Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody receive a security forces post brief on Jan. 21 from Senior Airman Cody Mangum and Airman 1st Class Jacob Rosaia, both from the 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron, while touring Missile Alert Facility India-01 near Great Falls, Mont. (John Turner / Air Force)
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Air Force Global Strike Command’s bottom-up review of morale among its missileers and bomber crews could be a model for the rest of the Air Force to review the happiness of its airmen, the top service official said.
The Force Improvement Program, an idea of Global Strike Command’s top general, Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, consists of a team of more than 60 officers and experts who went to nuclear missile bases to speak with airmen about their jobs and ways to improve morale. Global Strike announced last week that the program will expand to bomber crews in May, and that might just be the beginning.
“I think we should look at it, yes,” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James responded when asked by Air Force Times if the program could be a model for the rest of the service.
“Airmen have a lot of great ideas. … Sometimes, we don’t listen,” she said. “Sometimes, we don’t actually take action on these ideas, so through the Force Improvement Program with the ICBM forces, we are now taking action.”
The program was launched earlier this year following the announcement that the Air Force was investigating a large-scale cheating scandal among launch officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.
Initial recommendations from airmen focus on ways to increase incentive pay and accolades. The service will announce its plans to address morale “within weeks,” James said.
Last month, the Air Force announced additional funding for improvements to missile bases, including $19 million for launch room renovations and $3 million from 20th Air Force for quality-of-life improvements. The fiscal 2015 budget request includes $455 million for missile improvements, along with $154 million for training and readiness.