Air Force

November 27, 2013

AFMC makes progress despite impacts of sequestration, restructure

Lt. Gen. Andrew Bush delivers his perspective on recent structural changes within Air Force Materiel Command Nov. 22, 2013, at the Air Force Association’s Pacific Air & Space Symposium in Los Angeles, Calif. Bush outlined the impacts of budgetary constraints and sequestration on a largely civilian-supported command and highlighted progress despite fiscal challenges. Bush is the vice commander of AFMC.

The vice commander of Air Force Materiel Command offered insight into recent developments and answered questions regarding the command’s restructure efforts and fiscal challenges at the Air Force Association’s 2013 Pacific Air & Space Symposium in Los Angeles Nov. 22.

Citing significant impacts to people, infrastructure and the command’s readiness mission, Lt. Gen. Andrew Busch described the significant difficulties of sequestration in a command that is supported by a workforce of approximately 75 percent civilians.

Charged with research, development, acquisition, test and sustainment services for weapon systems of the present and future, AFMC relies heavily on the continuity civilians provide, he said.

“Our workforce enables us to have a great deal of corporate knowledge and domain expertise you would not find in a command that is primarily military,” Busch said of his command’s unique composition.

Long term effects of budget cuts, furloughs and hiring freezes are the most serious, albeit hard to quantify, the general said. He cautioned that a lack of hiring will be costly to workforce development in the years to come.

“The Air Force has lost almost eight million hours of productivity with the civilians we lost (during furloughs),” Busch said. “(That) has created the perception in many of our civilian Airmen’s minds that somehow they’re less valuable … that is absolutely not the case. The value of our civilian employees is unchanged by the fact that we went through sequestration.”

Likewise, fiscal constraints affected infrastructure and testing missions — delaying upgrades to facilities, as well as delaying training and test flights, Busch said. By reducing flying hours, even priority modernization programs such as the F-35 Lighting II have lost significant test hours, Busch said.

“As a result of that temporary loss to the F-35, one of the Air Force top-three acquisition programs, we had to reschedule numerous test sorties,” he said. “It is estimated that cost a three-week delay overall in the test program — and the cost to the program ultimately is over $100 million just as a result of what we went through during sequestration and a temporary loss of tanker support.”

Difficult times, however, can also be a chance to innovate and improve, the general said.

Busch’s command has undergone significant changes during its recently completed five-center reorganization, which consolidated units and locations to increase effectiveness by aligning the command’s four core missions of science and technology, life-cycle management, test and evaluation, and sustainment. The command consolidated 12 direct reporting centers to only five.

“Through this process we reduced overhead by over a thousand personnel positions and saved over $100 million per year,” Busch said. “What we see is a sharing of best practices and lessons learned across boundaries in a way we have not been able to do in previous years.”

Besides increased sharing of best-practices, improvements include increases in aircraft production and decreases of part shortages and backorders, he said. By merging maintenance, repair and overhaul activities with supply chain management, the command has accomplished a synergy that has led to significant cost savings.

“In all, AFMC has achieved over $2 billion savings in its first year through the implementation of its new organizational structure,” Busch said.

While many challenges remain within the construct that will require mitigation, the general shared a positive outlook for his command’s future.

“The men and women of AFMC accomplish a critical mission for the Air Force and our nation and continue to improve how we accomplish that mission even in the times we face today,” he continued. “We will continue to strive to operate in a more cost-effective way and will work with our industry partners to create the best possible environment that takes advantage of their ability to innovate – and our requirement to be good stewards of the public money.”

Even though the consequences of the steep decline in budgets are and will remain severe, Busch offered an optimistic approach to senior leaders by looking at similar difficult periods in history.

“We have been here before,” he said of budget reductions. “We have done this in some form or fashion for the better part of the 34 years I have been on active-duty … we will get through this.”




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


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by Chris Higgins

412th Test Wing 1st Quarter Award Winners

Air Force photograph by Chris Higgins Brig. Gen. Carl E. Schaefer, 412th Test Wing commander, watches Jeanette White, 412th Civil Engineering Group, absolutely smash a foam baseball into the audience after accepting her 30-year...
 
 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

North Gate safety alert SAFETY ALERT! Due to mechanical issues with the North Gate, there have been large metal plates installed over gaps in the roadway while repair operations are being scheduled. Drivers should exercise caution and reduce speeds in these areas. In inclement weather and blowing dust, the plates may become slippery and vehicles,...
 
 
MG-appointments

Don’t be a no show

The 412th Medical Group is dedicated to meeting the health care needs of you and your family by providing access to its services and the best possible medical care. No shows are a costly problem for the 412th MDG and the patie...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Brad White

Team Edwards hosts Military Retiree Appreciation Day

Air Force photograph by Brad White Approximately 400 military retirees, their families and surviving spouses were in attendance during the 2015 Military Retiree Appreciation Day event held at the Oasis Community Center and 27 i...
 
 

Education Center Open House May 27

The Edwards AFB Education Center will be hosting an Open House†that will be open to all military and their family members, and civilians working on Edwards 11 a.m.-1 p.m., May 27. The Education and Training†Center is located on 140 Methusa Ave., Bldg. 2453. Attendees will have the opportunity to speak with the Ed Center staff...
 
 

Excellence in Aviation Award banquet set for June 13

The Flight Test Historical Foundation will hold the 5th annual Excellence in Aviation Awards banquet June 13. This year’s honorees are the California Air National Guard’s 163rd Reconnaissance Wing from March Air Reserve Base. The wing operates the remotely piloted MQ-1 Predator aircraft built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. For the first time in the...
 




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>