WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) — Air Force Materiel Command Leadership hosted a virtual town hall, May 3, providing insights on current command issues alongside a dose of trivia and career advice to an online audience exceeding 3,000.
The town hall was the last for Gen. Arnold W. Bunch, Jr.commander of AFMC and Patricia M. Young, executive director, prior to their upcoming transition this summer. The leaders, along with Chief Master Sgt. David A. FlosiAFMC command chief, provided updates on topics ranging from COVID-19, vaccines and telework to professional development, digital transformation, force sizing, manpower, the current conflict in Ukraine and more.
Following a round of trivia highlighting AFMC history in honor of the 30-year command birthday this coming July, the event began with a discussion the current status of COVID-19 and vaccines, with the reminder from Bunch for all to be vigilant and “to practice common sense” and stay home when feeling ill. The leaders also addressed the future of telework, which became normalized during the pandemic.
“Telework is a management tool. It’s not a right, it’s an entitlement,” Young said. “It is a tool that we can use to work with our force and still meet mission needs. However, it is a commitment and agreement between the employee and the supervisor. Telework in a remote or any situation has a lot more responsibilities and commitment on behalf of the employee, so we want to make sure that supervisors understand and carefully assess each situation and employee’s ability independently. We have to make sure that all workers, supervisors and leaders are using the tool as effectively and efficiently as possible.”
On the recently-released Air Force BlueprintFlosi took time to explain the importance of the document in guiding the development of the Airmen the service needs to meet current and future threats.
“While we’d done a good job inside our functional communities in developing a career path for Airmen, we hadn’t addressed what we need writ large from an institutional perspective,” Flosi said. “So, we started with the foundational competencies that are shared across all types of service members and the Airman leadership qualities we desired. The Blueprint has waypoints for each tier of the enlisted force structure and the developmental and career path opportunities available from day one through transition.”
Leaders also took time to discuss force sizing, manpower, housing and pay issues as well as the expectations for the digital Air Force of the future. Bunch reiterated the importance of diversityequity, inclusion and accessibility activities, stressing the importance of leaders and Airmen having ongoing conversations and discussions on the ‘hard’ topics in order to drive change.
Bunch also took a moment to discuss the ongoing situation in Ukraine and its relevance to today’s Airman.
Watch and learn. Listen to what you can and see how it applies to your everyday job,” Bunch said. “There are a lot of lessons that we need to get out of this, and we can learn a lot right now, especially in terms of logistics. (Logistics) is really important, and that’s what wins wars.”