(Senate - October 13, 2011)

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[Pages S6503-S6504]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                         ADDITIONAL STATEMENTS



 Mr. COCHRAN. Madam President, I take this opportunity to 
congratulate MG Alfred K. Flowers, U.S. Air Force, for his dedicated 
service to our country. General Flowers has the distinct honor of being 
the longest serving member in the history of the U.S. Air Force, and he 
is the longest serving active duty member in the Department of Defense.
  In his present assignment, General Flowers serves as the Deputy 
Assistant Secretary for Budget and is responsible for planning and 
directing the Air Force's budget. Over the last 2 years in this role, 
he led a team of over 160 military, civilian and contractor 
professionals charged on behalf of the Secretary and Chief of Staff of 
the Air Force to present to the Congress the funding of all Air Force 
programs. It is his responsibility to organize and present to the 
Congress annual appropriations submissions as well as various overseas 
contingency operations requests. His leadership and his keen 
understanding of the Congress has served the Air Force and the security 
interests of our country very well during appearances of the senior 
leadership of the Air Force before committees of the House and Senate. 
General Flowers' vision, inspirational leadership, and unselfish 
devotion to duty have resulted in important improvements in the 
resourcing of and strategic direction of Air Force's missions.
  General Flowers began his career as an enlisted supply warehouseman 
in August 1965 at Grand Forks Air Force Base. He then served as an air 
transportation specialist for 4 years beginning in September 1967. In 
1971, General Flowers became an accounting specialist for the Air Force 
and served 7 years in that role. After his selection to the grade of 
master sergeant, General Flowers was commissioned, following graduation 
from Officer Training School as a distinguished graduate in December 
1978. In his first three assignments as a budget officer, he served at 
the squadron, major command and air staff levels. In 1990, he was 
assigned as Chief of the Budget Operations Division for Air Combat 
Command, where he later served as the chief of budget.
  The general has served on the Joint Staff as a defense resource 
manager, and in 1999 was the director of budget programs for the 
Department of the Air Force. General Flowers also served as the Air 
Education and Training Command comptroller. His other assignments 
include director, Center for Force Structure, Requirements, Resources 
and Strategic Assessments at Headquarters U.S. Special Operations 
Command, and commander, Air Force Officer Accession and Training 
Schools. Prior to his current assignment, the general was commander, 
2nd Air Force, at Keesler Air Force Base, MS.
  Of distinct importance and significance, as the comptroller for 
Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, he budgeted and 
managed funding of the largest flying hour program in the Air Force, 
involving 542,000 hours annually and 38 percent of the Air Force's 
total flying hour program and spanning 21 major weapons systems. As 
director, Center for Force Structure, Requirements and Strategic 
Assessments, U.S. Special Operations Command, he spearheaded the 
largest increase in resources and force structure for Special 
Operations Forces in the history of U.S. Special Operations Command. 
His insightful vision and tireless dedication were instrumental in 
garnering 13,000 additional personnel and $11 billion in additional 
funding to enhance and expand Special Operations Forces to successfully 
execute the Global War on Terrorism.
  As the 2nd Air Force Commander, General Flowers led the largest 
transformation of basic military training in 50 years, expanding 
training from 6.5 to 8.5 weeks. This modernization was vital to 
providing realistic expeditionary combat skills training to prepare 
enlisted airmen for their deployments. His support of combatant 
commanders included providing over 14,000 joint expeditionary tasking 
airmen to the area of responsibility and reshaped the role of the Air 
Force in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

[[Page S6504]]

  Following these assignments, General Flowers was well prepared to 
assume his current position as the director of the Air Force budget. 
Under his direction, this organization developed, established, and 
cultivated professional relationships within the air staff, the Office 
of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Army, the Navy, the 
Marine Corps, and with Members and staff of the U.S. Congress, 
significantly improving the record of approval of resources necessary 
to support key warfighter programs. He provided critical oversight and 
direction for over 30 Air Force appropriations to accurately deliver a 
nearly $800 billion Future Years' Defense Program budget to the Office 
of the Secretary of Defense on time and on target. He has successfully 
completed annual budget submissions of close to $170 billion for fiscal 
years 2011, 2012, and 2013 and justified them to the Secretary of 
Defense, the Office of Management and Budget, the Congressional Defense 
Appropriations and Authorization Subcommittees and the Congressional 
Budget Office. General Flowers' leadership, sound judgment, and wise 
counsel will be sorely missed by all.
  I am pleased to commend General Flowers for his historic and 
outstanding service to our country, which is a great example of 
distinguished military service. On the occasion of his upcoming 
retirement, I wish General Flowers and his family all the very best in 
the years to come.