The Air Force has had to make “resource-constrained decisions” rather than desirable decisions on compensation, CMSAF James Cody said Thursday at AWS16. When Cody visits airmen throughout the force, compensation is always a topic of discussion and concern, he said, and he plans to emphasize that Friday in testimony to the House Appropriations Committee’s Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee. Cody said he and other airmen are concerned about their diminishing buying power. “We are on that trajectory and we need to pay attention to it,” Cody said. The CMSAF also said that while the goal for dwell time is one to three for Active Duty and one to five for reserve airmen, some career fields are not even close to that target, because the demand for airpower far exceeds the capacity of the force. Air Force Chief Gen. Mark Welsh emphasized the same point: “We have a manpower issue in our Air Force,” he said. “We cannot get any smaller. We have got to grow a little bit.”
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.