Commentary

August 30, 2013

What do you mean, ‘Back to basics?

Lt. Col. David Fazenbaker
10th Airlift Squadron commander

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Last September, in his first speech as the Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Welsh III advocated a back-to-basics approach for the Air Force. He noted that the missions of the Air Force have not changed over time, but rather, the terms by which we identify the missions have changed.

Welsh outlined that, from a strategic view, in order for us to continue to do what the Air Force does best, we will have to work around budgetary pressures. In recent months, we have seen those budgetary concerns come to fruition, most notably in the form of sequestration. We have felt the impact, at varying levels, of losing our civilian workforce for 20 percent of their pay periods.

In order to continue operations, we identified the minimum requirements to accomplish our mission. We’ve found that we must go back to basics.

So what does that actually mean?

To me, it means looking at every task I accomplish – every meeting and every process – then asking myself a simple question.

Why?

Why do I accomplish that task? Why is this meeting important? Why is a particular process done a certain way? Is it required by an Air Force instruction? Is it something your predecessor did, so you feel you have to also?

Understanding why we do things is the basis for identifying new processes and new ideas to improve the way we accomplish our mission.

The budgetary limitations Welsh spoke of are upon us and they will continue over the foreseeable future. As it always has been, it is our job to be good stewards of the resources we have. This is not about finding ways to do more with less; it is actually about finding ways to do less with less.

We do less by finding the tasks that are essential in our jobs and by amending existing processes or developing new ones to meet our requirements. We find these opportunities for improvement by continuing to be who we are and experts in what we do.

If you’re an expert in your career field, continue to be that expert. If you’re just starting your Air Force career, strive to be that expert. Learn your job and how to do it the best you can. Ask the “why” questions. Go back to basics and continue to make a difference.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

2015 Memorial Day message from 412th TW/CC

Team Edwards, Thank you for the outstanding welcome!†These past two months have been dynamic and exciting and I am honored to work with each and every one of you.†I truly appreciate your dedicated service and tireless efforts spent developing the needed capabilities for our Air Force and joint partners. This is my third assignment here...
 
 

This Memorial Day, reflect on true meaning

It was nearly 150 years ago that our nation first observed a day of remembrance for those who died in service to the United States of America. Over the years, more than one million American Soldiers, Sailors, Coast Guardsmen, Marines and Airmen have given their lives in defense of our great nation. We owe our...
 
 

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community

- Memorial Day is a time to remember the men and women who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.  These brave Americans are part of a tradition of sacrifice, a theme highlighted in a recent book by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Washington Post reporter Rajiv Chandrasekaran called “For Love of Country: What...
 

 
Untitled-1

What’s your social thumbprint?

U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Jessica Hines Just as you would lock the front door of your home or secure your wallet, social media users should aim to lockup and secure their online personal information and do regular ch...
 
 

Have you really joined the Air Force yet?

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska–For those of us in uniform, particularly enlisted members, memories of how we came to be in the military are fairly easy to call to mind – whether the process was more than 20 years ago, or closer to 20 months ago. As I recall the experience, that trip to the Military...
 
 

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community

“What do you do?”  That is the question most asked of people when they meet for the first time.  It implies that we are what we do. But deep down we know we are more than our job. Our character, personality, hobbies, and family life are not often considered when we meet. It would be...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>