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Fiscal changes loom

PITTSBURGH -- Our new fiscal year has had a rough take off. First, we are in a continuing resolution because the federal budget has not been passed. This basically means we are operating at last year's level of funding, although this is not last year.

Second, our man days have been reduced across the spectrum of the USAF out of economic necessity. Man days are Military Personnel Appropriations or better known as MPA days. All of our MPA days come from Air Mobility Command (AMC). This is the instrument used to augment overseas contingency operations with traditional guardsmen. For example, our Northeast Tanker Task Force operation is funded through MPA days because we are not full-time manned for this continuous activity. In fact, we cannot do any of our home station higher headquarter missions without traditional guardsmen and the MPA days to support them.

Recently, AMC invited the Air Guard Weapons System Council chairs from Strategic Airlift, Tactical Airlift and Tankers to participate in the MPA reduction decision making process. It was a challenging budget drill and to me it validated all of the requirements we have. We still have these requirements! It also reflected the continuing and very successful partnership we enjoy with our gaining command. Gen. Raymond Johns, AMC commander, has a great deal of faith and trust in all of us.

Now, we should see some reductions over time as the mission changes. How much and when is unknown. We are here to meet the needs of the nation and we are fortunate to have the level of volunteerism go up when the mission requires it.

The Health Services Inspection is the first inspection to hit us in November. By now, we have done just about everything we can do to be ready. What's left? Here is what you can do: show pride, have an inspection ready appearance, show competence, show your inspector a responsive and supportive attitude that reflects your professionalism.

Validate just how good your unit really is! I have never lost anybody due to an inspection, and I don't intend to lose anyone on this one. Your Wing's mission success speaks volumes about you. Every one of you is a leader. Leadership comes from understanding followership and doing the right thing. Let your leadership, pride and sense of service rule the day! Believe me; the IG wants us to succeed.