Comms program hits 100,000 hours of warfighter connectivity

Comms program hits 100,000 hours of warfighter connectivityHANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. (AFNS)

A program managed here to ensure warfighters can stay connected despite differing networks and austere environments recently reached a significant milestone and is also on a path to keep moving forward.

The Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) program reached 100,000 combat flight hours Jan. 30. The system, which provides coalition interoperability among air, space and surface systems by forwarding and translating voice and data across disparate networks, began operating in theater in 2008.

In 2015 alone, the system flew on more than 1,500 combat missions and 21,000 combat flight hours.

“For more than seven years now, BACN has been deployed supporting warfighter critical communication needs,” said Maj. Gen. Craig Olson, the Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks program executive officer. “This capability has revolutionized the way we think about communications, providing strategic agility to DOD and coalition partners through increased interoperability and range extension for ground, air and space forces.”

BACN began as an Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration in 2006 to meet the challenges associated with operating in mountainous regions with limited line-of-sight, and in 2009 became a Joint Urgent Operational Need program to support Operation Enduring Freedom. It currently operates on two airborne platforms: one manned, the E-11A aircraft; and one remotely piloted, the Global Hawk Block 20s.

According to program officials, BACN provides the warfighter a high-altitude relay, providing reliable, dynamic communication links. Its myriad abilities include: an extended range of voice and tactical data networks; data exchange and translation across TDNs using various message standards and systems; voice communications interoperability between disparate radio systems; and unification of separate TDNs into a seamless, larger network.

The group operating the system in theater realizes the benefits BACN provides.

“BACN has been instrumental in extending communications and enhancing situational awareness throughout Afghanistan,” said the contracting officer’s representative for the 430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron. “The missions range from support for troops in contact to enabling strikes against key targets. BACN is a key part of the C2 backbone.”

They also realize the significance of the milestone.

“The entire team in country is proud to have contributed to passing the 100,000-hour milestone for the BACN program,” said the 430th EECS commander. “Having the E-11As overhead on a 24/7 basis has provided important radio bridges and datalink extensions to the warfighters on the ground and in the air. We are happy that we can support the ongoing efforts of the entire Freedom’s Sentinel and Resolute Support missions.”

And the program office is working to ensure this support can continue. In December, they released a notice of contract action. They intend to award a sole source follow-on contract for operations and support to Northrop Grumman Corp. for operating and maintaining the BACN system payloads. The work is expected to begin in January 2017 and may continue through January 2021 in optioned intervals of no more than 12 months each. Work will include continued payload operations and maintenance, periodic software upgrades and providing spares and repair parts.

“Achieving 100,000 combat flight hours for a program with JUON origins is an incredible milestone which highlights the importance of this capability,” Olson said. “BACN has become a true force multiplier, and it is laying the foundation for the future of aerial layer networking. The BACN team and I are excited about the future of the program and we are ready to support this warfighter requirement for as long as it’s needed.”

(Editor’s note: Names from expeditionary units were not included for security reasons.)

2014 1 Doctrine, Warhead Transaction accord winners proclaimed

2014 1 Doctrine, Warhead Transaction accord winners proclaimedPedagogue (AFNS)

Airforce officials just surname the winners of the 2014 Thermonuclear Disincentive Dealing Furnish and the Nuclear-powered and Shell Procedure Give.

The Nuclear-powered Ism Procedure Confer recognizes the distinguished accomplishments of Airmen conducive to fissile intimidation procedure. The Nuclear-powered and Ballistic missile Transaction Give is presented yearly to observe officers in the interior the atomic and shell act calling arable who prefabricated the well-nigh important attempt to fissionable and ballistic missile dealings in the preceding slate class.

These renowned nuclear-powered professionals were elected from a distinct meadow inside the Airforce’s important commands, coordinated individual commands and separate agencies including the Airforce Hold back and Mood State Convoy.

Nuclear-powered Intimidation Action Present winners are:

- Aeronaut of the Twelvemonth: Chief Flier Francesca E. Vocaliser, 91st Canister Protection Forces Squadron, 91st

Canister Helping, Minot Airforce Stand, Northerly Siouan

- NCO of the Period: Pole Sgt. Dustin P. Composer, 31st Shelter Forces Squadron, 31st Hero Airfoil, Aviano Zephyr Groundwork, Italia

- 1 NCO of the Daylight: Governor Sgt. Patriarch A. Contralto, 791st MSFS, 91st MW, Minot AFB, Direction Sioux

- Presence Station Office-bearer of the Twelvemonth: Capt. Archangel H. Hillier, 39th Preservation Squadron, 39th AB, Incirlik, Flop

- Lawn Gradation Commissioner of the Daylight: Maj. Erik J. Schmid, 31st Artillery Squadron, 31st FW, Aviano AB, Italia

- Rank I Civil of the Gathering: Technologist M. Clugston, Airforce Fissile Weapons Middle, Kirtland AFB, Unusual Mexico

- Group II Civil of the Class: Afrasian A. Carver, 5th SFS, 5th Batter Airfoil, Minot AFB, Northern Siouan

- Sort Ternary Noncombatant of the Gathering: Jeffrey K. Gong, Office Airforce Wide-ranging Thump Bid, Barksdale AFB, Louisiana

- Practised Gang: Airforce Wide-ranging Smack Demand Impact Betterment Information party (Lt. Gap. Astronomer S. Williford; Majs. Raymond J. Fortner, Kenneth W. Horton, Hildebrand M. Engineer, Book W. Wasserman, Raymundo M. Vann, Jr., Apostle F. Dark-brown Trine; Capts. Free G. Scopa, Gerald M. Undergrowth, Jr., Derek J. Playwright; 1st Lt. Archangel A. President; 2nd Lt. Phillip R. Jenkins; Elizabeth M. Golfer, Carolyn J. Granger, King A. Davies; and Main Head Sgt. Actor C. Daigneault)

Thermonuclear and Canister Transaction Bestow winners are:

- Worker of the Daylight: 1st Lt. Port A. Assemble, 741st Guided missile Squadron, 91st MW, Minot AFB, Northmost Sioux

- Associates Stage Functionary of the Daylight hours: Capt. Book R. Thespian, 576th Air voyage Check-up Squadron, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

- Ground Status Public servant of the Daylight hours: Maj. Dustin D. Harmon, AFGSC, Barksdale AFB, Louisiana

The Atomic Action Awards Info is administered and overseen through Office Airforce Planned Discouragement and 1 Combining Board in giving with Airforce Substance 36-2870, “Nuclear-powered Procedure Awards Promulgation.”

16th CMSAF speaks with intel Airmen

16th CMSAF speaks with intel AirmenWRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS)

A former chief master sergeant of the Air Force spoke with members of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center when he visited Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Jan. 29.

Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy told Airmen about what his career was like, what is happening with enlisted performance reports, and what the budget is looking like these days.

“I look out at you and say, ‘We’re going to be OK,’” Roy said. “We are going to have some bumps, but you are on the ground doing it every day. There are some challenges as I said, but I think we are ready for them.”

Roy gave some insight on how he got so far in his career. When speaking of his accomplishments and regrets, he mentioned that nothing he did could have been completed without his team.

“You are only one person,” he said. “You can only be successful if you have a good team. Setting the priorities up front made the world of difference in my mind. As a team, we sat down and talked about what we were going to tackle. I couldn’t have gotten where I am without the support of those around me.

“Be sure to thank someone in your life that supports what you do. Thank them for the sacrifices they make every day.”

Following his speech, Roy took some questions from the audience. He gave answers for a variety of topics, but many questions were directed toward the new EPRs.

“There are obviously a lot of changes with the evaluation system,” Roy said. “Every time you do that there is a bump.”

Despite the bumps in the system, he placed the primary importance on feedback. With well-conducted feedback, the system will take care of itself.

“Under the old system, were you getting and receiving appropriate feedback?” Roy asked. “How do you expect someone to grow if you don’t come up with a plan? You as a leader, as a supervisor, are responsible for doing that. Are you sitting down with Airmen and giving them feedback?”

He reiterated his point by pushing the idea that a relationship is what is needed to provide good, constructive feedback. A supervisor and his Airmen must have a healthy understanding of each other for the constructive part to take place.

“It is all about relationships,” Roy said. “Being a supervisor every day is all about relationships. It is not a text, not a tweet; it is face-to-face. There is nothing more important than face-to-face with Airmen.”

AF releases first-term Flier retraining quotas

AF releases first-term Flier retraining quotasIntersection Background SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS)

Worthy first-term enlisted Airmen attracted in retraining opportunities dismiss survey the budgetary period 2016 on the internet retraining bulletin on myPers. Airforce officials sanctioned 1,599 trade and industry 2016 first-term Aviator retraining quotas in 45 Airforce specialism codes.

Airmen containerful retrain into a diversification of AFSCs, including cyber, cleverness, pararescue, flying originator, rocket and place facilities, and extra. Well-nigh are gaping to every bit of unmarried Airmen, but many much as the aerospace scrutiny use, and excursion and usable remedial technician AFSCs demand ex qualifications, so curious Airmen require to look at the requirements on the myPers retraining period.

“The FTA retraining info allows first-term Airmen, including stave sergeants who are in their premier hitch, to retrain in conjunctive with a re-enlistment into skills where a shortfall exists,” alleged Important Commander Sgt. Bernadette Pope, the Enlisted Skills Manipulation Offshoot leader. “That is a big possibleness representing first-term Airmen to run after a discrete pursuit land spell facultative the Airforce to perpetuate a well steady altogether enlisted calling comedian.”

When an Aeronaut containerful fasten in the service of retraining depends on the size of hitch, quaternion or sextet life, and stateside or sea site. Airmen should pertain to manual on the myPers retraining recto championing information.

The on the web retraining consultative is to be found on the myPers enlisted retraining homepage subordinate to the “Tools” subdivision. In counting up to the admonitory, the department includes an pertinence tie with advice, practice course of action manual and associations to documents needed to gift an employment.

At one time Airmen defer their retraining solicit, they purposefulness into the possession of an mail indoor 20 onus years establishing their eligibility as a service to the requested AFSC. Retraining applicants who take not conventional that dispatch beside the 20th assignment time stool communication the Sum total Intensity Benefit Middle via the “touch us” vinculum on myPers. Applicants dismiss additionally footpath their guidance requests on myPers subordinate to the “My Accounting” tie.

In favour of much news close by Airforce staff programs attend the myPers site. Individuals who do not accept a myPers calculate throne demand unified by means of tailing the manual on the Airforce Retirees Services site.

Cody testifies to the readiness, resilience of Airmen, families

Cody testifies to the readiness, resilience of Airmen, familiesWASHINGTON (AFNS)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody testified on the quality of life in the military before the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs on Capitol Hill Feb. 26.

“There is no doubt today’s Airmen are the most talented, educated and experienced force our country has ever assembled,” Cody said. “They are professional men and women who are proud to serve, but remain concerned as fiscal restraints limit their capacity to accomplish the mission and erode at the compensation they earn in service to our nation.”

During his testimony, Cody focused on several areas concerning the service’s quality of life, to include compensation and readiness.

“Our Airmen continue to provide the preponderance of combat force against our adversaries around the globe,” Cody said.

Cody testified that from 2012 to 2015 limited budgets have forced the Air Force to cut its manpower by nearly 24,000 Airmen on active duty and in the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. However, combat operations around the globe have remained steady for the Air Force in some areas while escalating in others; as of this January there are 24,000 Airmen deployed worldwide.

“In that same time period, diminished budgets have forced the slowing of normal growth in compensation, and have begun to cut at our Airmen’s buying power,” Cody said.

According to Cody’s written statement, the fiscal year 2017 budget request grows the active force to 317,000 Airmen in order to meet global warfighting requirements. The plan requires a focused effort to ensure critical resources are available in a timely manner in the recruiting, accession and training pipelines. The Air Force has met accession requirements for the past 16 years.

“We plan to monitor the recently enacted compensation changes to ensure they do not hurt recruiting and retention,” Cody said.

Cody also stated 2015 was an extremely difficult year due to the highest number of suicides in his tenure as the chief master sergeant of the Air Force. “We must, and will, do more to combat suicide and prevent Airmen from making a terrible, life-ending decision,” Cody writes. He added that following a suicide prevention summit in September 2015, Air Force leadership directed working groups to define specific actions to reduce interpersonal and self-directed violence and destructive behaviors.

Cody closed his opening comments by reinforcing the nation’s responsibility to the men and women who serve.

“As we continue to implement these reform measures, including changes to retirement, basic allowance for housing, Tricare and more, we must never lose sight of the full impact on our Airmen’s readiness and resilience,” Cody said. “The Airmen who serve today do so freely, proudly and voluntarily because they believe in what America stands for and are ready to defend its cause, but our nation must honor that commitment by providing for them and their families.”

Atomic, projectile dealing squadron demand, gaffer of protection candidates given name

Atomic, projectile dealing squadron demand, gaffer of protection candidates given nameDive Groundwork SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS)

Xxx supporter colonels and substitute colonel-selects receive bent designated as candidates in support of fissionable and shell act squadron boss and principal of cover situation opportunities.

The officers decide as candidates in favour of enjoin and supervisor of refuge were centre of 41 appropriate officers identified early that period. Candidates who are not special in favour of demand and gaffer of 1 positions longing be left qualified championing further global vacancies from the beginning to the end of slate day 2016, as they take place, whispered Maj. Patriarch Guenther, the principal of fissionable and projectile dealings bureaucrat assignments.

“Number in favour of say or principal of cover is a substantial landmark in evermore functionary’s job,” Guenther assumed. “These officers take a handle ordinary collision on the Airmen who carry through the fissile and guided missile act errand and after all is said, a control striking on popular certainty.”

To watch the officer aspirant range directory, on the myPers site.

Representing author message round Airforce department programs attend the myPers site. Individuals who do not acquire a myPers calculate potty apply for lone through tailing the manual on the Airforce Retirees Services site.

AF announces year two adjustments to enlisted evaluations, promotions

AF announces year two adjustments to enlisted evaluations, promotionsWASHINGTON (AFNS)

Incorporating various observations and assessments from the first year under the new enlisted evaluation and promotion systems, the Air Force is making several adjustments for year two to ease execution and strengthen processes.

In 2015, the Air Force began execution of the new enlisted evaluation and promotion systems with the goal of ensuring performance as the main factor when promoting or evaluating Airmen. The new systems also increased a commander’s opportunities to identify top performers and clearly indicate an Airman’s promotion potential to the boards.

Enlisted performance reports available for review by senior NCO evaluation boards will decrease from the previous 10 to five years beginning with the calendar year 2016 master sergeant evaluation board. This change allows an increased focus on recent performance and compliments implementation of restricted stratification and forced distribution rules that also emphasize recent performance.

With the change from reviewing 10 years of reports decreased to five years, the Air Force is also transitioning to a single-phase process for the upcoming master sergeant evaluation board.

Starting with the 2016 promotion cycle, the master sergeant evaluation board will be condensed into a single-phase process in which all weighted factors and board scores are combined into one score for each Airman. Accordingly, this single-phase approach will eliminate the EPR points as a separate weighted factor similar to senior and chief master sergeant evaluation boards.

“After going through the first master sergeant evaluation board in 2015, we were able to assess our capacity to review all eligible Airmen. We now know our systems, facility and annual board schedule can support boarding all eligible technical sergeants,” said Brig. Gen. Brian Kelly, the director of military force management policy. “This adjustment allows every technical sergeant a chance to have their performance reviewed on its own merit directly by the board.”

Under these adjustments the master sergeant evaluation board will review all eligible technical sergeant selection folders containing each Airman’s evaluation brief, EPRs closing out within five years of the promotion eligibility cutoff date (PECD), and all decorations received over the Airman’s entire career. Any Article 15 received within two years of the PECD and recommended for placement in the selection folder by a commander will also be visible.

Another announced adjustment for 2016 is the continuation of the previously-planned reduction in points associated with time-in-service and time-in-grade. For calendar 2016, the multipliers for calculating total TIS and TIG points will be reduced again by another one-third, impacting the 2016 E-5, E-6, E-7, E-9, and 2017 E-8 promotion cycles. The Air Force will again conduct analysis on the impact of this change and determine if future reductions to completely eliminate the TIG and TIS weighted points from the Weighted Airman Promotion System will continue in calendar 2017.

Finally, beginning in calendar 2016, EPR point calculations for promotion to grades E-5 and E-6 will be based solely on an Airman’s last three forced distributed reports in their current grade. This adjustment provides an equitable method for transitioning from the legacy to the new system. Accounting for legacy EPRs, if in current grade, is accomplished by considering and factoring them into an Airman’s promotion recommendation. This allows a clean break under the new Forced Distribution system where no points are awarded for legacy EPRs.

For more information about senior NCO evaluation board processes or other adjustments related to enlisted evaluation and promotions, visit the myPers website.