AFMC commander visits Robins

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Sequoiya Lawson
  • 78th ABW/PA
Gen. Bruce Carlson, Air Force Materiel Command commander, visited Robins this week to see what issues the workforce here is dealing with. He spoke with the Rev-Up about everything from centralized asset management to AFSO21 to Depot Caucus.

Q: Why are you visiting all three of the command's ALCs on this trip?
I've visited all of the ALC's at least twice, sometimes three times in the past and I've always gone with the idea that I want to see whatever you want to show me and whatever issues you'd like to deal with.
Over the past two years I've become focused on a number of big things that are change oriented and transformational in nature. One of them for instance is the Voluntary Protection Program.
There's also AFSO21, Lean, centralized asset management, what we're doing with the Guard and Reserve, BRAC and educational opportunities on the base. I wrote a note to each of the ALC commanders and asked them to tell me what they are doing in those areas. I decided to visit all in one week so I can keep track of all the reports and stay close to the basis of the visits that I started from.

Q: In terms of continuous process improvement, what types of AFSO21 efforts do you deem most valuable to the command? To the Air Force?
We're at war. That's the first problem, and that's draining a lot of our resources. The war makes our equipment get older faster because we use it at a higher rate than what we would normally. Gen. (Tom) Owen (Warner Robins Air Logistics Center commander) can take you out today and show you C-130's that we've used up a lot of their useful life on because we've been involved in this war for a long time.
Second, we have an incredible need in the Air Force, probably as never before in our history, to recapitalize our equipment. Our F-15s are getting worn out, our C-130s are getting worn out, C-5s are getting old and so on. When you combine the fact that we're at war with the need to recapitalize, we've got to have more funding.
Because of the war and the political climate we're in, that funding is not as available as we would like it to be. We've got to figure out a way to generate efficiency inside the Air Force. In other words do only those things that are smart to do and get rid of the waste. Don't do any work that's not necessary, accomplish only those tasks that are high priority and minimize the amount of effort we expend to get work done. We do that through Lean and AFSO 21 and it generates more aircraft in less time and with less money. It keeps those airplanes and other weapon systems operating at peak efficiency without expending as many resources as we would have in the past. It saves money and we're able to roll those savings over into recapitalizing the Air Force.

Q: What is Centralized Asset Management and what has the Air Force achieved with it; why is its implementation and execution within AFMC so vital?
Centralized asset management is taking several pots of money, probably up to 17 different pots of money in the Air Force that pay for sustainment. That sustainment is divided into several different categories; everything from tech orders to parts to fuel.
Instead of managing some at Air Combat Command or Pacific Air Force, some at Air Mobility Command and some at Air Force Special Operations Command, we now manage it centrally. The feeling of Air Force senior leadership is that we could manage that pot of money more effectively if we did it in a consolidated way. So we've put the budgeting and execution for that in one office. We still operate to whatever requirement ACC has, whatever their top priority is - if it's B-1's then that's where the money will go; if it's F-15 avionics that's where the money will go. It allows us to be more efficient and effective in budgeting and executing that money.

Q. How does your concept of "One Materiel Command" relate to these issues of funding and efficiency?
The idea of One Materiel Command is that we operate as one enterprise, not a logistics enterprise, not a supply enterprise, not a maintenance enterprise and not an acquisition or test or research, but as one enterprise. We can no longer afford to make acquisition decisions that are uninformed by the logistical or sustainment consequences of that decision. (In the past) we've made very long-term decisions, or decisions that have long-term impacts inside of our acquisition system, and we didn't think about what it meant to take care of that weapon system for 25, 30 or 40 years. So that's what One Materiel Command, one materiel enterprise is all about.

Q. Could you explain what the Depot Caucus is and how it relates to the work performed at the ALCs?
The Depot Caucus is a group of influential and very interested members of Congress who have air logistics centers either in their district or in their state. They are interested in the amount of work that comes here, the quality of the facilities, the quality of people, and the productivity of these logistics centers.
They're very helpful, very useful and very attentive to what's going on in the logistics centers. They're invaluable to helping us make sure the level of technology we have available to work with inside our centers is top-notch and in making sure we get the kind of facilities we need to house the people and the future workloads. We partner very well with them.

Q: Would you like to add anything else?
It's great to be here and I appreciate the opportunity. Every time I come to Warner Robins and Middle Georgia I can't help but be impressed with the people, the work ethic, the creativeness and ingenuity. It's just a wonderful place to visit. I feel rejuvenated and energized and I'm thrilled with the opportunity I've had. -- 1st Lt. Sequoiya Lawson, 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs