Commentary

October 5, 2012

Team AFMC

Gen. Wolfenbarger
Commander, Air Force Materiel Command


I’m pleased to declare today [Oct. 1] that AFMC has achieved Initial Operating Capability of the new 5-Center Construct for the command.

After 18 months of planning and preparation, today all AFMC units are formally aligned under the 5 centers: Air Force Research Laboratory and Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, both headquartered at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio; Air Force Test Center, headquartered at Edwards AFB, California; Air Force Sustainment Center, headquartered at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma; and the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, headquartered at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico. This is the most significant change for the command since it was formed 20 years ago by combining Air Force Logistics Command and Systems Command.

Reaching this important milestone took many months working through very deliberate phases of planning, implementation, and transition with an ever-present goal of providing more efficient and effective support to the warfighter. In June of this year we made significant headway in the transition by delivering two Congressionally mandated reports, receiving formal approval from Headquarters Air Force for the 5-Center Construct, and Senate confirmation of three key leadership positions at two Centers and HQ AFMC. Then in July further progress was made as the new centers began activating, reducing the number of centers from twelve to five. By creating a lead center for each of our four primary mission areas (science and technology, life cycle management, test and evaluation, and sustainment) plus nuclear support, we enable the institution of standardized and repeatable processes to improve our ability to accomplish the command’s mission. With this consolidation, we will approach our business in a more cohesive way, establishing a single center with a single commander for each primary mission. We will also foster an environment of efficiency and cost-effectiveness, and achieve our goal of presenting a single face to our customers.

We’ve already seen positive results since the centers activated in July. The Air Force Research Laboratory consolidated its Air Vehicles Directorate and Propulsion Directorate into a single Aerospace Systems Directorate. This consolidation will save taxpayers $4.2 million annually, and it improves mission effectiveness by promoting integrated solutions to warfighter needs. At the Air Force Test Center, subordinate units have teamed to share resources rather than develop independent, competing capabilities. One wing shared information about software development programs and gathered inputs from multiple organizations producing an enterprise-capability assessment versus a single-site analysis. At the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, officials aligned Air Force and Navy programs to better leverage technologies and components for the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile fuse modernization. This alignment will continue to strengthen the Air Force nuclear enterprise. At the Air Force Sustainment Center, initial integration activities resulted in an enterprise view across the center’s three air logistics complexes. A prime example came in the form of integrated weekly performance reviews related to aircraft production. Finally, at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, the realignment of all activity associated with a single weapon system to a single program manager yielded a more integrated acquisition and sustainment execution process. These are only a few of the myriad of efficiencies that are now being realized at the centers.

Now that we have achieved IOC, our work is far from over. In order for the command to move to Full Operating Capability in late 2013, we will institute a series of metrics to measure how the command is carrying out its mission. These measurements will be results-oriented measuring productivity, not simply activity. We will get to FOC through a deliberate and focused governance process. I ask you all to work hard as a team taking advantage of this rare opportunity to find new and better ways to accomplish our multifaceted mission. Today is the first day of our new Air Force Materiel Command.

Thank you for all you contribute to this command and our Air Force.

Gen. Wolfenbarger
commander, Air Force Materiel Command




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