Sustainment Course educates AFGSC leaders, facilitates logistics discussions
By Joe Thomas, Air Force Global Strike Command
/ Published December 14, 2016
BARKSDALE AFB, La. -- Air Force Global Strike Command specializes in delivering flexible and responsive capabilities and applying persistent combat power to targets around the world. It is a capability that is measured in minutes and hours, rather than days, and relies on the command’s ability to maintain the nation’s fleet of strategic bombers and long-range missiles.
Air Force Global Strike Command would not be able to carry out this mission without support from the Air Force Sustainment Center, based at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma. For this reason, AFGSC wing, vice wing and operations group commanders attended the Senior Officer Sustainment Course at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, Nov. 29-30, giving them an opportunity to learn from sustainment personnel, including the AFSC commander.
“I’m your supporting commander for readiness,” said Lt. Gen. Lee K. Levy II, commander, Air Force Sustainment Center. “Your destiny and my command’s destiny is inextricably linked and it’s our job to support AFGSC in maintaining a credible strategic deterrent.”
The two-day course gave commanders insight into considerations needed when coordinating with AFSC, which takes place through AFGSC’s Directorate of Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection.
“We want to focus on engaging and leveraging logistics systems to obtain the support, resources and capabilities required at the wing,” said Lawrence Kingsley, A4 director. “It’s important that commanders and units know what the desired output for a part will be and understand how it works. They also need to recognize that they shouldn’t go it alone to implement a tactical-level solution when the demand-signal needs to be sent to energize the sustainment system to deliver comprehensive institutional support to field-level issues.”
The course gave AFGSC commanders insight into the types of requests AFSC can support and the specialization of each of its wings. Regardless, the Air Force Sustainment Center stands ready to support the around-the-clock readiness of the nation’s strategic force. AFSC is a critical enabler of the nuclear enterprise, with its Air Logistics Complexes and wings providing support across bombers, ICBMs, and nuclear communications systems, according to Levy.
“All of our [AFSC] wings are interconnected,” Levy said. “Parts of that aircraft will have to travel to multiple locations for repairs. Having said that, our wings rise and fall together. They really depend on each other to be successful.”
In addition to weapon systems, course speakers touched on the maintenance requirements for supporting systems, including items that fall within the realm of nuclear support equipment, communications, transportation or maintenance, to name a few.
Subject matter experts also stressed the need for forward planning and an eye towards budget constraints. Such considerations would strengthen efforts between AFGSC and AFSC in returning a part to the field or flightline, according to Levy, facilitating synchronization of logistics capabilities between AFGSC and AFSC.
“The Air Force Sustainment Center is there to provide competent, energized, sustainment support,” Levy said. “This is something we do for the Air Force as a whole. If you can’t repair these components at your level, please coordinate with your A4 here so that we can hold the system accountable and make it perform the way it was designed.”
The course also gave attendees a firsthand look at Air Force sustainment processes and how they have been streamlined over time. Speakers used case studies and lessons learned to illustrate that efficient and effective logistics is a means to bring about increased combat capability.
“My number one priority has always been supporting the war fighter,” Levy said. “If we’re not winning our nation’s wars, then everything else is interesting, but irrelevant.”