AFSC Goals Series Overview: Strat plan makes Center viable, ready for future

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Air Force Sustainment Center personnel have their eyes on the proverbial prize. The vision of the nearly one year-old center is to make it "the most effective, efficient and innovative sustainer of air power," representatives said. In order to achieve a zealous and lofty aim, officials have developed a strategic plan.

Recently introduced to the workforce, the strategic plan is comprised of five goals and 18 objectives. The goals are: 1) Continue to strengthen sustainment processes and accountability for the nuclear enterprise; 2) Enable an adaptable, resilient, professional and highly-skilled workforce and care for our people; 3) Be a reliable, agile and responsive organization focused on achieving art of the possible; 4) Optimize infrastructure and reduce energy consumption while exceeding mission requirements; and 5) Improve cost effectiveness by maximizing a continuous process improvement mindset.

"These goals will drive continuous improvement," said Gilbert Montoya, director of Logistics for AFSC. "They will make this organization more rigorous and robust to take advantage of future opportunities. It will also make the center more cost efficient, drive the right mission-focused behaviors and create an overall environment for success."

Wing Commander Jonathan Durke has been engaged in this effort since June 2012. As a logistics exchange officer from the royal air force, he is the latest incumbent of a United Kingdom exchange post which has existed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, since the 1950s. Commander Durke is currently assigned to the Logistics Directorate and is working with the strategic planning team on the development, maturation and socialization of the AFSC Goals and Objectives.

Commander Durke and other subject matter experts began brainstorming the AFSC's goals in June 2012. In August, they met with Lt. Gen. Bruce Litchfield, AFSC commander, and his leadership team at a strategic alignment session. Using themes from the former air logistics centers and Air Force Global Logistics Support Center, they discussed ways to synchronize the ideas into a plan that would suit the new sustainment center and Air Force Materiel Command.

Commander Durke and his team used the feedback along with General Litchfield's commander's intent and drafted the goals and objectives, which are measuring devices for the accomplishments.

Once the goals and objectives were approved by General Litchfield and his leadership team, Commander Durke and subject matter experts toured the geographically-separated complexes, air base wings, supply chain management wings, and functional areas that make up the center, and introduced the plan.

"We had a very collective and integrated approach about how to achieve the goals," the commander said. "There was a wide involvement from the eight wings that now make up the AFSC to ensure that we had alignment and standardization."

But, that's not to say there weren't challenges in the development process. Standardizing a concept to accommodate eight geographically-separated units required patience and a culture change.

"It's not an insurmountable challenge, but everyone has worked in their own stovepipe and now you're asking the air base wings, supply chains and complexes to come collectively together. When you assign an office of primary responsibility, they have their location's specific issues, but you're asking them to look across with the other locations to standardize as much as possible," said Janet Johnson, AFSC Logistics Strategic Planning Branch chief and lead at Tinker. "They've probably done this to an extent before but when it comes to gathering data, reporting information and addressing issues, we haven't always thought this way."

As the center approaches its first anniversary, officials said the objectives are in various stages of achievement. Depending on their maturity levels determines the level of accomplishment. Some goals and objectives are also supported through larger Air Force goals, while others were developed specifically for the AFSC mission.

"Starting in January we moved from development to the execution piece where teams were established for each objective," Ms. Johnson said. "Now teams are meeting to walk through the Eight-Step Problem Solving Model.

"Some objectives are already to the point of being able to present metrics and that's being done in weekly performance meetings and others we're still determining how to measure," she said. "It's probably 50/50 of what's mature versus what is still in development."

In the upcoming weeks, the Tinker Take Off will publish a series of five stories introducing the goals and their counterpart objectives.