SecAF and AFCoS Reduce Additional Duty Burden

To the Men and Women of the United States Air Force:                      18 Aug 2016

We have heard your concern and frustration on the issue of additional duties that compete with accomplishing our primary Air Force missions.  This memo documents initial steps in a longer process that aims to streamline demands on your time.  Operational demands are at unprecedented levels, yet our force is smaller than it has ever been.  In meeting with Airmen at installations around the globe, we have heard consistently that additional duties assigned at the unit-level affect our ability to focus on core missions, which in turn impacts our readiness. 

We recognize these duties originate from a variety of sources, to include federal statutes, Department-wide policy, Air Force Instructions, and Wing and Squadron requirements.  In response to your concerns, we are establishing an “Airmen’s Time” task force to tackle and streamline these additional duties, as well as the complete set of requirements, functions, training, and reports that detract from our core missions. 

As a first step in this initiative, we recently conducted a review of additional duties that originate in Air Force policy we control.  This review sought to establish a framework to address this growing concern among Airmen by assessing each of the 61 duties identified under Air Force Instruction (AFI) 38-206, “Additional Duty Management.”  These duties are applied across the Total Force, and are typically not related to the core mission of our units.

Based on this review, we took steps to reduce the burden associated with the list of 61 identified additional duties.  These duties are currently required at every unit, where Airmen must be designated and trained to perform these tasks even in organizations where they are not usually needed.  The rules provide very little flexibility to Commanders and often compound the burdens associated with required training.  In several cases, we were able to eliminate the specific duty across the Air Force.  In others, we modified the duty requirement to apply only to those units that require it or consolidated requirements to reduce demand on our Airmen.  In other cases, we determined that the work belongs in the Commander Support Staff (CSS) or other work centers that do not require Airmen to be pulled away from their core missions. 

Consequently, we are working to re-establish the CSS as a core part of the squadrons that are large enough to warrant them.  For squadrons too small to warrant a CSS, those duties should be accomplished by a Group or Wing-level CSS--or not at all if the Commander deems them non-critical.  Currently, even in squadrons large enough to have a CSS, the positions are not fully funded.  However, as we move forward, we are committed to ensuring CSS requirements are funded and positions filled, as our budget permits.  Until the new CSS decisions are implemented and CSS manning is healthy, Commanders are empowered at all levels to consolidate CSS-assigned duties as appropriate, and/or discontinue non-critical duties beyond their ability to resource.

We all must commit to making continuous improvements to reduce excessive demands on Airmen’s time.  Accordingly, this task force will institute accountability measures to ensure unit-level practices and Air Force Instructions are correctly revised to reflect these changes no later than 1 October 2016.  Second, effective 1 October 2016, the Inspector General shall ensure all unit inspections are conducted in accordance with these revised requirements.  Additionally, beginning this fall, Headquarters Air Force will establish a screening process to review new policies in order to identify areas that create additional duties for Airmen in units.  The goal is to prevent unchecked growth of these functions in the future.

We also recognize that this effort is just a small, first step.  The next phase of our review will focus on computer-based training requirements and the time impacts they have on our Force.  It will also focus on duties originating in law and Department of Defense policy, identifying areas that can be eliminated, consolidated, or streamlined.  Additionally, the review will focus on how these requirements are impacting our most stressed career fields.

You have our continued commitment to keep a steady focus on this challenge using the process we have now established.  Our success in performing missions each day is due to the talent, skill, and professionalism that you provide every day.  Thank you for all you do.

  

Deborah Lee James                                                         Dave Goldfein, General, USAF 
Secretary of the Air Force                                                Chief of Staff                                     

 

As the first step in a long-term effort to reduce the burden on Airmen and allow them more time to focus on core missions, the Air Force conducted an assessment of each of the 61 additional duties identified under Air Force Instruction (AFI) 38-206, “Additional Duty Management.” Based on this review, the following duties will be adjusted in a way that reduces the workload for Airmen.

For the programs below realigned to a CSS, squadrons too small to warrant a CSS will have duties either accomplished by a Group or Wing-level CSS--or not at all if the Commander deems them noncritical.

Until the new CSS decisions are implemented and CSS manning is healthy, Commanders are empowered at all levels to consolidate CSS-assigned duties as appropriate, and/or discontinue noncritical duties beyond their ability to resource. 

  1. Awards/Recognition Program Manager: DUTY RE-ASSIGNED. Current Air Force policy requires an Airman at each unit to manage the Awards and Recognition Program. Ensuring Airmen are recognized for their hard work and dedication is important to the morale of the unit and will continue, but this duty will be shifted to the Commander Support Staff (CSS), and will be considered a core task of the CSS.

  2. Communications Security (COMSEC) Responsible Officer (CRO): DUTY REDUCED. A COMSEC Responsible Officer is designated at the unit level to ensure that authorized unit members are familiar with the proper handling and use of COMSEC material. As a limited number of organizations handle a significant volume of COMSEC, the Air Force-wide requirement to designate an Airman at every unit to serve in this capacity is unnecessary and will be changed. Commanders will have the discretion to determine if a CRO should be designated for units that require it and have flexibility to determine at what unit level the CRO should reside.
     
  3. Contamination Control Team Member: DUTY REDUCED. The responsibility to conduct nuclear, chemical, or biological decontamination operations of personnel applies only to a select number of organizations across the Air Force. As such, the Air Force-wide requirement to designate and train a Contamination Control Team Member at every unit is unnecessary and will be changed. Commanders will have the flexibility to determine if this duty is needed at certain units.
     
  4. Cybersecurity Liaison (CL): DUTY RE-ASSIGNED. The Air Force-wide requirement to designate a Cybersecurity Liaison at each unit in support of the Wing Cybersecurity Office will be eliminated. In the future, the administrative tasks often associated with this duty, including processing paperwork for network account requests, will be handled by the Commander Support Staff (CSS); all other work associated with this duty will be completed by the Wing Cybersecurity Office.
     
  5. Destruction Officer: DUTY ELIMINATED. The requirement to designate a Destruction Officer at the unit level to oversee the destruction of investigative or criminal evidence, and all tasks typically associated with this duty, will be eliminated across the Air Force.
     
  6. Functional Area Records Manager (FARM): DUTY ELIMINATED. The Air Force-wide requirement to designate a Functional Area Records Manager (FARM) to manage records at the unit level will be eliminated. Substantial guidance for the proper management and disposition of records for units and individuals exists across the Air Force and Department of Defense. We will continue to strengthen this guidance to ensure we satisfy requirements without requiring Airmen to be trained to manage this process for the unit.
     
  7. Government Purchase Card (GPC) Holder/Approving Official: DUTY RE-ASSIGNED. Depending on the size of the organization, units are required to appoint primary, and alternate, GPC approving officials. The responsibility to serve as the primary GPC cardholder will be shifted to the Commander Support Staff (CSS); if the unit is large enough to require alternate cardholders, that duty will continue to be treated as an additional duty, and may require resources outside of the CSS. The task force will continue efforts to streamline the duty to the maximum extent practicable.
     
  8. Individualized Newcomer Treatment and Orientation (INTRO) Manager: DUTY ELIMINATED. The INTRO program assists service members with relocating to new assignments or locations. With the exception of the required in-processing actions, which will be performed by the Commander Support Staff (CSS), all other tasks and responsibilities associated with this program will be eliminated across the Air Force.
     
  9. Information Technology Equipment Custodian (ITEC): DUTY REDUCED. Currently, Air Force policy requires that an Airman at every unit be designated as an ITEC and be responsible to account for the unit’s IT assets. In an effort to reduce redundancies and garner efficiencies where possible, the ITEC additional duty will be eliminated as an independent requirement and the unit Property Custodian will be responsible to account for IT hardware inventory.
     
  10. Lead Organizational Defense Travel System (DTS) Administrator: DUTY RE-ASSIGNED. Depending on the size of the organization, units are require to appoint a single, or multiple, DTS Administrators to assist in reviewing and approving DTS orders and vouchers for their unit members. This is primarily an administrative task that will be shifted to the Commander Support Staff (CSS). The task force will continue efforts to streamline this duty.
     
  11. Operational Security (OPSEC) Coordinators: DUTY REDUCED. OPSEC coordinators are appointed at the unit level to oversee and manage an organization’s OPSEC education and training, and to track and mitigate any disclosures of sensitive information. OPSEC coordinators are designated at all unit levels across the Air Force. The requirement to identify an OPSEC coordinator at every unit will be eliminated while granting Commanders greater flexibility in meeting these requirements where needed.
     
  12. Records Custodian: DUTY ELIMINATED. The Air Force-wide requirement to designate a Records Custodian to manage records at the unit level will be eliminated. Department and Air Force guidance exists to establish procedures for the proper management and disposition of records at the unit level. We will continue to strengthen this guidance to promote compliance with these requirements without requiring an Airman performing an additional duty.
     
  13. Secure Voice Responsible Officer (SVRO): DUTY REDUCED. A SVRO is designated at the unit level to ensure that unit members are able to conduct secure voice communications. Currently, each unit is required to appoint and train an SVRO even though only a limited number of organizations have a requirement to use secure voice communications. Moving forward, the Air Force-wide requirement to designate an Airman at every unit to serve in this capacity will be eliminated. Commanders will have the discretion to determine if a SVRO should be designated and have flexibility to determine at what unit level the SVRO should reside.
     
  14. Self-Aid & Buddy Care Monitor/Instructor: DUTY ELIMINATED. Self-Aid & Buddy Care Monitors and Instructors are required to be designated at the unit level, and are responsible to oversee and teach life and limb saving skills to other members within their unit. While this type of training is valuable, it is duplicative of other training provided prior to deployment. To reduce burden on our Airmen, both the monitor and instructor duty will be eliminated across the Air Force. Where applicable, and as needed, contractors will be utilized to provide this training to our Airmen.
     
  15. Status of Resources and Training System (SORTS) / E-SORTS Monitor: DUTY REASSIGNED. SORTS is the single, automated reporting system within the DoD that provides senior decision makers with the information regarding the location, assignment, personnel, and equipment at units and organizations across the Armed Forces. As required by law, the monitor function will be retained, but will be shifted to the Commander Support Staff (CSS), and will no longer be required of Airmen outside of the CSS.
     
  16. Treaty Escort Official: DUTY REDUCED. The requirement to designate a Treaty Escort Official was duplicative of many of the duties already completed by the Treaty Compliance Officer. As such, this duty has been subsumed by the Treaty Compliance Officer duty.
     
  17. Top Secret Control Officer (TSCO): DUTY REDUCED. Currently, an Airman at every unit is required to train and execute a program to manage top secret material as the TSCO. As a limited number of Air Force organizations work with a large volume of top secret material, the Air Force-wide requirement will be eliminated. For those Wings, Groups, or Squadrons that manage a large amount of top secret material, the Commander will have the discretion to determine if a TSCO should be designated, and at what unit level this function should be performed.
     
  18. Treaty Compliance Officer: DUTY REDUCED. The Air Force-wide requirement to designate a Treaty Compliance Officer (TCO) as an additional duty within each unit will be eliminated. At those locations that require a permanent TCO to execute regular and reoccurring treaty obligations, assigned manpower from the functional authority, e.g., nuclear, will continue to perform the mission. At those locations that do not receive a resourced position because of limited need for a TCO, the installation commander or their designee will be the single point of contact at the installation to interface with the functional authority on treaty compliance matters.
     
  19. Trusted Agent / Unit Drug Demand Reduction Program Monitor: DUTY RE-ASSIGNED. The requirement to designate an Airman at every unit to serve as a Trusted Agent and monitor the unit’s Drug Demand Reduction Program will be eliminated. Instead, this responsibility will be shifted to the Commander Support Staff (CSS) and be considered a core task of the CSS.
     
  20. Unit Aerospace Expeditionary Force Reporting Tool (ART) Monitor: DUTY REASSIGNED. Currently, an Airman at every unit is required to be designated as the Unit ART Monitor, responsible to report on a Unit Type Code’s ability to perform its mission capabilities at any given time. Moving forward, this responsibility will be shifted to the Commander Support Staff (CSS) and be considered a core task of the CSS.
     
  21. Unit Deployment Manager (UDM): DUTY REASSIGNED. Current policy requires a designated UDM at every unit to liaise between a number of stakeholders to ensure that unit personnel are ready to deploy. Moving forward, this responsibility will be shifted to the Commander Support Staff (CSS) and be considered a core task of the CSS.
     
  22. Unit Personal Wireless Communications Systems Equipment Custodian (PEC): DUTY REDUCED. Currently, Air Force policy requires that an Airman at every unit be designated as the PEC and be responsible for the accountability of the unit’s Personal Wireless Communications Systems assets. At most units, this requirement is redundant and requires unnecessary training and time to perform this duty. The PEC additional duty will be eliminated across the Air Force. The unit Property Custodian, responsible for all general property inventory and asset management, will be responsible to account for these assets where applicable.
     
  23. Unit Public Affairs Representative: DUTY ELIMINATED. The requirement to designate a Unit Public Affairs Representative to liaise with the Wing and higher headquarters will be eliminated across the Air Force. Instead, the Wing Public Affairs Office will work with unit leadership, as required, in our mission to communicate with the media and the public.
     
  24. Unit Security Manager: DUTY RE-ASSIGNED. At every unit across the Force, it is required that an Airman be designated as the Unit Security Manager. This Airman is responsible to perform a number of administrative duties, to include verifying clearance levels of unit members and tracking the status of clearance actions. This responsibility will be shifted to the Commander Support Staff (CSS) and be considered a core task of the CSS.
     
  25. Unit Tax Representative (Advisor): DUTY ELIMINATED. Currently, each unit has the requirement to designate a Unit Tax Representative to assist unit members when preparing and filing their income tax. While this duty is seasonal, it often becomes akin to a full-time job during tax season. The requirement to designate and train an Airman to perform this function as an additional duty will be eliminated across the Air Force.
     
  26. Unit Training Manager (UTM): DUTY REASSIGNED. The Air Force-wide requirement to designate an Airman at every unit to serve as the Unit Training Manager will be eliminated. Instead, this duty will be shifted to the Commander Support Staff (CSS) and be considered a core task of the CSS.
     
  27. Unit Voting Assistance Counselor (UVAC): DUTY RE-ASSIGNED. The Air Force-wide requirement to designate an Airman at every unit to serve as a UVAC and help members of the unit with the voting registration and election process will be eliminated. To meet these requirements, a representative at the Air Force Personnel Center will serve as the central Voting Assistance Counselor and will work with the Airman and Family Readiness Centers across installations to provide the necessary information and assistance to Airmen. No changes to this program will be made until January 1, 2017, after the 2016 elections.
     
  28. Vehicle Control Officer (VCO): DUTY REDUCED. The VCO is responsible to oversee maintenance on all government vehicle matters. The Air Force-wide requirement to designate an Airman at every unit to serve in this capacity is unnecessary and will be changed. Commanders will have discretion to determine whether a VCO is needed in those units with a large number of vehicles and at what level, e.g., squadron, wing, etc. the VCO should be assigned.
     
  29. Web Page Maintainer: DUTY ELIMINATED. The requirement for an Airman at every unit to be designated as a Web Page Maintainer for the unit’s publicly available website will be eliminated across the Air Force.

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