CSAF's 'Follow Through' letter includes training transformation focused on enhancing resiliency, human performance, lifestyle management

  • Published
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin released his latest letter to Airmen, following up on his previous letter:

Fellow Airmen,

When I took my position six months ago, I made a call to all Airmen to Follow Through on efforts underway to prepare the Air Force to face an increasingly complex security environment.  It is no coincidence that many of the initiatives are aligned with the Department of the Air Force’s plan to Reoptimize for Great Power Competition (GPC).  This security environment, as outlined in our Case for Changeis defined by a formidable competitor and a rapidly accelerating pace of change. We have been charting a course for the change we need, and now we are following through on our commitment to those changes. This journey requires accountability.  As we keep pushing forward, I will update us on the status of our efforts every six months. Throughout this document, I have included links with more information, references, and resources where available.  Because our “re-optimization” efforts are just underway, there are few concrete results in the past six months, but we are making progress in several other areas in my Follow Through memo:

We are following through on the changes our Airmen and their families expect and deserve.

  • Childcare Availability

The DAF has bolstered childcare support for Airmen and their families through enhanced staffing, expanded Family Childcare (FCC) options, and increased fee assistance, reflecting a commitment to their service and sacrifice.  In the past six months, we have seen the CDC staffing remain at the high watermark of 80%, up nearly 20% from two years ago…improving, but not there yet.

The Air Force has modernized its testing capabilities by introducing e-Testing for the AFOQT and WAPS through partnerships and collaborations with commercial vendors.

Food 2.0 addresses food security concerns across our installations by adopting a model reminiscent of college campus dining facilities, better meeting the needs of our Airmen.

Beginning January 2024, the Airmen began receiving a BAH increase of 5.4% Air Force wide and a 10.5% BAH rate increase in six focused areas (F.E. Warren, Cannon, Washington D.C., Whiteman, Fargo, and Terre Haute).  We will continue to seek ways to address the challenges unique to individual locations across our Air Force.

We are following through to transform the products of our Operational Imperatives into actual meaningful operational capability.

  • Delivery of New Capabilities, Resources, and Opportunities

Among the wide range of investments, this year Airmen are receiving Tactical Operations Center – Light (TOC-L) kits, Regional Base Cluster Prepositioning (RBCP) materiel, and enhanced ACE training opportunities. With the recent passage of the FY24 Budget, we can now execute many of the investments we developed two years ago.

We are following through on our force presentation and force generation models.

The Air Force is currently working on the implementation of six ATFs for deployment in FY26. The ATFs will train throughout their AFFORGEN cycle and will serve as pathfinders to inform the more comprehensive training requirements and locations for our ultimate Combat Wing Design: Deployable Combat Wings (DCW), In-Place Combat Wings (ICW), and Combat Generation Wings (CGW).

We are following through on our pledge to define and refine the force design that provides the optimum size, shape, and composition of our force.

  • Mission over Function

We are moving away from an Air Force designed around Functions and moving towards an Air Force designed around Missions (Maritime Strike, C-C5ISRT, etc.) that require an integration of our core functions to produce outcomes.  This necessary change is consistent with our AF Future Operating Concept and will enable the Air Force to precisely deliver the capability that the joint team needs.

We are following through on adapting our organizational structure to optimize for Great Power Competition. 

  • Improved Design

We are mapping out an effective approach to elevate NAFs into Service Component Commands and we are aligning our capable and ready forces to best meet the needs of Combatant Commands. More to follow in my next update.

We are following through on training transformation.

  • Ready Airman Training (RAT) Program

The RAT program has been optimized into an agile, mission-focused, Airmen-centric platform.  RAT consists of twelve Ready Training Areas (RTA) based on an Airman’s individual experience, readiness category, and functional competence. The RAT Council is currently gathering feedback to ensure we have the right RTAs with the right number of training events for each RTA within the AFFORGEN cycle.

The 52-day gauntlet of Basic Military Training is now front-loaded with PT, basic drill, resiliency, human performance, and lifestyle management modules.  These modules are taught in a coach-style environment, equipping our trainees with enduring skills needed to navigate not only the high-stress environments they’ll encounter in BMT but beyond as well.

We are following through on harnessing the innovative talent and spirit that exists in every corner of our Air Force.

The first class of Cyber/IT Warrant Officers will start in October and is planned to graduate before the end of CY24. The second is scheduled to begin in January 2025.

The Air Force is revising the DAF Fellows program, ensuring these officers are deliberately outplaced in assignments that utilize their skills.

Most importantly, we must follow through on our commitment to the success of the team.

The USAF has removed barriers to increase its eligible talent pool of Airmen, including an updated tattoo policy, modified body composition policy for accessions, and a streamlined naturalization processes which resulted in 1,380 naturalized citizens from across the Air Force in 2023.

Dress and Personal Appearance of Department of the Air Force Personnel, released 29 February, incorporates policy changes from previous Air Force Uniform Boards, removes redundancies, out-of-date information, and decreases subjectivity.  Our revised standards are clearly defined.  We must now enforce them. 

Currently, 20 percent of DAF installations have achieved full/hybrid implementation of co-location of victim services. This month, we released a Co-Location Operations Guide to MAJCOM/FLDCOMs as guidance for remaining installations as they identify suitable locations, secure necessary funding, and assess feasibility of full/hybrid solutions. Co-location will enhance access, coordination, and consistency of support services for victims/survivors at each installation.

When I first took this seat, I decided on Follow Through as my initial message.  As we reoptimize our Air Force, my goal isn’t to supplant or replace previous initiatives.  Rather, it is to ensure that we continue to make the changes necessary to see them become a reality.  This biannual letter is my way of chronicling our improvements and holding myself accountable to this vision.  Being mindful stewards of our progress is our best chance at overcoming the challenges we face.  Join me as we reoptimize our Air Force and follow through on all our commitments to change, adapt, and improve.  

# 23

General, USAF
Chief of Staff

Editor's note: To read the full letter as a document, click here.