In 2013, Congress mandated the creation of the Military and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC) to review the current military compensation, benefits, and retirement systems and to make recommendations to Congress. This report was released Jan. 29. AFA attended the commission briefing and our initial impression is that it is a balanced approach. However, AFA leadership is thoroughly reviewing the report’s findings and recommendations and will comment more extensively after we review its contents in detail. In the meantime, AFA believes changes to the military compensation structure should be based on a holistic assessment of the total compensation package. We believe all veterans and currently serving members of the military need to be grandfathered into the current retirement system if they desire so as to not break faith with those who entered service under current rules. We need a strong and ready Air Force to do the nations work and regardless of how the balance between compensation, retirement, and entitlements plays out we stand solidly behind those serving today. Our members, stakeholders, and indeed our airmen, are committed to keeping faith with the American people by providing them with an Air Force that is capable, ready, and resourced appropriately for the future. (Link to final report; Caution, large-sized file.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.