Resilience and Changing Times: Among the topics discussed at the Command Chief Master Sergeants’ Forum, moderated by Pacific Air Forces Command CMSgt. Brooke McLean, was the way in which the senior NCOs of the Air Force connect with their airmen, and how they get help when they need it. Resiliency, especially in light of the operations tempo of the last decade, has been a topic pressed by Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Roy, and many of the chiefs agreed attitudes about issues such as PTSD and mental health help have evolved significantly in a short period of time. “Back in 1987, when I joined, if someone went to get mental health help you never saw them again,” said CMSgt. Kathleen Buckner of Air Force Reserve Command, adding that this has changed significantly in the last few years. CMSgt. William Turner, of Air Force Special Operations Command, agreed that he has seen attitudes shift toward seeking help as he has seen his airmen confront many challenges over the past decade. “Above all, my pledge to you is to get you help first; everything else is second to that,” Turner said.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.