HomeNews

News Search

AF takes initial steps to reduce training unrelated to primary missions

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force plans to reduce training not related to Airmen's primary jobs in order to address concerns that excessive and non-mission related demands are impacting Airmen's ability to focus on and accomplish their core duties, officials announced Oct. 31.

As part of ongoing efforts to take care of Airmen and revitalize squadrons, Air Force leadership recently directed the "Airmen's Time" task force to review 42 ancillary training courses (i.e., training outside of an Airman's core job). Functional training requirements were not part of this review.

According to the official memorandum, of those 42 courses, the Air Force will eliminate 15 stand-alone training courses and streamline 16 courses reducing associated training time.

In a recent survey, Airmen identified 10 courses as the most burdensome. The service will eliminate or significantly reduce nine of them as part of this initiative.

Air Force leaders emphasized that while this is another positive step following the recent announcement eliminating some additional duties, more work remains.

"We've taken some modest steps to ensure we use our Airmen's time in the smartest way, but this is a journey," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. "We'll continue to be deliberate about what we cut or streamline, but more is required as we continue to focus our efforts on the business of warfighting, respecting our Airmen's time, and still meeting the necessary requirements to take care of our mission and our force."

The courses reviewed include total force awareness training, which is required of all Airmen on an annual basis; selected force training, which is targeted to specific groups, including commanders, civilians and supervisors; event-driven training, which is triggered by some event, such as moving to a new assignment or duty station; and basic Airman readiness training, which is expeditionary-focused training required of all Airmen every three years.

While each of these training modules provide important information, the review found that many of the requirements duplicated information already provided in other trainings. These reductions will, in many cases, eliminate redundant requirements across the service.

"This initiative represents the next step in giving time back to our Airmen," said Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James. "All these training requirements were created to provide valuable information to our Airmen. The intent was right, but as the lists of requirements increased, our Airmen spent more time away from their core duties."

Reducing ancillary training, according to Air Force leadership, is not intended to reduce emphasis on the need to have well-trained and educated Airmen. Instead, the effort is specifically designed to give the Air Force greater flexibility in how it meets and implements these requirements.

"Our Airmen are certainly busy, and that dynamic will likely not decrease in the foreseeable future. We understand that dynamic, and we're willing to accept some risk where we can to better balance our Airmen's time," said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody. "Computer-based training impacts our Airmen's time, so we're looking at what we can eliminate, consolidate or substantially relax to cut the demand."

The Air Force believes the initiative will benefit the total force by not only allowing active-duty Airmen more time to focus on their core mission but also giving Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Airmen more time to focus on honing their core skill sets during drill, unit training assembly and annual tour periods. The initiative builds upon a similar effort from the Guard in 2015.

"Our Airmen have repeatedly stepped up to increased deployment tempos and manpower shortages," Goldfein said. "Reducing the number of hours our Airmen spend on non-critical training requirements goes directly to the heart of secretary James's priority of taking care of Airmen and our efforts to revitalize the squadron and is another small step in the right direction. Squadrons are the engines of innovation and esprit de corps and the warfighting core of our Air Force, and today, we are giving back time so our Airmen can better focus on their core mission."

Changes will be implemented between January and April 2017; however, Airmen are no longer required to complete the courses set for elimination. To ensure the revisions are implemented in a timely manner, all applicable Air Force instructions will be updated to reflect these changes no later than Jan. 1, 2017, and the Advanced Distributed Learning Service will be updated no later than April 1, 2017.

Headquarters Air Force will also establish a screening process to review new policies in order to identify areas that create additional duties or training requirements for Airmen in units. The goal is to prevent unchecked growth of these functions in the future.

Related links:

Official memorandum for All Airmen
Fact Sheet: Reducing ancillary and computer-based training

(Reposted from U.S. Air Force news)
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.