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The Department of the Air Force, in support of both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force, stood up a special task force June 9, to address the issue of racial, ethnic and other demographic disparities and their impact on the forces.
Also, on June 2, Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett and service chiefs, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein and USSF Chief of Space Operations Gen. Jay Raymond, directed the Inspector General to independently review the service’s record on military discipline as well as leader development opportunities for Black/African American Airmen and Space Professionals.
The task force is charged with identifying and changing policies, procedures, barriers and other practices that may be unfairly impacting underrepresented Air and Space Professionals. It is postured to identify near-term problems and solutions that will have immediate benefits for members, with a focus on policies particularly impacting minority members. It has been tasked to be mindful of not impacting or assuming results from the IG’s review, and is therefore focused on immediate actions versus identification and action toward longer-term systemic and cultural issues the IG might identify.
“Clearly we have to acknowledge our Air and Space Forces are not immune from racism and the challenges of inequity. As a force that depends on unity, inclusion, and a common strength of purpose, we are committed to being better every day until all within our ranks feel a true sense of belonging that allows them to maximize their talents,“ said Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, deputy chief of staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services. “This is why we stood up the task force, to move out quickly and deliver immediate improvements for our services.”
Capitalizing on continuous feedback from the force and the momentum from current national events, the task force is an agile cross-functional team of military and civilian Air and Space Professionals that represent communities within the services that bring subject matter expertise to the changes being considered. Members are comprised of Airmen of different ranks and perspectives, representing both minority and majority groups, whose sole focus is making changes that create an equitable environment for all Department of the Air Force personnel.
The task force is task-organized across five lines of effort:
- Culture and Policy
- Education, Training and Testing
- Recruiting and Accessions
- Workforce Diversity
- Aircrew Diversity