Common ALCs Program provides AFSC leadership ‘Walk the Wall’

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- The Common Air Logistics Complexes Program System Program Office oversees the Logistics Requirements Determination Process and fiscal year funding execution for items not associated with an individual weapon system.  Prior to the advent of the 5-center construct, the Common ALC program was managed at each of the then air logistics centers at Hill, Tinker and Robins Air Force Bases. 

During the implementation of the 5-center construct, the Common ALC program was identified as a broken glass program. A Rapid Improvement Event was held in February 2013, championed by Felix Lopez. The RIE determined the Common ALC program should be centrally managed within Air Force Sustainment Center's Resource Management Division. Subsequently, the Common Air Logistic Complexes System Program Office was established in June 2013. 

The RIE also studied the number of individuals it would take to manage the Common ALC program.  Prior to the 5-center construct implementation, 15 individuals across the three centers were required to manage the program. The RIE recommended the staffing level of no more than six individuals in a centralized office. During the stand-up of the centralized office, it was determined the program could be managed with four individuals. 

Col. Allen Day (AFSC vice commander at the time) thanked the participants during the RIE out-brief and stated he appreciated the "emphasis on standardization, one process, multiple locations, defined roles and responsibilities while keeping the requirement close to the customers." In addition, the colonel looked forward to a "fully developed engineered process map with a defined starting and ending point."

The Common Air Logistics Complexes SPO participates in the Logistics Requirements Determination Process much like the KC-135 and B-1 SPOs. The SPO's end-to-end process generates and defends customers' requirements and executes their funding. According to James Pearl, Common ALC System Program manager, "Common ALC is a high-volume low-dollar program funding nearly 40,000 maintenance transactions for the three complexes with a budget of more than $17 million."

The four major areas the program funds are Host Tenant Support Agreements for labor support provided by the complexes to the associate units; regional Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory calibration provided by the three AFSC air logistic complexes which supports Continental United States, Pacific Air Forces and United States Air Forces Europe; Software Control Center library support at all three complexes; and Common Other Major End Items for test equipment.

"Common ALC major customers include the AFSC's three air base wings, 507th Air Refueling Wing, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve Command, JSTARS, 552nd Air Control Wing, 5th Combat Communications Group, Air Force Research Laboratory, 339th Flight Test Squadron and the 10th Flight Test Squadron," said Mr. Pearl.
Looking for ways to improve the office's efficiency, the Common ALC SPO incorporated "The AFSC Way" into a non-production environment. 

"Using the tenents of the Leadership Model and the Art of the Possible book, we integrated the Road to a Billion into the SPO processes. We broke down the radiator chart components and applied it to each process performed within the SPO, building the gated process, maturity matrix, ANDON process, metrics and other tenants of the radiator chart into the program," said Mr. Pearl. "Based upon the AoP guidance, we built various metrics to track our process on the "Road to a Billion" These metrics allow the SPO to identify trends to the job order number and shop. As a result of these metrics, the SPO has been able to identify approximately $800,000 in program savings to date." 

The top to bottom review of the Common ALC program using the tenents of the AoP book identified a number of areas where the Common ALC program required strengthening. "Based upon our AoP implementation, the program identified best practices among the complexes, enhanced internal processes and controls, included prime stakeholders into SPO processes, and built program metrics," said Mr. Pearl. "The AoP process is evolutionary and the SPO office consistently finds new avenues to incorporate its' principles."

Earlier this year, the Common ALC SPO provided a "Walk the Wall" briefing to AFSC Commander Lt. Gen. Bruce Litchfield, AFSC Executive Director Jeffrey Allen and other AFSC senior leaders. In attendance were local customers' senior leaders and commanders from the 552nd ACW, 10th FLTS, the 448th Supply Chain Management Wing and senior leadership from the 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group and 76th Commodities Maintenance Group.  Mr Pearl briefed the group with an overview of Common ALC, the Common ALC "Road to a Billion" Refine Requirements/Maximize Funding, metrics, gates process, future requirements, savings identified and continuous process improvement initiatives.

Following the briefing, General Litchfield gave the Common ALC customers a chance to relay their opinions. The customers affirmed they were happy with the support provided by the SPO and the cost savings. General Litchfield concluded the briefing expressing his approval of Common ALC implementation of the AoP in an SPO setting.