Congress, former Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James stated, “less than half our combat forces are ready for a high-end fight.”
Then, she added “the Air Force is the smallest, oldest and least ready…across the full spectrum of operations in our history.”
However, today, we’re one step closer to alleviating readiness impacts due to sortie production.
The Advanced Sortie Production Course is the first advanced course specifically focusing on the art and science of sortie production at the tactical level. This new course is being held at the Air Force’s Advanced Maintenance and Munitions Operations School at Nellis Air Force Base.
ASPC is a 13-week course, providing students with in-depth instruction on how to use assigned people, processes and resources to maximize mission execution and increase sortie production capabilities. Students also receive academic instruction and gain insight into problem solving using personal experiences from several senior leaders.
“As a career ‘sortie producer,’ I’m envious of the knowledge you now have and I’m confident in the Air Force of the future, because you’re serving,” Brig Gen. Carl A. Buhler, Director of Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection for Air Combat Command, told the students during his visit.
Throughout the course, cadre and senior mentors provide students with plans, ideas and proven solutions for many of the current challenges seen across the Air Force. The goal of this course is for graduates to become the wing commander’s “go-to” leader who works closely with their operations group counterparts to solve complex sortie production problems.
“We have a critical readiness gap in our ability to project airpower around the globe,” said Gen. Hawk Carlisle, Commander of Air Combat Command. “The talented patch wearers graduating from ASPC will work side-by-side with their ops-patch wearers to fill this gap.”
Graduates are expected to fill the tough sortie production jobs and focus on tasks across the aircraft maintenance, munitions, and materiel management areas, as well as mentor fellow officers and enlisted members on what they learned at the course to help work through sortie production issues.
The inaugural class of ASPC students graduated Dec. 7, 2016, and the second class began Jan. 23. There are two additional classes scheduled for 2017.
Testimonials received from students in the first class demonstrate just how important this course is for the logistics community at large.
Comments ranged from students looking forward returning home and applying these new tools in shaping and producing combat capability, to praise of the intensity of the new program full of courses with actionable tactics, techniques, and procedures geared towards sortie production.
Captains and majors in the 21A, 21M, and 21R career fields are eligible for this course, but must be nominated by their wing commander to attend. Upon receiving the nominations, ACC/A4 hosts a selection board consisting of colonels from the MAJCOM staffs to select the students. Expect to see the call for nomination message for class 17B to be released mid-February 2017.