. "It also would have been nice to meet other people who were reporting to boot camp with me." (Tech. Sgt. Jonathan White, 514th AMW public affairs)
315th AW Opens New Readiness Office
The 315th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., has opened a new combat readiness office to increase mission capability and effectiveness.
"The combat readiness office was created to plan, prepare, execute and assess the wing's personnel readiness program," said Lt. Col. Donna McNabb-Riley, 315th AW combat readiness officer.
With the restructuring of the Air Force Reserve's three numbered air forces, senior leaders realized they needed to create readiness offices in each wing to effectively make sure members are ready to deploy.
"This is a new concept on how we do things," McNabb-Riley said.
Every four years, wings undergo major readiness and compliance inspections.
"Our main job is to plan and implement readiness training events, but we also help and assist with the compliance side," McNabb-Riley said. "We create exercises and events to get members ready to deploy, pinpointing weaknesses that may need to be addressed."
One ongoing task for the combat readiness office is to augment the 22nd Air Force as it conducts other wing inspections and evaluations.
"We help the other units by providing exercise evaluation teams for their inspections," McNabb-Riley said. "We also gain valuable information to help plan and prepare our own people."
Subject matter experts are needed during these exercises to make sure Reservists are trained correctly.
"We have a pool of experts from the 315th, so when the request comes from higher headquarters, NAF or other wings, we are ready to help," McNabb-Riley said. (Tech. Sgt. Scott Mathews, 315th AW public affairs)
C-130 Receives New Life at Pope Field
A new aircraft recently arrived at Pope Field, N.C., but it didn't land on either runway 5 or 23. Rather, it arrived secured to the back of a tractor-trailer, minus a few noticeable parts such as its tail, engines and wings, but still ready to go to work.
Although its flying days are over, the fuselage of the C-130 will serve as a trainer for the aeromedical evacuation students at Pope.
The modified C-130 came from Dobbins Air Reserve Base Ga., with the tail and wings removed. However, virtually everything inside the aircraft remains untouched and in working order, said Tech. Sgt. Gary Taiclet, aeromedical evacuation examiner, Det. 1, 440th Operations Group, Aeromedical Evacuation Formal Training Unit, Pope Field.
The aircraft will be used by the aeromedical evacuation school that was created about a year ago at Pope. The school, which currently lasts 28 days but will soon be condensed to 24 days, trains Airmen on all facets of aeromedical evacuation.
Almost all aeromedical evacuation Airmen in the Reserve, National Guard and active-duty Air Force attend the school at Pope. The school already has one modified C-130 that it uses for training, but with the high number of classes going on, students often have to wait for time to train in the aircraft, Taiclet said, adding the days for both students and instructors often stretches well beyond 12 hours.
"We often have to rotate them through the aircraft," he said. "When one group is training, another is doing its pre-flight briefings, and we have to keep moving them back and forth. It can be inefficient at times. With this new aircraft we'll be able to have more accommodating schedules, which will make days shorter for both students and instructors." (Master Sgt. Steve Staedler, 440th Airlift Wing public affairs)
Air Force Looking to Bring Reserve Component Loadmasters Back on Active Duty
Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard loadmasters may be eligible to apply for a limited period recall to extended active duty, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced.
The loadmaster career field is chronically undermanned, said Senior Master Sgt. Marvin Daugherty, AFPC Accessions Branch superintendent. Initiatives are under way to increase loadmaster manning levels from 82 percent to 95 percent by fiscal year 2014, he said.
"While those initiatives are designed to address long-term loadmaster manning, this recall will help us address immediate combatant commander needs," he said. "We expect to bring a total of 110 ARC loadmasters on extended active duty during FY12 and FY13. They'll serve in active-duty flying billets until manning initiatives mature."
Eligible applicants must be master sergeants or below, be current and qualified on their major weapon system, have less than 16 years of total active federal military service by the end of their extended active-duty period and have a current qualifying flying Class III physical, Daugherty said.
Tours will be one or two years, during which time members will be eligible for deployment. While on extended active duty, members will remain affiliated with their AFR or ANG unit and will return to that unit when their active-duty assignment ends.
AFR members must have Air Force Reserve Command operations director approval before coming on active duty, Daugherty said. In addition, ANG members may not be ordered to active duty without their governor's consent and a written endorsement from their adjutant general or commanding general.
AFR and ANG loadmasters may apply for the program through Oct. 31, 2013. The specific application requirements are provided on the Air Force Personnel Services website.
Interested AFR and ANG loadmasters should contact their local military personnel section for guidance on preparing and submitting the application package. (Debbie Gildea, Air Force Personnel Center public affairs, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas)