BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
The Air Reserve Forces Policy Committee (ARFPC) gathered together for the fall session October 16th and 17th at Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado.
ARFPC is a Secretary of the Air Force appointed advisory committee that examines a wide-range of topics impacting the Air Reserve Components. The committee serves as an independent adviser to provide advice and recommendations directly to the SecAF regarding strategies, policies and practices designed to improve and enhance the capabilities, efficiency and effectiveness of the Air Reserve components.
“We have been given a gift, and it’s a sacred trust,” said Chief Master Sergeant Christopher Yevchak, Command Chief Master Sergeant for the Air Force District of Washington. “Our nation has given us its most treasured resource: its sons and daughters. It our charge to remove the obstacles and barriers, to lead, mentor and guide them, and to care for them each and every day.”
The committee consists of five general officers from each of the three components; the regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve that serve as the core members. Additionally, there are six permanent advisory members to include the deputy assistant secretary for reserve affairs, the commander of Civil Air Patrol - U.S. Air Force, the CAP national commander, the chief master sergeant of the air force, and the command chiefs of both the AFR and the ANG.
Attendees discussed a variety of subjects over the two-day period including Total Force Integration, mobilization, medical and pay issues, training, cyber integration and recruiting and retention programs.
“We are really talking about things that are valuable to the Airmen, which is our most important weapon system,” said Chief Master Sergeant Ronald Anderson, Command Chief, Air National Guard.
As the host unit, Col. Kelli Smiley, Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center commander, addressed the committee and provided an update on the current and future state of the center.
“We impact the total force at every stage of the Airman Lifecycle and we are delivering innovative programs stemmed from innovative Airmen,” she said. “By executing our mission with excellence, we are investing in Airmen across all components.”
The session also allowed the committee members to hear directly from Guard and Reserve unit representatives on the success and struggles unique to their organizations.
“The field issue sessions get to the heart of what Congress intended when the Service Reserve Forces Policy Committees were established, which is to identify and validate issues impacting Airmen and make sure they are acted upon appropriately.” said Maj Gen Eric Overturf, Mobilization Assistant to the Chief of the AF Reserve and ARFPC Chairman.
Additionally, core advisors provided an update to all in attendance in order to provide perspective and generate conversations to better formulate recommendations. The recommendations are collected by the chairman, Maj Gen Overturf and then directly provided to the SecAF and Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
“Thank you to everybody who put time and effort to articulate some of the challenges our Airmen face and to the people around the table that are going to do the hard work to try to get it right,” said Anderson.