Commentary

January 31, 2014

Wolfenbarger discusses challenges, successes at commanders call

Challenges that lie ahead and a recap of recent successes highlighted Air Force Materiel Command commander Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger’s commander’s call at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Jan. 23.

It was the first of what will be several workforce communication engagements for the general. In the coming months, Wolfenbarger will hold a commander’s call at each AFMC base.

Speaking to a packed base theater crowd, the general acknowledged that 2013 had many challenges. Top among those challenges were budget issues, sequestration and furloughs, all of which in turn had great impacts on mission, quality of life and force management.

“Our challenge now is to figure out how we can get through this period of down-sizing,” she said. “We can do this; we have done it before as an institution. We just have to make the best decisions we can in a non-optimal resource environment. I ask you to bring forward all those good ideas that are out there, because now is the time.”

Wolfenbarger also noted that the AFMC mission – through the AFMC workforce – thrived despite the many challenges.

“As I look back, I want to say how proud I am of the progress we made last year, despite the environment,” she said. “Operating in the new organizational construct has proven tremendous, even powerful, in terms of how it has enabled more mission-effective and more cost-effective operations for us as a command.”

In just one year of operations under the new five-center construct, AFMC avoided or saved $2.7 billion while expertly accomplishing the mission, the general said. That number is only expected to grow.

In looking to 2014 and beyond, Wolfenbarger emphasized the importance of fostering a culture of respect and resiliency, saying everyone has a responsibility to be accountable for himself or herself and to be accountable as a Wingman.

AFMC command chief Chief Master Sgt. Michael Warner, who also spoke at the commander’s call, echoed the general’s perspective.

“We need to be empowered to protect both ourselves and our coworkers from physical, mental, sexual or negligent misconduct,” he said. “We all deserve to be treated with trust, care, dignity and respect.”

Other topics the general and chief addressed as key this year included continuing budget concerns and force management issues.

The recently signed Bipartisan Budget Act increased the Air Force topline budget by approximately $6 billion over sequestered fiscal 2014/2015 levels, which Wolfenbarger noted gives the Air Force some — though not complete — relief and also gives the service some budget certainty.

The general also talked about the Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed on Jan. 17, which restores flying hours and weapon system sustainment; protects the “Big-3″ investment programs (i.e., F-35, KC-46, and Long Range Strike Bomber); provides additional Facilities, Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization funds for installations; and notes that no administrative furloughs are planned for fiscal 2014.

In terms of force management, Warner reiterated that the Air Force is taking 25,000 active duty reductions between now and fiscal 2019 – and plans to take most of them early, at the front end.

“We’ve had drawdowns in the past, but this time we’re taking actions that we’ve never had to take before,” he said. “We’re going to ask some Airmen who are superstar performers to leave. The key for us is that we have to take this seriously: read the guidance, know your vulnerabilities, know your options, talk with your supervisor.

But take it seriously. Make sure you have all the information you need to make the right decision in a difficult situation.”

Wolfenbarger concluded her commander’s call by thanking the entire workforce for their many contributions to AFMC’s success.

“As we proved last year, we will continue to execute our critical mission despite the environment,” she said. “I am so proud of this command. Despite the difficulties and the churn and the uncertainties, you were able to excel at what our Air Force asked of us and demanded of us. And I maintain that you all are up the challenge of doing that again this year and into the future.”




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


 
 

 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Commissary hours The Commissary will be closed Dec. 25 and 26. Regular hours will resume Dec. 27. The Commissary will be open regular hours Dec. 31, and closed Jan. 1, 2015. For more information, call 661-277-9175. Museum hours The Air Force Flight Test Museum will be closed for the Christmas holidays starting Dec. 22 and...
 
 

412th Force Support Squadron Holiday Hours

Christmas Eve: Dec. 24 OPEN: Aero Club: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Arts & Crafts/Auto Hobby: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Airman & Family Readiness: 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Child Development Center: 6:15 a.m.-5 p.m. Family Child Care: 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. High Desert Inn: Open seven-days a week, 24-hours a day Information, Tickets & Tours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Library: 9...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Edwards First Sergeants council wraps up Christmas programs

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber The annual Angel Tree program will provide gifts for around 300 Edwards children this year. The Edwards First Sergeants Council puts on the event to help Airmen unable to buy their children...
 

 
afmc-q-and-a

Lean thinking, process improvement highlight Busch’s time at AFMC

During the last 16 years and six assignments in Air Force Materiel Command, Vice Commander Lt. Gen. Andrew Busch was challenged to find new methods to operate more efficiently in one of the most complex and diverse commands tha...
 
 
flu

Flu season: What you need to know

Flu is officially upon us. If you have ever had the flu, you know it can knock you out รณ with members of your family, friends and co-workers not far behind. Today, it’s more important than ever to get your facts straight...
 
 
driving-safety

Driving safely on snow or icy roads

Unless you’re traveling through the mountains of Southern California in the winter, driving in the snow doesn’t occur very often. First off, don’t assume your vehicle can handle any road condition. Even four-w...
 




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>