AFSC commander lauds workforce performance in 2014

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The Air Force Sustainment Center is closing out 2014 having accomplished more work and delivered more capability thanever before; all while setting new standards for cost effectiveness. 

That's how Lt. Gen. Bruce Litchfield, AFSC commander, summed up the center's overall performance for the year. 

"When I look back at 2014, what impresses me most is the professionalism, resiliency and competency of the entire workforce," the general said.  "Keeping in mind that we had just emerged from a tumultuous 2013 where sequestration and the government shutdown drove impacts to the workforce we hope to never see again."

The general noted that at Tinker Air Force Base, the workforce also overcame a series of spring tornadoes which ravaged neighboring communities and destroyed or severely damaged homes of nearly 300 base personnel.

"Yet all across the center, our people shook off the effects of 2013 and made 2014 a benchmark year," General Litchfield marveled.  "I give all the credit to the men and women in AFSC and their ability to bounce back and put us in position to take on the challenges in the year ahead."

Citing continued fiscal uncertainty and a high ops tempo that will drive additional stress to the fleet, the general said AFSC must carry its momentum into the new year. 

"I think we can all agree that 2015 will be very challenging. The fact is that cost effective readiness is no longer a philosophy, it's a priority. We must execute across the board at a very high level with great efficiency and high output," he said. "We have a proven plan, now we have to execute that plan to perfection."  

That plan is the AFSC Way. Now in its third phase of evolution, the AFSC Way provides all levels of organization with a roadmap forsuccess. Ensuring the entire center is on the same route is a top priority for AFSC in 2015. 

"Some are leading the fleet and have already reached, and in some cases exceeded, the expectations for AFSC 3.0," he said. "Others are just getting started on the journey, and that's OK.  What's important is that we're all on the same path."
To that end, Litchfield published "Art of the Possible," an in-depth guide to the AFSC Way on the AFSC public website in September.

"We published 'Art of the Possible' for two reasons," the general said, "First, to help us transform the center from a personality-driven workforce to a process-driven workforce. The book is a how to tool for the current workforce, an education tool for new people coming in and a leadership tool for those who are in position to direct and guide the work. It's the baseline for how we get the right results the right way."

Noting that the book has already exceeded 2,000 downloads, the general said the second reason was to provide everyone, especially the center's industry partners, with a transparent view of how AFSC operates.

"We can achieve even higher results if our industry partners understand how we do business," he said. "Understanding the AFSC Way will allow them to better adapt to our needs and provide opportunities for us to marry organic strengths with industry strengths."

The general said another priority for AFSC in 2015 is to better support thewarfighter by taking on the persona of an operational command.

"When we established AFSC, the whole principle was to make AFSC the supporting commander for sustaining readiness in our Air Force," he said. "We want to make sure we have the right stuff in the right placeat the right time."

To do that, General Litchfield said AFSC is already holding direct meetings
with the MAJCOM commanders so that they have a common operating picture for sustainment support and the center's ability to deliver to their needs. He said the AFSC of tomorrow must continue to evolve from the traditional reactive logistics support system to a proactive, visionary, needs-based deliverer of air power. 

"We have to look beyond what readiness requirements are on the board today and anticipate what our commanders in the fight will need next month, next year and beyond and then be agile and flexible enough to reliably deliver that capability," he said. 

General Litchfield also emphasized that a resilient, energized workforce is central to the center's ability to generate the airpower America needs in 2015.

"I love the term resiliency because it acknowledges that we all have highs and lows in our lives," he said. "The holiday season amplifies the highs, but unfortunately, it can also drive and accentuate the lows - especially for folks who are hurting." 

The general compared the center to a big family - one that surrounds those who may be experiencing tough times with the knowledge that others care and that there is always help available.

"We are blessed to have a vibrant Wingman culture deeply rooted in AFSC," said General Litchfield. "It's important that we make sure no one spends the holidays alone and in need. I encourage those who are able to consider opening your hearts and homes to those unable to be with their own families this season."

Litchfield also lauded the support local communities provide every day.

"We have caring communities surrounding our installations which don't recognize a fence line," he said. "It's very gratifying and comforting to know that there are so many people in our neighboring communities willing to step up and provide whatever support we need."

The general concluded by sharing his perspective on being part of the AFSC team.

"Every day I get to work with the greatest folks we have in our Air Force," he said. "We have an incredibly important mission which enables our Air Force to fly, fight and win. I get to do what I love with the people I want to do it with the most. It's a great honor to lead this team and I hope everyone shares my belief that every day in AFSC is a great day to fly!"