by Staff Sgt. Adawn Kelsey
1/19/2016 - CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nevada -- Gen.
Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, and Command Chief
Master Sgt. Steve McDonald paid a visit to the Airmen of the 432nd
Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, Jan.
14, 2016, to address some of the challenges and unique issues the
remotely piloted aircraft enterprise faces.
During the visit, Carlisle held an all-call where he talked about
Culture and Process Improvement Program and the results that came from
that initiative. He also thanked the thousands of members who attended
the focus sessions and responded to the surveys.
"I want to thank you all for your feedback," Carlisle said. "We took
what you said and put them into about 140 action items. These items are
things we think we need to do to make this enterprise right. We want to
build the force structure, and build the capability to have a
sustainable enterprise that provides the warfighter with what they need,
while taking care of the people who are doing the mission."
Looking forward, Carlisle informed the Airmen of the progress and
changes they can expect with the information gathered during the CPIP.
One of the key issues he touched on was RPA manning and the need to
increase that number by 2,500-3,500 Airmen.
"First and foremost you have to have people," he said. "I need to take a
portion of this enterprise and put them in dwell. I need to take those
folks out of the fight and let them do tactics, techniques and
procedures and let them figure out how else we can take advantage of
this weapons system, and how it can help the warfighters."
One significant change coming to the RPA enterprise is the expansion of location options through the strategic basing process.
"What we have here at Creech is huge," he said. "It's a lot of squadrons
within a wing with a huge population. That is not average for a wing in
our U.S. Air Force. We need to build at least one more wing, build more
groups and more squadrons that are standard with the right equipment to
do 'X' number of lines each day. With this we will be able to take
squadrons out of the fight so they can do all of the other things
squadrons do to keep themselves, healthy, trained and capable."
Another project his group is working on is the force presentation and
organization model and building the RPA enterprise in support of this
"There are a couple of key things when we look at new bases because of
the size of this enterprise," Carlisle said. "One of these is the flow
of the information, does this place have an Air Operations Center, do
these bases have infrastructure for information transfer."
The ACC commander also talked about other opportunities that can be made
more readily available to the RPA enterprise, such as education,
promotion opportunities, and alternative job opportunities to build up
the career track including the RPA maintenance career fields.
"We are looking at career progression and a career pyramid and how do we
get you all the opportunities that every single other enterprise in the
United States Air Force gets so you can move forward," he said. "There
are several other things we are looking at when it comes to enlisted
retention opportunities with respect to bonuses and air crew incentive
pay. We have lobbied hard with congress to make those changes and the
potential of bonuses."
Carlisle said the members of Creech AFB and the future of the RPA
enterprise will continue to play a huge role in furthering our national
security interests through persistent ISR and combat engagement when
"The men and women at the 432nd Wing are dedicated professionals,
committed to the mission and every day they are contributing to our
nation's security today and maintaining readiness for tomorrow's fight,"
he said. "I'm extremely impressed not only by their professionalism,
but also by their resiliency and the way the 432nd Wing has ensured that
we win today's fight but not lose sight of taking care of people and
preparing for the future. I've been inspired by the innovation and
devotion these men and women show seven days a week, 365 days a year in
executing one of our nation's most critical missions."