AFMC virtual town hall updates command, focuses on readiness

town hall AFMC Feb 3 Bunch and Cadell

Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr., the commander of Air Force Materiel Command, and Chief Master Sgt. Stanley C. Cadell, AFMC command chief, prep for AFMC's second virtual town hall Feb. 3, 2020, with the public affairs director, Wendy Varhegyi, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The two AFMC leaders spent an hour taking and answering questions from the AFMC community via Facebook Live. (U.S. Air Force photo by Scott M. Ash)

town hall AFMC Feb 3 Bunch and Cadell

Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr., the commander of Air Force Materiel Command, and Chief Master Sgt. Stanley C. Cadell, AFMC command chief, prep for AFMC's second virtual town hall Feb. 3, 2020, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The two AFMC leaders spent an hour taking and answering questions from the AFMC community via Facebook Live. (U.S. Air Force photo by Scott M. Ash)

Gen. Arnold W. Bunch, Air Force Materiel Command Commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Stanley Cadell, Air Force Materiel Command Chief Master Sergeant, address command-wide topics during a virtual town hall, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Feb. 3, 2020. The AFMC command team took and answered questions from viewers during the live, online event. (U.S. Air Force video by Christopher Decker, Matthew Clouse, and Ryan Law)


The theme of readiness wove throughout the Air Force Materiel Command Virtual Town Hall, Feb. 3.

Resiliency, fitness, the AFMC We Need, Space Force and more among the topics of focus during the hour-long event.

Gen. Arnold W. Bunch, Jr., AFMC commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Stan Cadell, AFMC senior enlisted advisor, fielded dozens of questions from across the command during the event which was livestreamed on the AFMC Facebook page.

“We are a command more than 85,000 strong, spread all around the world in a number of time zones and execute our critical wartime mission every day,” said Bunch. “Using venues such as this allows us to reach a large number of our Airmen at one time, ensuring they remain current on issues that are affecting our command and the work they do each and every day for our Air Force.”

During opening remarks, Bunch and Cadell touched on the updated AFMC mission and vision statements, AFMC strategic planning and the importance of command missions and people to the execution of the National Defense Strategy.

“We’re the most diverse, complex command that is out there,” said Bunch. “Everything from uniforms to nuclear modernization and everything in between...the Air Force counts on us for all those systems. If we’re not successful, the Air Force cannot be successful.”

The discussion quickly took on a theme of readiness with the initial discussion focused on fitness policy and leadership development for the officer, enlisted and civilian force. The importance of a ‘fitness culture’ was emphasized by Cadell, with Bunch adding to this the need to develop next generation leaders and supervisors through better education and training.

“We have unbelievable Airmen across the board…but what we’re really trying to do is change so that we can retain…educate and develop so that we’re developing the workforce we need for the Air Force,” said Bunch.  

Segueing into the status of military privatized housing issues and the efforts that the services are making to ensure Airmen have safe, secure living conditions, Bunch touched briefly on the in-progress resident “Bill of Rights,” the importance of rapid dispute resolution and the involvement of wing commanders at the base-level to ensure housing issues are addressed so Airmen can remain focused on their missions.

“We recruit Airmen, but we retain families. We’ve got to get this right,” said Bunch.

A discussion on resiliency, mental health and the new AFMC Connect initiative carried on the readiness theme, with both leaders emphasizing the importance of an inclusive, connected AFMC culture in building a stronger command and community. Physical, mental and spiritual health are key to a resilient culture, said Cadell, and help is available for those in need.

“The bottom line with the resiliency piece—it comes with having individuals who are willing and open to seek help. The resources are out there, (and) there’s help available for anyone who is struggling. We need to make sure that we’re plugging them into the resources that are available,” said Cadell.

“I love all 85,000 plus Airmen that work in the command,” added Bunch. “No matter how much I love you, there’s no way I’m going to know that something is happening in a young Airmen’s life at Edwards who working on the flight line…or a contracting officer at Tinker, or a depot worker at Robins. To handle this, we have to do it at the local level. It’s got to be the small groups. You’ve got to connect.”

The conversation then shifted to the status of the AFMC We Need initiative and the ongoing efforts to address the issues identified during the feedback gathered in late 2019. While larger issues such as facilities and IT infrastructure will take longer to adequately address, said Bunch, a number of smaller initiatives are making significant positive impacts across the command. These include new efforts to increase communication and dialogue between commanders and teams as well as program offices and operational units; improved supervisor training; identification of facility solutions to mitigate space limitations; and finding ways to decrease hiring timelines by leveraging expedited and direct hiring authorities.

In addition, the recently launched AFMC Ideascale campaign aims to gather innovative ideas and solutions to mission needs from across the command with the potential for implementation at an enterprise level.

“We know there’s innovation going on within this command,” said Cadell. “We’ve got great individuals who are doing innovative things each and every day…figuring out ways to do jobs smarter, faster, safer, easier. Ideascale is an opportunity to bring those ideas in and maybe spread it across the force to make a bigger impact.”

“None of us is as smart as all of us,” added Bunch.

The town hall continued with discussions on the civilian fitness program, enlisted promotion changes, civilian development and leadership accountability. Bunch also took time to address potential impacts of the Space Force on AFMC and provided a status update on the Air Force Science and Technology 2030 study implementation.

“There is a lot going on, and I encourage you to read all the news,” said Bunch, in reference to the Space Force. “I don't see a ton of change immediately with what we're doing on a day to day basis. We are still going to provide the installation mission support. We will continue to do research in science and technology to support the Space Force.”

“Space is a war fighting domain, and the work we do for them each and every day is our wartime mission,” he continued. “We got to make sure we do it so that we remain dominant in that environment that we count on so heavily.”

In regards to the Science and Technology 2030 strategy, Bunch emphasized the importance of partnerships and collaboration in ensuring the Air Force develops the technology it needs to fly, fight and win today and in the future.

“We are in a competition. We need to make sure that we open up an environment where we can take ideas from academia, industry, others, as well as internal to the research laboratory, and be able to take those and do the right research and move it forward,” said Bunch. “We're managing programs differently than we have in the past… we're off and running, we're on a plan.”

To close the event, Bunch and Cadell each offered perspective on how they maintain balance in their lives amidst a high-paced, dynamic work environment.

“I think that family's important…extremely important. Our families give so much for this to allow us to serve. So, we owe them to make sure that we are spending valuable time with them,” said Cadell. “It's something that (I am) constantly working on, constantly looking at, and kind of evaluating each and every day, to take a look at where I am.”

In his response, Bunch spoke of the importance of finding equilibrium while managing a high tempo, stressful position and how important family is to ensuring one maintains a balanced focus in life.

“I had an individual explain to me, he was a mentor, and I've used his quote ever since then. He said, ‘anybody that tells you that they've got work, family, spiritual, and fitness, and health all perfectly balanced, those people are liars.’ The reality of it is, it's never all perfectly balanced, and you constantly have to make decisions on where you're going to put your emphasis and what you need,” said Bunch. “I do not want you to run out of family before you run out of Air Force. Families are critical. Go home and tell your spouse thank you. They are the best value the American taxpayer gets.”

The full length virtual town hall is available on the AFMC Facebook page and on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service site. A full transcript of the town hall is also available at the DVIDs site.

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.