The Air Force should be audit-ready for budget activities by the end of this fiscal year, said Jamie Morin, the Air Force’s top financial manager. “An audit of the scheduled budgetary activity beginning in 2015 will be challenging for the Air Force, but I think it will help us accelerate towards a clean audit opinion on all of our statements, and I think getting auditors’ eyes in on our processes has paid dividends so far and will continue to do so,” said Morin during a May 13 Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee hearing. Morin noted that USAF Secretary Deborah Lee James has made the audit one of her top three priorities, saying she “recently wrote to key leaders across the Air Force on this” to give “them some very specific directions about things they needed to do to help.” In addition, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh is a “strong supporter” of the effort. Morin said many USAF major commanders already “have integrated audit readiness into their own personal management control structures in a way that simply wasn’t the case years ago.” He added, “This support of senior leaders is all the more important when we are asking airmen to do difficult things, like the revalidation of housing allowance …” (Morin prepared testimony.)
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.