The Air Force has been poring over the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force’s January report since its release, and while it agrees with many of the recommendations the service is working to get more analysis on others before implementing them. “We completely agree with 11 of them,” Welsh said of the NCSAF recommendations during a Thursday forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. However, 25 of them USAF wants to “understand better,” particularly what the “second or third order effects” of the actions would be for the Total Force, said Welsh. The Air Force wants “more analysis on” five recommendations before further action, and there is one recommendation the Air Force disagrees with (USAF leadership has stated in other forums it does not agree with the proposal to disestablish the Air Force Reserve Command). “That’s it. In general, we agree with what they recommended,” Welsh said, and now USAF has moved to improve its Total Force integration at the Air Staff level. Welsh said he anticipates a greater push to integrate senior officers from all components into Air Staff and other positions. Fifteen years from now, he added, the Air Force should not have a Chief of Staff who does not have some experience with the Total Force world, and the service should build toward having a “Total Force qualification” for senior leadership, much like officers must serve in joint billets. (NCSAF full report; caution, large-sized file.)
The Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness revised the Defense Department’s COVID-19 guidelines. The new rules clarify what’s meant by being “up to date” on vaccinations and when personnel must wear masks in vehicles, among other changes.