Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Air Force spending on Resiliency Training and Chaplains

Air Force Posture Statement 2012
Michael B. Donley, Secretary of the Air Force
General Norton A. Schwartz Chief of Staff
$31.0 Billion Agile Combat Support but does not break it down the way it was in prior year.

Air Force Posture Statement 2011
FEBRUARY 17, 2011
Underpinning the work of all Air Force Core Functions are the capabilities included in agile combat support (ACS). ACS is the ability to create, protect, and sustain air and space forces across the full spectrum of military operations and spans a diverse set of Air Force functional capabilities. The FY12 budget request of $33.8 billion for ACS accounts for efforts affecting our entire Air Force—from the development and training of our Airmen to regaining acquisition excellence.

Airmen and Families. The Air Force is proud of its commitment to supporting its Airmen and families. The nearly two decades of sustained combat operations has imposed extraordinary demands on them and underscores the need to remain focused on sustaining quality of life and supporting programs as a top priority. To help address the demands, in 2010 the Air Force executed the Year of the Air Force Family and highlighted support programs focused on three outcomes: Fostering a Strong Air Force Community; Strengthening an Airman's Sense of Belonging; and Improving Airman and Family Resiliency.

The Year of the Air Force Family deepened leadership’s understanding of current support services and capabilities and what needs to be done in the future to maintain and improve outcomes in the three primary focus areas.

First, the Air Force will maintain an enduring emphasis on Airmen and families by actively engaging the entire Air Force Community: Total Force Airmen, Department of the Air Force civilians, single and married personnel, primary and extended family members, retirees, and on and off-base community partners. The Air Force will maintain an atmosphere that is supportive, team-oriented, and inclusive, but diverse enough to meet the current and emerging needs of the entire Air Force Community. Policy and process priorities have been translated into actions and tasks that will be accomplished over the next few years, perpetuating the Air Force’s commitment to strengthening our ties to one another, improving our operational abilities and ensuring our Air Force Community is best positioned to meet future commitments and requirements.

Second, we continue to strengthen our Air Force Community by expanding child care through different programs such as the Extended Duty Program, Home Community Care, Missile Care, and the new Supplemental Child Care initiative to provide flexibility in meeting child care needs. In FY11, the Air Force will continue to demonstrate our commitment to military child education, funding full time School Liaison Officers (SLO) Air Force-wide. SLOs and our new Air Force Exceptional Family Member Program Coordinators will work in close collaboration to address educational and other assistance for families with special needs. The Air Force FY12 budget request includes $4 million to assist with respite child care for military family members with special needs children.

Third, the budget reflects a $4.4 million increase to our Air Force Mortuary Affairs program, supporting travel for family members from home of record to Dover Port Mortuary to receive and honor fallen loved ones. Increases also reflect our commitment to maintaining the Port Mortuary's Center for the Families of the Fallen, used as the reception facility and host site for visiting family members at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.

Airman dining facilities remain an important commitment of the Air Force as we plan to increase funding for dining facilities at basic military training and technical training bases by $14.9 million in FY12. In FY11, we launched the Food Transformation Initiative (FTI) to address Airmen’s concerns with dining facility closings, lack of healthy food options, and insufficient hours of operation. FTI is designed to enhance food quality, variety and availability while maintaining home base and warfighting capabilities. The Air Force continues to expand our efforts to improve resiliency of Airmen and their families before, during, and after deployments and has significantly expanded capabilities to ensure support and reintegration of our Total Force. In continuing its efforts to improve the resiliency of Airmen and their families, the Air Force moved forward with several initiatives in 2010.

We established a new Resiliency Division at the Air Force level to take the lead and develop an overarching Air Force Resiliency Roadmap. The Deployment Transition Center (DTC) was established at Ramstein Air Base, Germany on July 1, 2010. The DTC and Chaplain Corps Care for the Caregiver programs provide valuable decompression, reintegration and resiliency training for those exposed to significant danger and stress in combat zones. To support these efforts, the Air Force FY12 budget request includes $8 million for the Air Force Resiliency Program for research, curriculum development, materials and intervention training for the DTC. We will continue to develop our Airman Resiliency Program by identifying needs, researching best practices, partnering with internal and external organizations, and developing targeted and tiered training that is integrated into an Airman's career to allow a building block approach that leads to life-long resiliency that benefits both Airmen and their families. We are also requesting an increase in the Chaplain Recruitment program by $1.5 million in FY12 to better provide for religious accommodation and support of Airmen. This includes chaplain-led MarriageCare Retreats, that help heal and save marriages, and deployment reintegration programs expanded to meet the needs of redeploying Airmen.

The Air Force is highly committed to the Wounded Warrior Program that ensures access to medical and rehabilitation treatments for the ill and wounded. The Air Force Warrior and Survivor Care Division is dedicated to building a culture of understanding and concern for wounded, ill and injured Airmen. The Air Force has hired 33 Recovery Care Coordinators and a Program Manager to support 31 locations across the Air Force. Recovery Care Coordinators serve as the focal point for non-clinical case management, development of comprehensive recovery plans and creation of timelines for personal and career accomplishments. Additionally, the Air Force has implemented new personnel policies regarding retention, retraining, promotions, assignments and evaluation of Wounded Warriors. In FY12, the Air Force is requesting $2.8 million for additional case workers and program managers to provide non-clinical case management services to meet the growing demands of the Wounded Warrior population.

Suicides. Air Force suicide rates have been on the rise since 2007, although primary risk factors for suicide among Airmen remain the same. The most commonly identified stressors and risk factors have remained the same over the last ten years: relationships, financial problems and legal problems. Although deployments can stress Airmen and their families, deployment does not seem to be an individual risk factor for Airmen—many Airmen who have committed suicide have never deployed. The Air Force is providing additional support to our most at-risk Airmen by providing additional frontline supervisor suicide prevention training to all supervisors in career fields with elevated suicide rates. In addition, mental health providers are based in primary care clinics across the Air Force to counsel patients who may not otherwise seek care in a mental health clinic because of the perceived stigma. The Air Force has significantly expanded counseling services in addition to those available through the chaplains or the mental health clinic. Other helpful programs that provide non-medical counseling include Military Family Life Consultants, which can see individuals or couples, and Military OneSource, which provides sessions for active duty for up to twelve off-base sessions.

Fort Hood. In the wake of the Fort Hood shooting, the Secretary of Defense directed the Air Force to conduct a follow-on review to identify ways to better protect Airmen and families. Our review yielded 118 findings and 151 recommendations. The key revelation of the study is that we must do a better job of preventing and responding to violence. Specifically, we must improve our ability to identify indicators of potential violence and share that information with those who are best positioned to prevent a violent outcome. This will require improved understanding, education, processes and training, as well as more integrated processes at both the installation and interagency levels. To undertake these efforts, the FY12 budget request includes $37 million across the FYDP. We anticipate that our resource requirements will increase as we refine the implementation of our recommendations. We are confident that the resources Congress provides, coupled with our sustained effort, will help the Air Force reduce the likelihood of tragedies like Fort Hood and position us to respond more effectively should prevention fail.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If it is not helpful, do not be hurtful. Spam removed so do not try putting up free ad.