Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, announced Oct. 22, 2013,†the full operational capability of the command’s 5-center construct, a major milestone in AFMC history.
“The 80,000-plus men and women of AFMC have repeatedly raised their own bar for success. This world-class workforce continues to display the dedication and innovation that are hallmarks of Air Force professionals,” Wolfenbarger said. “As a result, we leveraged an historic opportunity to more efficiently and effectively equip the Air Force for world-dominant airpower. I am incredibly proud to stand with them today as I declare full operational capability.”
Birthed from former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates’ 2010 “efficiency” directive in anticipation of substantially reduced resources, this is the largest reorganization within AFMC since its establishment 21 years ago.
Wolfenbarger pointed out that AFMC’s reorganization maximizes mission-effective and cost-effective operations to provide global vigilance, global reach, and global power for America through:
- Unity of purpose – One center, one mission, one commander across multiple locations;
- Standardized processes across all mission areas;
- A streamlined organizational structure; and,
- A single weapon system face to the warfighter and industry.
- Wolfenbarger also said there are several quantifiable successes the reorganized AFMC has realized in the past year since initial operational capability was declared Oct. 1, 2012. They include the following:
- Reduced costs and improved readiness, marked by a substantial increase in depot aircraft production, and a reduction in critical parts shortages and depot backorders;
- Collaboration across maintenance, repair, overhaul/supply and lifecycle management to reduce depot rates by 5 percent for the first-time ever – driving a fiscal year 2015 savings of $515 million;
- Implementation of a standard Should Cost process that captured the life cycle of weapon systems for Acquisition Category 1 programs – more than $2 billion savings projected to date, with potential to save more than $5 billion when employed across all ACAT programs, sustainment programs, and services; and,
- Creation of the Weapons System Enterprise Review to provide senior leaders comprehensive, integrated, and timely data focused on fielded weapon system support, modernization, and future risk areas.
Prior to the reorganization, AFMC was made up of 12 centers across the command. The reduction to five centers immediately netted an operating efficiency through reduced overhead of more than $109 million per year.
The command’s five centers are the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, both headquartered at Wright-Patterson AFB; Air Force Test Center, headquartered at Edwards AFB, Calif.; Air Force Sustainment Center, headquartered at Tinker, AFB, Okla.; and the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, headquartered at Kirtland AFB, N.M.