After talking about his family’s long service to the Air Force during his address at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., on Thursday, CMSAF James Cody noted that many other airmen and their families have similar experiences. The balance between family time and time for the mission is one of the issues the Air Force will have to solve as it draws down from combat, he said. “This is a family business, this is who we are,” Cody told the symposium audience. “This discussion is a personal issue, and comes back to work-life balance,” he said. Airmen are going to increasingly grapple with this dual-edged sword in the months and years ahead, said Cody. The Air Force needs to look hard at letting people get the time they need to sustain their lives away from the job, he said. “Sometimes we have to say, ‘Stop, this isn’t sustainable,'” said Cody. Supervisors and commanders need to reach out and connect with their airmen as the service goes through this time of transition. “We need to know about baseball games, about [the] spouse’s new job . . . so we can help balance lives,” he said. Efforts such as this can make a big difference, he said. “Family brings strength and family gets us through tough times,” said Cody.
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.