CMSAF testifies before Congress

2/17/2012 – WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy testified at the House Appropriations Committee’s Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee Quality of Life hearing Feb. 16. He discussed topics that included wounded warrior care and building resiliency in Airmen.

“We must ensure our Airmen and their families are safe, healthy and resilient,” said Roy. “Strengthening resiliency among Airmen and their families is one of our key focus areas. Our continued high operations tempo in deployed locations demands attention to reintegration with families.”

He also focused on strengthening resiliency in Airmen in career fields such as remotely piloted vehicle operators, who affect the battle space from home station. Roy said the sustained high operations tempo both at home and abroad stresses the need to deliberately increase focus on building strong, resilient families.

“Resilient Airmen are better equipped to withstand, recover and grow in the face of stressors and changing demands, and continuously get the job done,” said Roy.

To emphasize the service’s dedication to wounded warrior care, Roy was accompanied by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Deslauriers, an explosive ordnance disposal technician nicknamed Dez.
“Dez was seriously injured while conducting a post-blast assessment on a vehicle in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force in September,” said Roy. “Airmen like Dez are on the front lines in a variety of areas of operations and they are also providing Airmanship skills to combatant commanders around the world,” said Roy. “They are constantly deploying, leaving behind families and friends.”

He said the Air Force continues to strengthen our support for wounded, ill, and injured team members.

“The Air Force is committed to providing them individualized, focused medical and non-medical care to the nearly 510,000 uniformed Airmen and more than 181,000 Air Force civilians who make up the total force team,” said Roy. “In 2011, recovery care coordinators increased service to our wounded, ill, and injured by over 30 percent and now support about 1,000 Airmen and their families.”

Roy testified alongside the sergeant major of the Army, the sergeant major of the Marine Corps, and the master chief petty officer of the Navy. The senior enlisted leaders spent more than three hours with the subcommittee discussing pay and retirement benefits, force shaping, military housing, education services for military children, sexual assault prevention and reporting, and suicide.

by Tech. Sgt. Jess Harvey
Air Force Public Affairs
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