Aug. 7 (UPI) — Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson has said the Air Force will significantly pare back outmoded and unnecessary Air Force Instructions over the next two years.
Wilson said on Friday that the sheer scale of the instructions and publications make it impossible for Air Force personnel to know and follow every rule, many of them contradictory, which breeds cynicism and contempt among airmen.
“There are more AFIs than we need,” Wilson told a room of incoming Air Force fellows at the National Defense University.
“Let’s not tell Airmen how to do everything. Let’s tell them what to do and let them surprise us with their ingenuity.”
There are currently more than 1,300 official instructions, publications with many of them out of date, redundant or unnecessary, Wilson said. They cover everything from dress and appearance regulations to safety rules.
The program will prioritize the removal of the 40 percent of instructions that are obsolete, and an online portal and survey to be issued over the next several weeks will allow Air Force personnel to identify which instructions they think should be axed.
“The first step will target immediate rescission,” Wilson said. “We want to significantly reduce the number of publications, and make sure the remaining ones are current and relevant.”
The next phase of the program will involve a review of the over 130,000 compliance directives at the air wing level.
“Secretary Wilson and I trust our Airmen will make the right decision, based on the values, training and experience the Air Force has provided them,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said at the announcement.
“By reducing the number of Air Force directives we are trusting our Airmen and pushing down decision authority to commanders.”