Air Force will cut “queep” duties soon, lessening burden for airmen

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. William Hawkes, 100th Air Refueling Wing NCO in charge of general and civil law, reviews intake sheets for tax preparation service. ( Gina Randall/USAF)
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. William Hawkes, 100th Air Refueling Wing NCO in charge of general and civil law, reviews intake sheets for tax preparation service. ( Gina Randall/USAF)


The Air Force soon plans to do away with many of the undesirable, non-flying duties that have been on pilots’ plates for far too long.

“The fact is, they have been increased and increased and increased to the point where, now, this is quite burdensome. Airmen say this… they’ve said it to me directly. We know it from our survey data as well,” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said.

Possible candidates for elimination are: self-aid and buddy care monitors and unit tax representatives. The idea is to cut down on all the busy work that pilots have, so they can focus on flying and other, more important responsibilities.

James told Air Force Times this week that she and Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein will “finalize a review of 61 additional duties imposed on airmen through official Air Force instructions.”

She also indicated that the changes could be implemented as soon as 3 months after the review’s announcement.

Of the 61 duties being reviewed at the moment, James says, not all will be cut.  Some of them will remain in the hands of airmen.  However, plans to beef up support staff at the squadron levels, will allow others to eventually take on some of these so-called “queep” duties.

These extra-duty cuts come at a time when the service is facing serious staffing issues as its best pilots and maintainers leaving for more lucrative civilian jobs. The Air Force is hoping to solve this retention problem by giving airmen a “better quality of life,” JQP recently reported.

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