L O G I S T I C S O F F I C E R A S S O C I AT I O N Enhancing the military logistics profession since 1982
EXECUTIVE BOARD President Col Evan Miller firstname.lastname@example.org
The Exceptional Release SPRING 2003
S P R I N G 2008
Vice President Lt Col Pat Kumashiro email@example.com
The Improbable Hero Submitted by Col Joe Codispoti . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Treasurer Lt Col Stephen Petters firstname.lastname@example.org
Voices from the Past Speak to Our Future Submitted by Col (ret) Deb Shattuck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
Information Officer Maj Stephanie Halcrow InfoOfficer@loanational.org
Arresting the Spares Crisis of the 1990s Submitted by Col Dennis Daley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
Membership Development Maj Jeff Martin email@example.com Chapter Support Lt Col Dennis Dabney firstname.lastname@example.org Executive Senior Advisor Lt Gen Kevin Sullivan Webmaster/Website Maj JD DuVall email@example.com www.loanational.org
THE EXCEPTIONAL RELEASE Editor Col Dennis Daley firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant Editor Col (ret) Mary H. Parker email@example.com Executive Director, Marketing/PR ER Managing Editor/Publisher Marta Hannon firstname.lastname@example.org ER Worldwide Staff Col Cheryl Allen, ICAF Student Lt Col Eugene K. Carter, 15 AMXS/CC Maj Richard L. Fletcher, 305 AMXS/CC Maj Paul L. Pethel, 100 MXS/CC Graphic Design MMagination, Inc. – Atlanta, GA www.mmagination.com LOA National PO Box 2264 – Arlington, VA 22202 Issue No. 107 - Spring 2008
Leading the Transition Submitted by Col Jim Silva and Capt Doug Kuhn . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Leaders -- The Most Important Resource the AF Needs Now and Tomorrow Submitted by Maj Chuck Payne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 AMMOS: Leadership Laboratory Submitted by Lt Col Jeff Decker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Chiefs on Leaders Submitted by Lt James Harris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Leadership Opportunities as an Aircraft WSM Submitted by Lt Col Mark Guerrero, Maj Jonathan Downing, Capt Jerrymar Copeland & Capt Al Martz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 Logistics Career Broadening Program: Good Deal for CGOs Submitted by Capt Chad Parks and Capt Gary Durst . . . . . . . . . .52
In Every Issue President’s LOG(istics) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Editor’s Debrief . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 From the E-Ring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Perspectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 CGO Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 Milestones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64 On the Cover: Past Logistics Leaders clockwise from top: General George Babbitt, Lt General Leo Marquez, Lt Gen Michael Zettler, Maj Gen Hugh Knerr, Brig Gen Peter Hennessey.
President’s LOG(istics) LOA is all about making our team of Air Force logisticians better. The LOA board and membership are constantly incubating new ideas to help us meet the challenges faced within the logistics community. The idea stage is crucial, but moving forward from the drawing board is equally important. Ideas become action when we focus on them, communicate them to others, persevere in the hard work, and take responsibility for making the idea reality. I’m happy to report that the last few months have been focused on change and preparing for the future. Many ideas have found their way out of the incubator and are gaining momentum. At the conference, I addressed two areas that the board and I have emphasized during my tenure as President. I’d like to update you on the forward progress of some LOA projects and describe how ideas presented and discussed at the conference are entering into the workin-progress stage.
Col Evan Miller
ER: PRESIDENT’S LOG(ISTICS)
LOA is dedicated to elevating the quality of our team of Air Force logisticians. Specifically, our by-laws state that: “The purpose of the Logistics Officer Association is to enhance the military logistics profession. LOA provides an open forum to promote quality logistical support and logistics officer professional development.” The board has been focusing on two basic goals. The first of those goals is to improve the way we develop our membership. Our second goal is to improve and increase our contribution to Air Force logistics. As I mentioned, I am excited that we are moving forward on these goals.
D E V E L O P M E N T : We have taken some tangible steps to create a BLOG – a forum for the active exchange of ideas and lessons learned. We are also trying to establish a national outreach effort to actively get chapters together. The Tinker Chapter, in conjunction with the chapters at McGuire, Scott and Dover, is working to set up a meeting and tours at Tinker to increase crosstalk and to offer another opportunity for development and learning. Also, we are spending time and intend to spend some money on the quality of selected articles in the ER. We have asked Mark Roddy, with the help of a few other members who helped create a similar Air Force site, to take on the responsibility of developing and deploying the BLOG site. Additionally, we are going to add three new positions to our board (appointed, non-voting) to focus on aircraft maintenance, logistics readiness, and civilian membership development.
2 . A F L O G I S T I C S C O N T R I B U T I O N : We have taken steps to make a stronger contribution to the Air Force. In addition to the many programs and events we already conduct, we are going to focus on supporting or sponsoring studies that will provide leaders, at all levels, with more information on logistics related issues. To facilitate this, we are adding another non-voting board position that will look for areas of concern and manage our contribution to studies conducted by other organizations or studies sponsored solely by LOA. You may have noticed that some of these ideas are going to require resources. Fortunately, we are in a position to begin spending some of our resources on these initiatives. It will require some funds to incentivize studies or supplement studies to allow for more in-depth study of a topic. Although our efforts will be modest at first, I think we will see a tangible return on our investment. For starters, we plan to have some of the most relevant studies briefed at our conferences, included in the ER, and posted to the web site to use as resource material. In the end, these new ideas require the investment of our most valuable resource, our membership. We plan to add five volunteers to the national board. Speaking of our most valuable resource, our membership, we need new leaders to step into the mix. If you have not studied our by-laws, you may not realize that there is a general election this year. To prepare for that event, I’d like to ask everyone to begin looking for possible candidates for LOA’s elected board member positions. If you have the qualifications and the willingness to keep us moving forward, finding our new board might be as easy as looking in the mirror. The election will occur this summer and our nominating committee is forming now. Help us help you and take advantage of a great personal and professional development opportunity. Run for president, vice president, treasurer or information officer. If you are wondering who to contact to get more
information, check out the web site, contact any of the current national board members, or contact your local chapter president and they will get a message to us. As usual, I’d like to leave you with a thought to ponder:
“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly...who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never known neither victory nor defeat.” ––Teddy Roosevelt I thought Roosevelt’s quote fit well with the message of getting involved. We have been fortunate to have great volunteers step up and offer their expertise in many different areas. So, whether you want to run for an office or just benefit from LOA, look for ways to get into the arena and get involved. You’ll find we will all benefit from your contribution. Until I see you around the Air Force, stay focused, stay safe, and stay ahead of the pack.
EVAN MILLER, COL USAF PRESIDENT, LOGISTICS OFFICER ASSOCIATION
Editor’s Debrief It’s all about leadership. This edition addresses logistics leadership specifically…the best kind of leadership. Please review Maj General Reno’s views on leadership in this edition’s Perspectives. Only General Reno could provide such wisdom and with such clarity on such a complex topic as leadership.
ER: EDITOR’S DEBRIEF
In addition, there are four outstanding articles on leadership that are a must read for any student of leadership. Col Deb Shattuck wrote a great article on four legendary leaders of our logistics Col Dennis Daley community: General Babbitt, Lt Gen Marquez, Lt Gen Zettler and Brig Gen Hennessey. “Arresting the Spares Crisis of the 1990s”, a story that must be told, reviews an amazing achievement of our logistics staff professionals (Air Staff and MAJCOMs) from 2000-2003 to halt the devastating erosion of spares availability in the 1990s. Today, our cannibalization and MICAP rates are at historic lows, in large part due to a great team of logistician staffs and their Spares Campaign in 2001 and 2002. Also, Col Jim Silva and the PACAF staff analyze Maintenance Discipline, a topic very relevant to current field commanders. Last but certainly not least, for you history buffs, Col Joe Codispoti offers “Improbable Hero” a classic on an unknown WWII logistics leader, Maj Gen Hugh Knerr. Knerr made major contributions to the 8th Air Force in WWII and the post-war years. Why hasn’t this story ever been told about this organizational genius? This edition also offers four articles tailored to our company grade officers. Maj Jonathan Downing from HQ AMC writes an interesting review of the role of officers on a headquarters staff as a Weapons System Manager (WSM). There are some excellent lessons learned for our young officers to study Jon’s segment. Lt James Harris from Dover AFB, collected over 20 Chief’s inputs on their view of junior officer development as seen through the eyes of wily Chief Master Sergeants. Capt Chad Parks and Capt Gary Dust from Warner Robins Air Logistics Center summarizes their experiences as officers in the depot’s Logistics Career Broadening Program. Finally, Major Chuck Payne from Andersen AFB also adds to our leadership edition with his writing on Our Most Important Resource. Finally, Lt Col Jeff Decker tees up the AMMOS program and the opportunities it offers to our officers. A must read. Please read a new feature section in the ER – From the E-Ring. Lt Gen Kevin J. Sullivan, the USAF Deputy Chief of Staff of Logistics, Installations and Mission Support, will use this feature section to update our LOA community on important issues. This particular edition features a great insight for a very hot topic…the wing organization restructuring. I hope our readers will find it very informative. Finally, the summer edition will focus on logistics transformation. Please contact us if you have any ideas on features for the summer edition. We plan to seek the proper mix between large transformational programs articles and unit based AFSO21 success stories.
––COL DENNIS DALEY AND YOUR ER WORLDWIDE TEAM
LOA is Pleased to Announce its First Exceptional Writer Annual Award. Starting this year, LOA will select the best ER articles for 2008 and recognize the authors at the 2008 LOA Conference in Columbus, Ohio. LOA will select winners in three author categories: Company Grade Officer, Field Grade Officer and Civilian. Each winner will be awarded $250. Submissions must be between 15002500 words. Send submissions to: Col. Dennis Daley at email@example.com.
From the E-Ring A I R F O R C E W I N G R E O R G A N I Z AT I O N Most of you are aware that our Air Force Chief of Staff signed a memo on 7 December 2007 directing reorganization of wing logistics and operations units—a decision that will realign aircraft maintenance units into fighter and combat search and rescue squadrons and redesignate all Maintenance Groups as Materiel Groups Air Force-wide.
Additionally, Logistics Readiness Squadrons and Aerial Port
Lt Gen Kevin Sullivan
Squadrons, where applicable, will transfer from Mission Support Groups to the new Materiel Groups.
E R : A I R F O R C E W I N G R E O R G A N I Z AT I O N
The movement of the AMUs presents an opportunity to create a process aligned structure that better supports our flying wings and combatant commanders. As importantly, the Materiel Group will enhance logistics enterprise integration at the wing level by consolidating traditional logistics functions under a single logistics leader in the wing. This new group will position the logistics community for future transformation initiatives and better prepare our logistics officers for senior leader positions. These actions will be completed between 1 July 2008 and 30 November 2008. I recognize that any time we make a change this significant, it takes us out of our comfort zones. This transformation has generated questions from all levels of our Air Force. People want to know what affect these changes will have on career progression and assignments, and virtually everyone has an opinion on the merits of one organizational construct versus another. These are valid questions and concerns, and they will be addressed by a very intense and deliberate implementation planning process. Your HAF A4/7, along with the A1 and A3/5, will lead the cross-functional HAF team tasked to implement the Chief’s directions. I have charged the team with the following tasks: First, create a collaborative implementation environment involving representation from all affected communities at all levels. Second, institutionalize the new organizational structure quickly, so we can return our full attention to the mission as soon as possible. Third, leverage the change in wing structure to optimize combat capability and sustainment. Fourth, eliminate functional area bias, and do what’s best for the Air Force. Finally, and most importantly, we will implement this change while ensuring continued operational success -- on time, on target. In order to complete the reorganization process, we’ll need to construct a Program Action Directive (PAD). For those who may be new to the PAD business, AFI 10-501 defines a Program Action Directive (PAD) as “a formal planning document that helps accomplish a major action such as the reorganization or formation of a MAJCOM, organization, unit, or function. It states the objective of the program, assigns specific tasks to OPRs and OCRs, and establishes milestones.” The PAD, when completed, will outline all actions to be accomplished by the MAJCOMs and their subordinate Wings. MAJCOMS will then construct Programming Plans (PPlans) to ensure actions outlined in the PAD are executed according to implementation plan milestones. A PPLAN, written below HQ USAF-level, is usually more specific and focuses more on tasks or milestones.
In the coming months, the HAF implementation planning team will be working to keep on track and deliver a product worthy of our Air Force. At the time of this article, our next major meeting is scheduled for 12-14 February in Washington, DC. We will bring in MAJCOM participants from various functional communities including Manpower, Operations, Logistics Readiness, and Maintenance to participate in breakout sessions to assess and address issues and propose the way forward. The product of this workshop will be a draft PAD that we will then vet through the MAJCOMs using the normal staff coordination process. Following PAD approval, MAJCOMs will publish PPlans to direct their wings on a specific implementation timeline. The success of the reorganization requires the complete support of everyone in the chain—Wing Commanders, Squadron Commanders, Chiefs and staff officers, regardless of functional area. No one office, person, or organization can complete such a daunting task without teamwork at all levels. If you have a question, opinion, or observation that you want considered, I encourage you to contact your commanders and have them forwarded to your MAJCOM Implementation Team representative. The United States Air Force is the greatest air force the world has ever seen. We have not achieved and sustained this status by stiff arming change. We can and must embrace this effort and deliver responsive processes and organizations that maximize our ability to generate combat air power.
––LT GEN KEVIN SULLIVAN, DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF, INSTALLATIONS, LOGISTICS AND MISSION SUPPORT
Our technology and expertise played a key role in the transformation of Ogden, ALC at Hill Air Force Base. Enhancing processes and securely locating inventory at point-of-use proved dramatic results. z More time available to turn out warfighter assets z 11 More jets in the field z Stock outs were eliminated by 100% z Travel time was reduced by 330% z Non-productive time was reduced by $83,000 a month z Vending machines paid for themselves in under 6 months
Call us to see how we can help your logistics operation receive similar results or read a complete case study at: www.cribmaster.com/cs.htm
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Perspectives IN STEP
M A J G E N L O R E N R E N O , C O M M A N D E R , OC-ALC
Major General Loren Reno is currently the commander of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center (OC-ALC) following an assignment as The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Vice Director. Gen Reno’s broad experience in all aspects of logistics and his reputation as one of the Air Force’s premier logisticians makes him the ideal choice for this edition’s focus on logistics leadership.
Maj Gen Loren Reno
ER: What leadership advice could you give our LOA officers?
MAJ GEN RENO: Though there are many qualities of good leaders (like integrity, courage, and humility), my leadership model has 3 pillars: 1-with regard to the mission, set the course and pace; 2-with regard to others, require accountability…positive and negative; and 3-with regard to one’s self, exercise regularly…physically, mentally, and spiritually. ER: Looking back on your distinguished career have you benefited from any missteps that in the long term actually enhanced your leadership development?
MAJ GEN RENO: Yes, I have made missteps from which I have learned. They have increased my attention to detail, given me understanding when others around me have made missteps, and helped me see the difference between mistakes and crimes. I have come to understand the importance and benefit of fostering an environment that permits mistakes and misjudgments while encouraging innovation. ER: Are there any pitfalls in a young officer’s leadership development that you would recommend caution as they plan their career paths?
MAJ GEN RENO: My first recommendation would be to seek the counsel of officers senior to one’s self. Over the years, I have relied on the advice of my seniors and have seen that their perspective is better than my own. Second, I would urge caution in burning bridges. Things often look differently down the road, and things done in the near-term can limit opportunities not seen today. Third, the AF core values are enduring for young and senior officers alike: integrity as the basis for officership, a passion for service that overwhelms self interest, and a commitment to excellence that tolerates nothing less than the best. As senior officers see these qualities in younger officers, the latter will get all the help they need. ER: You have extensive experience in “wholesale” material logistics with multiple assignments in AFMC depots and with DLA. What do assignments in the wholesale sector provide for logistician officer development?
MAJ GEN RENO: I think the lines of demarcation between wholesale and retail logistics have blurred as have the lines between tactical and strategic airlift and between the three levels of maintenance. I see great value in officers developing understanding and contributing to logistics in various venues: AF and joint; operational and support; and field and staff. I think of the levels more along joint lines—supported and supporting. We all have suppliers and customers. We need to develop an understanding and appreciation for the needs involved in those relationships. I think we need a variety of assignments to help us develop those. Having been the war-fighter (AMC/A4) and then a supplier (DLA vice director) has given me great insight into an ALC commander’s duty to provide service to the former and make demands of the latter. ER: Could you comment on the current shift towards centralized or regionalized repair for engines, aircraft and components?
MAJ GEN RENO: Some of the factors that make the time right for centralizing repair are advances in technology, improvements in IT systems, increased cost of equipment/tooling, faster and increased availability of transportation systems, leaner/transforming air logistics centers, and fiscal challenges that cause us to challenge “old ways” in order to find modernization resources. Logisticians have to do better than just to manage…we have to lead. As we have moved from base-level decentralized supply in recent years to
a centralized logistics support with the Global Logistics Support Center (GLSC), I think we need to do so similarly with maintenance. We need to limit the logistics footprint forward where it won’t reduce readiness or undermine the war-fighter’s options. To be sure, we must be effective, but we also need to become more efficient. I think centralized repair has a lot of promise in this area. ER: Has the increased emphasis on AFSO21 altered the development of a logistics leader in anyway?
MAJ GEN RENO: Let me clarify: I don’t see AFSO21 as pertinent only to logisticians. But as you ask, it does need to be part of our development. Where the number of people we manage and the number of resources for which we have oversight or responsibility have been the measures of merit in some circles in past years, I see the new gold standard being how comfortable a leader is in being uncomfortable. Do we lead and inspire change, innovation, and improvement, or do we resist, avoid, and slow-roll them? I hope the former. I have seen our youngest officers and many young enlisted members come aboard with a better grasp of technology and what is possible than some of the older guard. We need to encourage and draw out the ideas of the young and stimulate the understanding of (some of) the old—myself included. That’s why I think good leaders are good readers—always growing. Someone said, “When you’re through learning, you’re through.” We need logistics leaders who thrive on change—the only unchanging dimension of our future. ER: On several occasions, you have encouraged leaders to focus on safety and maintenance discipline as critical elements of efficiency initiatives. Could you explain the basis for your concerns?
MAJ GEN RENO: As you have asked in previous questions, we certainly need logistics leaders who are comfortable with change. Upon reflection, I would amend my answer to the last question to point out that while change surrounds us, safety and maintenance discipline need to remain constant. This will be a challenge for leaders at all levels. Change drives a discipline for flexibility, openness, and new ways; safety and maintenance discipline drive a culture of doing it the same way—by the book every time. These approaches are nearly 180 degrees apart, yet we must be mentally agile enough to both do and to lead in both cultures. I don’t think we should blindly accept the old, safe ways. There are opportunities to change “the book” as we apply Six Sigma, Lean, TOC, AFSO21, etc., but we need to carefully think those changes through and operate with known, safe procedures until we certify and codify the new. ER: The AFMC Depot’s Logistics Career Broadening Program (LCBP) is a key developmental program for AF logisticians. Are there any changes in the program for 2008? Continued on following page...
2008 LOA Scholarship Call for Nominations The LOA scholarship program is intended to assist the most deserving Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine, Coast Guard, National Guard, or Reserve enlisted or DoD civilian (Through GS-8, WG-9 or Standard Career Group- YA PB 1, YB PB 1, YP PB 1 or Scientific and Engineering Career Group- YD PB 1, YE PB 1) in a logistics specialty, with college expenses towards an associate or bachelor degree. Each active chapter may submit one individual for a scholarship. Chapters that do not have their key leadership positions filled with active National LOA members WILL NOT be eligible to submit scholarship nominations. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: 1 AUGUST, 2008 Winners are presented their scholarship award at the annual conference banquet. For submission criteria please visit: https://www.loanational.org/g-3.htm
MAJ GEN RENO: General Carlson has led some significant improvements to LCBP. It will remain a two-year program, officers in the program will receive OPRs instead of training reports, Developmental Teams (DT) will vector selected officers into LCBP instead of a board considering only volunteers, and DTs will follow up graduates for the next and subsequent assignments. We are giving the program the attention it richly deserves. ER: Ours is an expeditionary Air Force, and Logistics Officers have remained a high demand, low density asset. Do you foresee any change to this situation, and what are the most important skills for our officers to cultivate if they are to play an effective role in the Global War on Terrorism?
MAJ GEN RENO: I see logistics leaders being in demand as long as we have war or have to be ready for it. Our expeditionary role will take us away from home station when we have forces deployed…it’s a fact of life. It will be important in the development of tomorrow’s senior logistics leaders…from Sq/CC on up. I do not see this changing. The most important skills are leadership, technical knowledge, experience supporting the war-fighter or being supported, comfort being uncomfortable, success inspiring change, and leadership (did I say that twice?). ER: Last but not least, there is some anxiety among our logistics officers concerning the reorganization of our AMXS, LRS and APS squadrons. You have experienced several similar organizational realignments during your career. Do you have any advice as we prepare to reorganize later this year?
MAJ GEN RENO: I have observed that logisticians can make a variety of organizational constructs work and work well. Circumstances that change make it wise to adjust these constructs on occasion. When we need to change, our AF needs us to give our best insight into how we can make the change work…no room for malicious compliance. On balance, it’s about flying, fighting, and winning, not about our comfort with a former construct. Let’s give our AF the logistics leadership it needs in this important time of change. K
The Exceptional Release A Professional Military Journal written by logisticians for logisticians The purpose of the Logistics Officer Association (LOA) is to enhance the military logistics profession. LOA provides an open forum to promote quality logistics support and logistic officer professional development. Policy on Written Submissions: The editor invites articles and other contributions on issues that support LOA’s purpose. Direct manuscripts, letters and other communications to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Deadlines: The 15th day of January, April, July, and October. Story Format: Double-spaced, typed and electronically submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos & Graphics: Send individual electronic files (hi-res JPG, TIFF or EPS with type as outlines) along with stories (as separate text files) and include cutlines/captions. All photos should be at least 300 dpi or greater resolution. Submitter data: Should be typed at the end of the story file. Information included should be: Rank; full name; service; home mailing address; business name and address; business phone (DSN and commercial); email; three to five sentence biographical sketch; and a photo (as a separate file – see photos and graphics above). Editorial Policy: The editors reserve the right to edit all submissions for length, clarity and libel. All submissions become the property of LOA. Advertisement Formats: Each ad must be sent as a composite hi-res (300 dpi or greater) EPS file with fonts saved as outlines. Full-page ads with bleeds should allow at least 3/8” bleeds. Ad rates visit: www.loanational.org/adrates.html Advertising Contact: Ms Marta Hannon, Managing Editor PO Box 2264 – Arlington, VA 22202 – email: email@example.com – Phone 405-701-5457 Subscriptions: The ER is published quarterly and is available via membership in the Logistics Officer Association at the annual rate of $25. Access membership forms on the website at www.loanational.org. 10
The Improbable Hero Maj Gen Hugh J. Knerr
Submitted by Col Joe Codispoti
student to name the architect of the Red Ball Express, the “Hump” airlift, or the logistics network that fueled the vast island hopping campaigns of the Pacific. I daresay he or she would be hard pressed to place one logistician on the list of heroes. I submit for your consideration an improbable hero, Maj Gen Hugh Johnston Knerr—operator, theorist, instigator, organizational genius, and understand that the visionary logistician.
sk the casual student of history to name American heroes of the Second World War and you’re likely to hear names like Eisenhower, Patton, MacArthur, Bradley, and Marshall—traditional soldiers. You may hear the names of Admirals like Nimitz, Halsey, or King; or Airmen like Doolittle and Arnold. They are recognizable heroes— “Many people fail to warriors who led troops operating unit wins battles, but logistics on the battlefield, manHugh Knerr’s extraorwins the war.” aged theaters of war, or dinary odyssey began as provided military a U.S. Naval Academy –Maj Gen Hugh J. Knerr advice to elected leadcadet in 1904. He ership, shaping the transferred to the conduct of the war. Army in 1911 as an But noticeably absent from the typical list of artillery officer with aspirations of flying in the heroes would be the logistician—the off-stage fledgling aviation component. He earned a pilot enabler helping combat leaders gain heroic status training slot in 1917 and flew bomber and obserin the eyes of a nation and world. Ask the same vation aircraft for the next two decades. 12
see pursuit aviation stressed instead of Mitchell’s vision for bombardment and was vocal in his disagreements with the staff. Typical of Knerr’s uncompromising vision was his insistence that “…bombardment aviation was capable of destroying the enemy’s means for resistance at the source on the ground, rather than after he got into the air and could do the same to us.” He offered early insight on the importance he placed on logistics, asserting that “…the supply and maintenance function was far more effective in deciding the issues of the conflict than glamorous air battles, for the simple reason that when you take an enemy’s bullets and beans away from him, his airplanes become impotent.” Knerr’s schooling continued at the Army Command and General Staff College in 1926-27, where he was recognized for his innovative use of aircraft over horse cavalry in problem solving. In a nod to Mitchell’s influence, Knerr took advantage of the academic environment to trumpet his views on bombardment aviation to the new Air Corps’ budding senior leaders.
NUTHAMPSTEAD, England -- Aircraft mechanics with the 398th Bombardment Group change a B-17 Flying Fortress engine here. During the group's stay in England from May 1944 to April 1945, the 398th flew 195 missions and lost 292 men and 70 B-17 aircraft in combat.
Knerr was assigned his first command in 1923 by General Billy Mitchell, forging a bond that would deeply shape his future service. He commanded the 88th Squadron at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio, a DH-4 unit providing tactical support for Gen Hugh Drum’s Corps Area at Fort Knox. While commanding the 88th, Knerr pioneered all-weather flight tactics while providing weekly courier service, shuttling between Dayton, Washington, D.C., New York, Langley Field, Virginia, and back to Dayton over the Army Experimental Airway. The experience would prove invaluable for the future development of commercial aviation, and particularly air mail delivery. Knerr spent the next two years in formal training, beginning with the Air Service School in 1925. He was disappointed to
In 1927 Knerr assumed command of the 2nd Bombardment Group at Langley Field—one of three newly formed bombardment groups. This command would be extremely productive, launching Knerr’s stock in the Air Corps. He instituted an aggressive training program and, with obsolete biplanes, developed formations and tactics that would be successfully used more than 15 years later in World War II, including early methods for bomb sighting. When advised that his quarterly allowance for fuel would have to last an entire year, Knerr responded with characteristic passion. He scheduled a mass maneuver of the entire group to the West Coast, burning his entire fuel budget in the process and proving the potential for bombers in coastal defense. His strategy earned the Continued on following page...
Knerr recognized cargo as the “Achilles heel…of any Air Force,” which had to be able to “…haul men and supplies by air and not depend on surface transportation.”
ER: THE IMPROBABLE HERO
congressional attention he sought, bringing to light the neglect of the Air Corps. Finally, Knerr urged the Army to develop a four-engine, monoplane bomber capable of carrying a 1,000 pound load to 10,000 feet at 150 miles per hour—heady specifications for the time. Despite Knerr’s strong and vocal objections, Army leadership limited design competitions to twoengine aircraft, ultimately leading to production of the B-9, B10, and B-18 bombers—all obsolete before the outbreak of World War II. After attending the Army War College in 1930-31, Knerr was assigned his first logistics post as Chief, Field Service for the Army Air Corps. Knerr viewed this posting as a chance to fix support shortfalls he’d experienced as a field commander, primarily establishing better and more direct contact with the operating bases with improved logistics processes. One of his key contributions was early development of a military transport service. Knerr recognized cargo as the “Achilles heel…of any Air Force,” which had to be able to “…haul men and supplies by air and not depend on surface transportation.” His incredible vision is captured in this quote from his unpublished memoirs, The Vital Era, 1887-1950: Shipping costs and slow rail delivery cancelled out much of our capacity for speed and mobility. My experience in the Second Bombardment Group with aerial transport had convinced me of the need for specialized aircraft for that purpose. The fantastic costs of crating could be eliminated through the use of cartons, easily handled and easily stowed in aircraft. Other advantages were the saving of time and inventories. Imbedded in his vision are concepts like 463L pallets, express delivery, lean inventories, and the inherent need of air forces for flexibility—all concepts
far ahead of his time. With his vision in hand, Knerr was authorized to organize the Air Corps’ first transport group. Gathering and modifying obsolete bombers, Knerr organized the group that eventually became the Military Transport Service, laying the foundation for the commercial cargo industry in the process. Air Corps Chief Maj Gen Benjamin Foulois asked Lt Col “Hap” Arnold to lead a squadron of the new B-10 bombers on a round trip flight from Bolling Field in Washington to Fairbanks, Alaska. Arnold asked then Maj Knerr to serve as his executive officer for the trip and assume responsibility for all logistics support. Between 19 July and 20 August 1934 Arnold’s group made the 18,000 round trip without a single forced landing, which could have proven fatal to both aircraft and crew in the austere landscape over much of the route. Knerr’s exceptional logistics and administrative skills helped carry this pioneering mission to a successful conclusion, bringing positive press to the Air Corps and helping launch Arnold’s eventual elevation to Chief of the Army Air Corps. On 31 December 1934 a board chaired by former Secretary of War Newton Baker recommended creation of an independent General Headquarters Air Force (GHQ AF). The command would consist of all Army Air Corps operational units under a separate commander, reporting directly to the Chief of Staff of the Army. GHQ AF stood up 1 March 1935 under the command of Brig Gen Frank M. Andrews, a Knerr mentor with whom he shared Mitchell’s vision. Although the Baker Board did not endorse a separate Air Force, the GHQ AF it spawned enabled air units to operate independently of or in cooperation with ground forces—a development many saw as an initial step toward an autonomous Air Force.
Mobile repair units for crashed aircraft, like medical units for injured personnel, follow their planes and make emergency repairs. The 8th Air Service Command maintains units which travel wherever disabled planes have landed. This plane's four engines and ball turret were damaged in an emergency landing, but the bomber was able to take off from a make-shift runway after the mobile unit had completed the repair job.
Gen Andrews chose then Col Knerr to be his Chief of Staff and Knerr seized the opportunity to strengthen the nation’s air forces and improve readiness. Already an outspoken advocate for a four-engine bomber and robust logistics infrastructure for aviation, Knerr held a series of maneuvers demonstrating the need for both. He insisted on rapid distribution and centralized control of supplies and equipment as a basic requirement for an efficient air service. His advocacy gained the attention of Congressman Mark Wilcox, who sponsored a bill establishing aircraft maintenance and supply depots in 11 Air Materiel Areas—the forerunner of today’s Air Logistics Centers.
Knerr’s persistent advocacy of the four-engine bomber led him Henry L. Stimson ordered Knerr to “say nothing in connection afoul of both the Army and Navy. He tried to convince Army with American policy and the conduct of the war.” Knerr craftiChief of Staff, Gen Malin Craig, that preparation by a fleet of ly sidestepped the order by modifying his lectures to the point of heavy bombers—namely the B-17—would reduce troop casual- view of Hitler, while communicating the same message. It ties by disabling the capabilities of opposing forces. But the Army’s concern that the $250K B-17 would single-handedly consume its meager budget led instead to limited purchases of light, medium, and attack bombers. He chafed the Navy by authorizing a mock bombing mission 750 miles off the Atlantic coast, demonstrating the B-17’s potential to intercept and bomb shipping. His successful demonstration (documented with photo evidence) stirred the Navy’s vehement opposition to the intrusion on Men at work at the 448th Sub-Depot, 381st Bomb Group, England, 22 April 1944. their domain. As a result of Knerr’s (and Andrews’) persistent opposition, the GHQ Air Force was disbanded and the staff became abundantly clear to War Department brass that Knerr scattered. Knerr was demoted to Lt Col and exiled to Fort Sam would not discontinue his speeches and articles. Responding to Houston, Texas to the same position, office, and desk of his ear- requests from Generals Andrews and Arnold, Secretary Stimson liest mentor, General Billy Mitchell. He was retired in 1939, offered the one thing that could muzzle him—reinstatement of ostensibly for a “physical disability” resulting from a crash during his active duty commission. his first command. Knerr accepted the commission in October 1942 and Arnold put Knerr was hired as a military consultant by the Sperry Company him to work to fix one of his deepest wartime concerns to that and served with the company from 1940-1942. Free from the point—supply and maintenance deficiencies in the Air Service restrictions imposed by his military commission he unabashedly Command. After touring operating bases and depots, Knerr was promoted airpower at the lectern and in the press, publishing convinced that the source of the problem was Arnold’s bureauarticles in several newspapers and leading magazines, and ghost cratic micromanagement, which he exercised through his writing a harshly critical book entitled “The Fight for Air Materiel Office at Gravelly Point (today’s Reagan National Power.” Among Knerr’s recommendations was precision daylight Airport). He recommended operational control of logistics at bombing with B-17s to complement British night bombing. But the Air Service Command with a limited policy and industrial it was his ardent criticism of military unpreparedness that liaison role in Washington. Arnold approved Knerr’s findings, brought Knerr special grief. His primary target was the admiral- closed the Materiel Office, and transferred operational control to ty of the Navy, whom he derided as having only limited knowl- the Air Service Command in Dayton. Knerr was assigned to the edge of air power. Not one to mince words, Knerr fueled the command and played a role in institutionalizing statistical conflame by asserting that mismanagement and misunderstanding of trols and revolutionary organizational and process changes. air power by high ranking admirals directly contributed to the Among his innovations were industrial assembly line techniques disaster of Pearl Harbor. His solution was a separate Air Force, at repair facilities and specialized commodity storage depots near co-equal with the Army and Navy, and a very much limited air sources of production. After his appointment as Deputy, Air role for Navy carrier-based aircraft. Under pressure from the Continued on following page... Navy, Sperry fired Knerr in August 1942 and War Secretary
ER: THE IMPROBABLE HERO
Service Command in March 1943, Knerr was called to the European Theater of Operations (ETO) two months later.
posting him as Deputy Commanding General (CG), VIII Air Force Service Command and Deputy A-4 of Eighth Air Force. He rose to the CG and A-4 positions by October, when his former boss, Maj Gen Henry J. F. Miller, assumed the same positions with the Ninth Air Force.
The TRIDENT conference of May 1943 shifted emphasis of daylight strategic bombing from German capitulation to preparation for the ground invasion of the Knerr’s impact was continent in immediate and huge, as May/June 1944. indicated by Eaker in a Focused on providing letter to Air Secretary aircraft, crews, and Robert A. Lovett. He A U.S. 8th AAF Fighter Station - "Careful, boys," cautions 1st Lt. Herbert K. Fields, pilot of a P-47 logistical support for called Knerr a “ball of Thunderbolt, "that's the first bomb ever to be loaded under an American fighter plane flying from the expected five-fold fire” and a “shot in the England." Sgt Carl E. Trabin, Philadelphia, Pa., Cpl. Loren Toycer, Colfax, Wisc., and Sgt William increase in combat arm” for the Air Woods, Baltimore, MD., are making doubly sure that the little surprise for Hitler is properly racked. aircraft in the coming Service Command after year, Arnold directed only two weeks on the Maj Gen Follett Bradley, accompanied by Knerr, to “… job. Maintenance had noticeably improved and “…the Air explore…possibilities of operating, maintaining, and supplying Service organization [was] stimulated.” First, he militarized our estimated… aircraft strength from the United Kingdom” and repair and modification depots, instituting American assembly make specific recommendations to improve the organization and lines and other industrial methods that dramatically improved function of the Air Service Command element, described by productivity. He reorganized a floundering aircraft modification Eighth Air Force commander, Maj Gen Ira C. Eaker, as “…our process when modifications had become perhaps the most critiweakest single factor in the Eighth Air Force” cal maintenance element for VIII Air Service Command. By the close of 1943, Knerr could boast that his modification and repair Knerr toured logistics facilities and operational bases in the U.K. depots were “turning out finished aircraft at one end of and Africa, receiving a hearty welcome from RAF leaders, who the…depot faster than wrecks were coming in at [the other] greatly admired his courage and air power theories espoused in end.” There were “airplanes by the hundreds…on airdromes “The Fight for Air Power.” While touring facilities in North waiting to be used.” Africa, Bradley suffered a heart attack, affording Knerr the opportunity to lead the remainder of the tour and draft the final Knerr tackled troop shortfalls by convincing Arnold to stop report. He remained true to his theme of organizational and sending fully trained maintenance units to England and leave logistics improvements, stressing two overarching principles that the training to him. He set up an aggressive training regimen we would characterize today as “just do it” initiatives—replace on the repair line, producing highly trained and specialized the general staff system with a deputate system for command and maintainers while they were producing for Eighth Air Force— control; and create an air force service of supply (SOS) from port and in a fraction of the time it took to train maintainers in the of entry to depots and operating bases, distinct from the Army States. SOS. The Army system was too cumbersome and inflexible to Knerr attacked parts shortages, streamlining supply requisitioning adequately support the dynamic nature of flying operations. procedures by removing intermediaries between the ordering Arnold was pleased with the report and charged Knerr with units and sources of supply. He mandated strict accountability implementing it, promoting him to Brig Gen on 1 Jul 43 and procedures, improving parts availability and turning shortages to
excess for redistribution within the ETO. He integrated British troops into the supply structure, leveraging available manpower and British industrial output to bolster support for the combined bombing effort. And he instituted an aggressive local manufacturing process to compensate for parts not on-hand or readily available from the British. Knerr instituted a major reorganization of the maintenance infrastructure, moving third-echelon maintenance, which included component replacement and engine repair, to the operating bases in a sub-depot organization. He assigned a sub-depot to each combat group and established mobile repair units at the sub-depots to recover aircraft landing away from Two maintenance crew-members of the 401st Bomb Group are busy trying to unmire the home airfield. The sub-depot concept, more than any the wheels of a B-17 after one of the planes landed off the runway when returning other aspect of his reorganization, gained the confidence of from a raid over Bremen, Germany on 26 November 1943. operational commanders. Only fourth echelon maintenance, e.g., major overhauls and specialized component repair, was the Mediterranean was placed in the hands of one man—Gen accomplished at a rear depot. But Knerr found a way to bring Knerr—allowing an unprecedented degree of standardization and even depot level maintenance closer to the end user. He estab- process control. lished advanced area depots serving groups of bases, and reserved The extent of Knerr’s success with the Eighth Air Force was caprear area depots for major overhaul and maintenance requiring tured in a few words from Arnold’s 10 June 1944 diary entry: proximity to industrial facilities. In essence, Knerr was follow“…went over Air war with Spaatz and his Staff [Knerr included]. ing Air Corps operational precepts to a tee, establishing centralFound that he had no special logistic problems; had plenty of ized control in the VIII Air Service Command with decentralplanes, crews, and gas and bombers.” After an inspection of the ized execution at the repair facilities, affording the flexibility to ETO in early 1945, Gen Orval Cook commented to Gen Arnold shift resources among the various echelons to attack backlogs. that Knerr’s “…logistic establishment [was] a magnificent show, Knerr revamped his transport capability, integrating it with the by far the best setup and operating Service Command in the supply and maintenance infrastructure. He reorganized truck world—including the United States.” companies with a high degree of centralized control and instituted express truck service between the bases and advanced depots, with feeder lines to the sub-depots. Knerr also pressed for and gained an organic transport command, making full use of it to ferry aircraft and move cargo, passengers, and mail among Eighth Air Force units. When the Army commandeered many of his trucks to assemble ground troops for the Normandy invasion, Knerr compensated by using bombers and transports to close the gap. Knerr clearly understood the value of a responsive air transport system in support of both operations and logistics. The task would have been considerably more difficult had not Knerr insisted on a reorganization of Eighth Air Force from an A-staff to a deputate organization. New Eighth Air Force commander, Gen Carl “Tooey” Spaatz, approved the concept in January 1944, naming Knerr his Deputy Commander for Administration and Gen Frederick Anderson his Deputy Commander for Operations. For the first time logistics was placed organizationally on par with operations in a combat organization. And responsibility for air logistics in Europe and
With the drawdown of the Eighth Air Force and the piecemeal transition of men and equipment to the Pacific and the U.S., Knerr was transferred in July 1943 to Wright Field. He assumed command of the Air Technical Service Command, an organization established that merged the research, development, testing, and evaluation responsibilities of the Air Materiel Command with the supply and maintenance responsibilities of the Air Service Command. With his first order Knerr reorganized the command to a deputate system and streamlined the staffing process. He also pushed for the recruitment of German scientists to bolster research capability. Most importantly, Knerr found that nothing significant had been done to shift logistics resources from Europe to the Pacific. After just 10 days of intense study, he and his team produced a detailed plan that brought structure to the process and synchronized the immense movement of men and materiel.
Continued on following page...
ER: THE IMPROBABLE HERO
Knerr requested retirement orders in December 1945 and, four Knerr was finally granted his retirement on 30 October 1949 days after receiving them, was recalled by Gen Spaatz to after more than 42 years of service in the Navy, Army, and Air Washington to establish an Air Board, similar to the Navy’s Force. He was, at first, retired at his permanent pre-war rank of board. Knerr pulled together aviation leaders like Doolittle and Lt Col. When President Truman signed legislation allowing anyFred Martin and mapped out the way ahead to transition to an one serving in the war for six months or more to retire in the independent Air Force. More importantly, he set in motion an highest grade attained, Knerr was appropriately retired as a Maj organization that effectively lobbied Congress and key civilian Gen—an improbable achievement, given his unceremonious leaders to establish the United States Air Force in September first-time retirement as a Lt Col in the military’s “dog house.” 1947 and nurture its growth in years to come. After an attempt Maj Gen Hugh J. Knerr lived an extraordinary life in the servto serve on a special committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was ice of his country. He was a man of great vision and genius, forgstrenuously opposed by Chief ing longstanding operational, of Naval Operations, Admiral logistics, and administrative Chester W. Nimitz, Knerr concepts that helped shape the advised Spaatz, soon to be Air United States Air Force. Knerr also established the Office of Force Chief of Staff, not to Though the methods he fight it, and reiterated his Special Investigations and an Air employed to carry out his vision desire for retirement. Once Provost-Marshal, the forerunner of were sometimes controversial again Spaatz had other ideas. and always direct, one can’t today’s Security Forces investigations With events rolling toward help but admire his passionate component. establishment of the United devotion to what he believed States Air Force, Spaatz asked was best for national defense. Knerr to organize the first Air He was, in the words of Gen Force Inspector General Spaatz, a “quiet zealot,” demonOffice in June 1947. Knerr established essentially the same IG strating with action when he couldn’t convince with words. He structure that exists today—“a fact finding organization…to pres- placed a high value on service, aptly illustrated by his willingent to local commanders all the facts concerned with deficien- ness to return to active service and forego retirement three times cies, so they, on their own initiative, could correct them.” Knerr to serve the cause of the Air Force. And as a leader of Airmen, also established the Office of Special Investigations and an Air Knerr was a master at organizing, training, and equipping them Provost-Marshal, the forerunner of today’s Security Forces inves- to achieve new standards of excellence. Each of his commands tigations component. As Inspector General, Knerr proposed was characterized by innovation and quantum leaps in performrestructuring the service academies to two-year, post-graduate ance. institutions for graduates of Reserve Officer Training Corps units Gen Knerr died, ironically, at the Bethesda Naval Hospital on at designated universities. While this proposal was opposed by 26 October 1971 and was buried at Arlington National the other services and never implemented, seeds of his proposal Cemetery. Generals Spaatz and Eaker were among a gathering are evident in formal graduate school programs like the Air of just nine at his funeral—a pitifully small farewell for one of Force Institute of Technology and the Naval Postgraduate our Air Force’s foundational leaders—and improbable hero. School, which link graduate studies with specific service needs. Before retiring, Knerr returned to a favorite subject—cargo transport. He urged development of a large commercial cargo aircraft that could be used in daily commercial operations, but could be offered to the military in contingencies to transport units with their full equipment load anywhere in the world. In Knerr’s vision one can clearly see the seeds of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet and the contract carriers moving much of the personnel and equipment of the U.S. and allies supporting the Global War on Terrorism.
About the Author: Col Joe Codispoti is Chief, Logistics Readiness Division, HQ Air Mobility Command (AMC), Scott AFB, IL, where he’s served since July 2006. He is responsible for materiel management, logistics plans, vehicle management & operations, fuels, support equipment, and weapon system spares policy for AMC; as well as spares, equipment, and fuels positioning and support infrastructure at global reach laydown locations worldwide.
Voices from the Past Speak to Our Future The careers of the four men I interviewed
Submitted by Col (ret) Deb Shattuck
s I set out to write this article, I thought
I would be chronicling the influence of four retired logistics leaders on our
logistics heritage—i.e. on our past.
quickly learned as I began interviewing General George Babbitt, Lt Gen Leo Marquez, Jr., Lt Gen Michael Zettler, and Brig Gen Peter Hennessey, was that these voices from the past are really voices for our future. As logisticians grapple with the forces shaping our logistics environment today (aging aircraft, a shrinking industrial base, a significant force drawdown, Total Force integration, to name just a few) while simultaneously waging a Global War on Terrorism, we have much to learn from the experiences of those who have gone before us. As it turns out, there really is “nothing new under the sun.” The only “constant” in Air Force logistics since the Army Air Corps traded its Army green for Air Force blue 60 years ago is “change.” This article chronicles some of the seminal changes in Air Force logistics from the mid-1950s to today and offers insights from four of our past logistics leaders for today’s logistics leaders.
spanned half a century of Air Force history, from 1954-2004.
They came from widely diverse
In college, they majored in
mechanical engineering, zoology, chemistry, and behavioral science.
Three earned their
commissions through ROTC programs while the fourth was a USAFA grad.
Lt Gen Marquez
began his career as a fighter-interceptor pilot while the others were logisticians from day one. Each held a variety of aircraft maintenance positions and each branched out into other logistics and acquisition disciplines. They were flightline maintenance officers and MAJCOM weapons system program managers.
worked on fledgling automation programs and strategic training program development. They commanded a wing, air logistics centers and a MAJCOM. Two were MAJCOM A4s and three held the pinnacle Air Force logistics position at Headquarters Air Force. The fourth culminated his career as the Director of Resources for the Deputy Chief of Staff for Installations and Logistics. In short, each was in a unique position to influence and shape the constantly changing environment that is Air Force logistics.
The logistics structure of
were keen on adopting the new structure wholesale and they
the Air Force Lt Gen
never did entirely, even after CSAF, General Thomas D. White,
Marquez entered in 1954
mandated in 1958 that all units follow AFM 66-1.
was in a state of flux. In fact, when he entered the service, there was no standardized approach between MAJCOMs or even within MAJCOMs on how logistics, and particularly aircraft maintenance, should be organized and managed. Lt Gen Leo Marquez
In December 1953, the Air Force issued its first Air
Force Regulation dealing with aircraft maintenance management
The new centralized maintenance structure gained greater acceptance throughout the 1960s as aircraft became increasingly complex.
As more specialists were trained, the Air Force
tweaked the organizational structure and formed Munitions Maintenance Squadrons (MMS) and Armament and Electronic Maintenance Squadrons (AEMS). All specialists were assigned to one of these supporting squadrons and dispatched to the flight line when directed by the Chief of Maintenance’s “Job Control” function. According to Lt Gen Marquez, the new centralized maintenance structure never worked well for units that deployed regularly and the problem was exacerbated by the Vietnam War.
It was published in
Tactical Air Command (TAC), in particular, had a difficult time
response to an Air Force Inspector General report to the CSAF
finding enough trained specialists to send to theater. Despite the
expressing concern over the lack of a standardized aircraft main-
scarcity of specialists, TAC felt it had to address turbulence asso-
tenance structure within the Air Force. The first AFR 66-1 was
ciated with kluging multiple maintenance units together in a
only four pages long; it defined the three levels of maintenance
deployed environment instead of deploying self-sufficient fighter
as “organizational, field, and depot” and temporarily allowed
squadrons, so it issued TAC Manual 66-31 in August 1966. The
MAJCOMs to tailor their maintenance structures to their unique
new structure moved phase inspection personnel from FMS, and
operating circumstances. The reg promised ongoing research to
determine an optimal, standardized solution.
(AFR 66-1, Maintenance Engineering).
In September 1956, nine months after 2Lt Leo Marquez completed pilot training and began his career as a T-33 flight instructor at Greenville AFB, MS, the Air Force had its solution. The inaugural AF Manual 66-1, Maintenance Management, established the “Chief of Maintenance” who was directly responsible to the Wing Commander for all maintenance activities.
pulled maintainers out of the flying squadrons, dividing them into Organizational Maintenance (OMS), Field Maintenance (FMS), and Electronic Maintenance (EMS) Squadrons. Perhaps more importantly, AFM 66-1 “set Air Force standards, goals, and objectives for maintenance, which included aircraft in-commis-
AEMS, into the flying squadrons along with flight line personnel from OMS and
side-by-side at home station
smooth transition to the deployed environment.
sion rates, component repair standards, and aircraft scheduling
TACM 66-31 came
objectives, among many others.”
out just after 2Lt
Surprisingly, although the purpose of AFM 66-1 was to standardize maintenance organizations and policy, the manual was not mandatory for MAJCOMs to follow and many units did not. Lt Gen Marquez pointed out that, in those days, the CSAFs came out of Strategic Air Command (SAC). They tended to have the attitude that whatever worked in SAC would work for
General George Babbitt
embarked on his first duty assignment as a RF-4C maintenance officer at Royal Air Force Station Alconbury, England. He commented that neither USAFE, nor PACAF, followed TAC’s lead. The structure he worked under in USAFE and PACAF (19661971) was an OMS divided into three parts assigned to the fight-
everybody. The inaugural AFM 66-1 was almost a carbon copy
Continued on following page...
of SAC’s organizational manual. None of the other commands EXCEPTIONAL RELEASE
er squadrons with Avionics Maintenance
Readiness Inspections to ensure compli-
Squadron (AMS), FMS, and MMS squadrons
ance with the prescribed structure.
assigned to the Chief of Maintenance.
updated manual also fundamentally transformed the philosophy about how aircraft
2Lt Mike Zettler arrived at Nellis AFB, NV
were to be managed within a wing. Instead
in February 1971 for his first tour of duty as a maintenance officer.
of putting aircraft into maintenance when
He operated under
they were not needed for the flying sched-
PA S T S P E A K T O O U R F U T U R E
TACM 66-31. During his interview, Lt Gen
ule, aircraft were made available to the fly-
Zettler recalled that the tactical flying
ing schedule when they weren’t required to
squadron maintenance manning was very
be in maintenance.
robust. Each had four to five Chiefs, seven to eight Senior Master Sergeants, and four to
Despite the Air Force’s determination to
standardize and centralize maintenance
Not only did the flying
squadrons have all the crew chiefs, loaders,
Lt Gen Michael Zettler
oversight, MAJCOMs continued to propose and test new concepts.
and specialist personnel they needed, but
Pete Hennessey arrived for his first opera-
they also had their own job control and analysis functions. About the only thing they needed from out-
tional assignment with Military Airlift Command (MAC) as an
side organizations when they deployed was backshop avionics
Avionics Maintenance Officer at Charleston AFB, SC, he
and propulsion support, and heavy intermediate level structural
recalled that maintenance structures were very decentralized
capability. Lt Gen Zettler also commented that while he thor-
with lots of autonomy at the unit level—especially when
oughly enjoyed being assigned to a flying squadron as a young
deployed. He attributed this to the fact that there were no “sys-
maintenance officer, he later came to realize that there were
tem wide” solutions and management because “no entity could
drawbacks. “I didn’t have anyone with the capability to train me
see, much less control, large sections of the logistics enterprise.”
on what I needed to do. There was no professional maintainer
Brig Gen Hennessey stated that in this environment success
there to teach us how to do things right. The senior maintain-
depended on strong leaders actively engaged in teaching the
er was a Captain with 6-8 years of experience.
next generation how to do things
We were flying by the seat of our pants. And
right. He noted, “Mentoring was a
looking back now, it showed.” His experience
true contact sport. Colonels would
in TAC’s decentralized maintenance structure
not tolerate anyone who tolerated
made Lt Gen Zettler realize that no matter
anything less than their best effort
how the Air Force organizes maintenance
or who didn’t take care of their peo-
within a wing, it is critical that it always sus-
ple. In many respects it was a harsh,
tain a professional corps of maintainers to
intolerant environment, but the
oversee maintenance functions and to train
message was clear: ‘Peoples’ lives
the next generation of maintainers, both offi-
depend on the quality of your
cer and enlisted.
work.’” Lt Hennessey and his fellow maintainers saw those words every
Good or bad, the new “TAC Enhancement”
day emblazon on the side of a large
as TACM 66-31 came to be known, didn’t last
hangar on the Charleston flight
long. The post-Vietnam era saw significant
budget cuts for the military and significant manpower reductions.
The duplication of
Brig Gen Peter Hennessey
Throughout the 1970s, MAJCOMs continued to push the envelope on
resources within TAC flying squadrons could not be sustained. In August 1972, the Air Force published a
modifying 66-1 to fit their own unique circumstances.
major revision to AFM 66-1 that officially discouraged any more
USAFE and PACAF proposed variations of what became known
“county options” when it came to maintenance structure, and
as Centralized Intermediate Repair Facilities; and TAC, still
instituted Inspector General oversight and Operational
unhappy that it had been forced to move flight line maintainers
out of flying squadrons, launched
tainers got adequate downtime on aircraft to sustain fleet health.
According to General Babbitt, in COMO, “attitude,” not orga-
Under POMO TAC created Aircraft Generation Squadrons (AGSs)
Maintenance Units (AMUs), each of which was aligned with a flying squadron. Loaders and on1Lt Zettler DaNang Airfield, Vietnam (Photo courtesy of Lt Gen Mike Zettler)
equipment specialists were pulled back out of backshops and assigned to the AMUs alongside crew chiefs.
equipment specialists were assigned to one of two newly created squadrons:
Equipment Maintenance (EMS) or Component
Repair Squadron (CRS). The POMO concept did not reverse downward trends in Mission Capable (MC) rates that had plagued TAC during the 1970s. When General William Creech took command of TAC in 1978
nizational structure, was most significant. Another important concept that General Creech introduced was the Utilization Rate (UTE). General Babbitt recalled that prior to the UTE rate standard, operators would inflate their sortie requirements and maintenance would low ball its capability, creating an adversarial relationship. Ops and maintenance would both appeal to the Wing Commander for support and, depending on how he leaned, in some wings maintenance would have to overproduce, while in other, Ops wouldn’t get enough sorties. General Creech mandated a way to calculate how many aircraft it would take to get Ops the training it needed, i.e. the number of sorties per Primary Assigned Aircraft per month. It became maintenance’s job to deliver the UTE rate and operators’ job to use the allotted sorties efficiently. General Babbitt emphasized that it was General Creech’s focus on leadership that made such a positive difference on TAC (and ultimately Air Force) logistics.
General Creech popped in unan-
he determined to reverse the trend by
a maintainer’s perspective on his new
Force mission effectiveness, not
dedicated crew chief program.
through organizational changes, but
chatted with Major Babbitt for about
through mindset changes. General
30 minutes in the rundown mainte-
Babbitt noted that COMO was not
nance facility typical of the era. As
really that different from POMO.
General Creech was leaving, he spot-
The AMU still worked for an AGS for
AMU. General Creech wanted to get
significant contributions to Air
working as the OIC of the 27th
mented that General Creech made
1978 when then-Major Babbitt was
General Babbitt com-
Commander who worked for the
Generation Squadron one evening in
Oriented Maintenance Organization (COMO).
He told a story about how
Is she ready to go Chief? (Photo courtesy of Lt Gen Leo Marquez)
ted three dilapidated office chairs sitting in the hangar and directed Major Babbitt to have them loaded into a
Maintenance (DCM). But General Creech insisted that AMU Officers-In-Charge (OICs) have a strong relationship with the flying squadron commander that he or she supported. He also insisted that the DCM and the Deputy Commander for Operations (DCO), plus the various operations and maintenance commanders work with a common purpose and not engage in adversarial relationships. General Creech emphasized the role of the operations and maintenance operations officers in focusing the Wing on the future. Their jobs depended
pick-up truck and delivered to his office. Major Babbitt was fairly certain his career was over at that point and hastily made the necessary arrangements. He later learned that General Creech had replaced the fancy leather chairs of the TAC Civil Engineer, Comptroller and DCS for Logistics at his conference room table with the dilapidated chairs from the maintenance complex. At his next staff meeting he announced that when TAC got to a point where operations squadron commanders wanted to change
on how well they cooperated to ensure that operators got the sorties they needed to maintain combat proficiency and main-
Continued on following page...
facilities with their AMU OICs, then he would know that his objective had been achieved and the Civil Engineer, the Comptroller and the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCS) for Logistics would get their fancy chairs back. General Creech’s objective was simple; he wanted to ensure that from that day on, mainthey are. They would not be asked to maintain complex, world class weapon systems while working in hovels.
General Creech’s pro-
nouncement and the subsequent “New Look Campaign” it launched, created profound positive changes in maintenance facilities and equipment. Lt Gen Zettler noted that he personally saw one of the dilapidated chairs in Brig Gen, (later Maj Gen) Jerry Rogers’s (then
Major Hennessey, 1987, relinquishing command of the 316th OMS at Yokota AB, Japan. The “ceremonial whites” should help date this photo. (Photo courtesy of Brig Gen Pete Hennessey)
the TAC/LG) office many times. He pointed out that General Creech kept Brig Gen Rogers
PA S T S P E A K
tainers were treated as the professionals that
General Creech made other changes under COMO as well,
as his LG for over 4 years, demonstrating his leadership, com-
Another change occurred in 1992, when SAC, TAC and MAC
mitment, and consistency.
were stood down and Air Combat Command and Air Mobility Command were created under the Objective Wing structure.
including transforming Job Control to a “coordinating” not a
Throughout the 1990s, Air Force leaders tried to overcome
He decentralized supply personnel into
resource shortfalls by adopting civilian management practices;
AMUs and gave each AMU its own analysts, schedulers and
this was the era of “Quality Air Force (QAF).” QAF principles
debriefers. Lt Gen Zettler noted that General Creech went so
dictated that units be given maximum flexibility to adopt the
far as to dedicate AGE teams, sections of Armament shops, and
most efficient processes for their circumstances. Consequently,
even specific Intermediate Avionics test benches to each
detailed and directive Air Force Regulations, such as 66-1, were
AMU/Fighter Squadron (FS). If an AMU/FS got a UTE day off,
slashed from multi-volume tomes to broad, shallow Air Force
so did the corresponding support team. General Creech’s initia-
“Instructions” that offered policy guidelines, not mandated direc-
tives, coupled with many other factors such as the fielding of
tion. Lt Gen Zettler recalled that the new instructions were so
newer, more reliable aircraft and better technical data and test
top level that they didn’t give any processes for the Wings to fol-
equipment, had a number of positive effects. In 1979 the com-
low. He also pointed out that the civilian model used was bet-
mand met its sortie production goals for the first time in a
ter suited to organizations with low turnover, a consistent mis-
decade and MC rates climbed steadily throughout the 1980s
sion, and experienced personnel. By the end of the 1990s, the
reaching an all-time high of 88.4 percent in 1990.
Air Force was moving away from QAF principles as consistency between units eroded and emphasis on discipline and sound
The 1990s brought another decade of change for Air Force logis-
maintenance practices suffered. The current decade has seen a
tics. In 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall symbolically marked
return to directive regulations and embracing of Lean and Six
the end of the decades-long Cold War and, almost overnight, the
Sigma management techniques (i.e. Air Force Smart Operations
military service budgets and structure were slashed as Congress
for the 21st Century—AFSO21) that are much better suited to
sought to harvest the “peace dividend.” Manpower, spares, and
the military environment.
infrastructure were dramatically downsized to the point that, by the late 1990s, the realization began to dawn that some of the
In October 1999, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General
cuts had gone too far—particularly in the area of spares funding.
Michael Ryan, directed a comprehensive study of Air Force
Wing-level logistics process-
wing-level supply and
es that became known as
the Chief’s Logistics Review
tions be combined into
The final Rand
a single organization
report on the study states
and that the Air Force
that the catalyst of the CLR
create a standard struc-
was a briefing General John
ture for logistics plan-
P. Jumper, then Commander,
ners within wings by
United States Air Forces in
placing them in the
Europe (USAFE/CC), spon-
sored in September 1999
There were also a
entitled “Posturing Aircraft
number of recommen-
Maintenance for Combat
dations specifically tar-
Readiness.” In his briefing,
geted at improving air-
General Jumper presented a
Brig Gen Zettler at Sheppard AFB. (Photo courtesy of Lt Gen Mike Zettler)
picture of “declining readi-
ness, degraded war fighting
included: (1) aligning
skills, and impaired Air and Space Expeditionary Force (AEF)
sortie generation functions under the Operations Group and fleet
implementation.” These problems had become readily apparent
health functions under the Logistics Groups, (2) strengthening
during Operation Allied Force/Operation Noble Anvil, when
aircraft maintenance policy, (3) developing and enforcing poli-
some U.S. aircraft arrived in the theater for Kosovo operations
cies for current versus future readiness analysis, (4) developing a
unable to perform their primary mission.
Senior Leader Metrics handbook, (5) improving enlisted and
blamed the situation on “fragmented lines of authority” that did-
officer (to include rated officer) maintenance training and (6)
n’t facilitate proper control of aircraft maintenance processes at
pursuing Centralized Intermediate Maintenance Facilities.
the wing level. He recommended a focused wing structure with a separate maintenance group controlling all facets of wing maintenance—basically a return
In October 2000, Lt Gen Zettler as the new AF/IL briefed the CLR results at CORONA. The outcome was a field level test conducted from September 2001 to
to the organizational structure
March 2002 to validate that the recom-
that had been in place before Gen
mendations could be implemented
Merrill McPeak had established
without any detrimental effects. Most
the Objective Wing structure in
of them were.
the early 1990s.
Lt Gen Zettler stated
that one of General Ryan’s big pushes
However, the CLR did not bring
was to improve logistics education for
both operators and core maintainers.
Lt Gen Zettler recalled
He attributes the formation of the elite
that General Ryan was not con-
Advanced Maintenance and Munitions
vinced that the wing structure
Officer School (AMMOS) at Nellis
AFB and the mandatory Maintenance
itself needed to be changed. The Rand report notes that Ryan
A dream realized. (Photo courtesy of Lt Gen Leo Marquez)
and training deficiencies within existing organizations and directed that the study focus on identifying actions required to resolve such deficiencies.”
Course for Operational Commanders taught at Sheppard AFB to General
“emphasized looking at process
Ironically, although the CLR was
sparked primarily by concerns over aircraft maintenance and aircraft readiness issues, the study ended up recommending that
Ryan’s determination to grow leaders who understand logistics. Although the CLR did not spark an immediate return to centralized control of maintenance under a senior maintenance officer, General Jumper did implement this change when he took over as CSAF. However, it didn’t take long for the pendulum of
Lt Gen Marquez echoed a similar sentiment. He is somewhat unique among the four, in that he strongly advocates against any type of AF-wide standardized organizational structure. Although putting flight line maintainers back under operators is something Lt Gen
OUR FUTURE TO
an organizational structure that best meets their unique mission require-
tenure on the Air Staff, he does not
PA S T S P E A K
Marquez strongly supported during his believe one-size-fits-all. He argues that mandating the same structure in every situation stifles innovation. He advocates that MAJCOMs be able to tailor
Captain Hennessey, circa 1982, as Maintenance Supervisor of 602nd Organizational Maintenance Squadron, Travis AFB, CA. C-141 in the background dates the photo. Photo ops was when we broke the Military Airlift Command record for most consecutive on-time take offs for a C-141 wing. (Photo courtesy of Brig Gen Pete Hennessey)
change to swing once again, as the current CSAF, General Moseley, formally announced in December 2007 that flight line maintenance personnel will, once again, work directly for flying squadron commanders in fighter and CSAR units. Studies will be done to determine if bomber, SOF, ISR and airlift units will
ments, just as TAC did under General Creech in the late 1970s.
Marquez says he advocated putting maintainers under operators because he was concerned that Air Force senior
leaders (most of whom are/were operators) were becoming Wing Commanders and flag officers without ever commanding large numbers of enlisted personnel. They were out of touch with what it took to keep aircraft flying and the service resourced. Whatever organizational structure you find yourself operating
follow suit. It became readily apparent to me as I wrote this article, that the Air Force has never had a single, standardized organizational structure for any length of time. It helped put the recent CSAF reorganization announcement into perspective. Talking to four of our past senior leaders reminded me that the hallmark of a successful leader is someone who helps personnel keep change in perspective and who helps bring out the best in people no mat-
under as a leader in today’s Air Force, heed the advice of these wise leaders. Keep your personnel focused on the mission, take care of them, and don’t lose sleep worrying about what the organizational structure looks like. After all, if the previous five decades of AF logistics history are any indication, it is unlikely you’ll be operating in the same structure 5 years from now. KEEP ‘EM FLYING—SAFELY!
ter what organizational structure is in place. General Babbitt commented that “regardless of how you’re organized, it’s about how you motivate people.” Lt Gen Zettler pointed out that any
About the Author Colonel Deb Shattuck just retired on 1 March
organizational structure can work as long as it is properly
2008 after 25 years and 6 months of service. She was a career
resourced and as long as the right policies and metrics are in
aircraft maintenance officer who commanded at both the squadron
place to drive and measure success. Brig Gen Hennessey stressed
and group level in Air Mobility Command, Air Education &
the importance of logistics leaders today using hands-on leader-
Training Command and Air Combat Command. She served as a
ship to sustain a vibrant Air Force culture, no matter what the
logistics officer on three different joint staffs: US European
organizational structure. His challenge to today’s logistics lead-
Command, US Forces Korea, and the Joint Staff and also taught
ers is to find ways to motivate our workforce (officer, enlisted
history at the Air Force Academy from 1988-1991.
and civilian) to stay in the Air Force for the long haul and to understand that they are part of a profession of arms with a critically important mission. 26
A RRESTING THE S PARES C RISIS OF THE 1990 S Submitted by Col Dennis Daley Here’s a quiz for you loggies who consider yourselves students of history. What United States Army World War II leader contributed most to the military total defeat of the Axis powers in 1945? A) General George Patton B) General Dwight Eisenhower C) General Hap Arnold
will be able to see why his leadership directing the War Department was vital to our victory. Our Air Force has recently seen what can now be considered a case study in the halls of the Pentagon at the Air Staff level that made an enormous impact on today’s AF readiness. Yet those actions might well have escaped normal attention. To fully understand the achievement, it’s first useful to review the perilous spare parts posture of the late 1990s and the factors that eroded our spare parts readiness.
D) General George Marshall Granted, this is a subjective opinion, but as you might expect, few people select General Marshall. Most select the field commanders and famed battlefield leaders. However, historians almost unanimously identify Marshall as the correct answer to the question although he never left Washington DC and never commanded a single soldier. In defending their position, historians cite Marshall’s leadership as a planner and strategic thinker as instrumental in the Allied victory. His contributions to the war are legendary.
Gen George C. Marshall (Photo courtesy of Virginia Military Institute)
A trip to the library or bookstore would convince you that most historians who study leadership seldom study staff leaders. Instead they focus their study the field General leading troops into battle as the role model leader. However, if you take the time to read any account concerning what Marshall did towards transforming a citizen Army into a very “prepared” United States Army in 1941, you
OF DECLINE In the 1990s, a series of factors converged that seriously eroded the availability of spare parts, creating a bow wave of backlogged supply requirements. The end of the Cold War and the emergence of expeditionary missions like Operations NORTHERN WATCH, SOUTHERN WATCH, ALLIED FORCE and DESERT STORM while concurrently maintaining a home station flying program was a new and demanding change to the Air Force logistics requirement. In addition, the Congress and the Office of the Secretary of Defense directed aggressive “lean” inventory reductions for consumables. The clamor all around was about laying claim to a “peace dividend” to cover pressing under funded domestic issues. Further, the closing of two large Air Logistics Centers (ALC) at San Antonio and Sacramento relocating personnel and equipment to the remaining three ALCs disrupted weapons system spares management processes and the supporting depot spares repair pipeline as equipment and personnel was relocated at the remaining three ALCs. Finally, the on-going aging of weapon systems added to the growing bow wave of spare parts shortfalls. Most importantly, the spares shortfalls in 2000 resulted from a sporadic funding program pursued throughout the 1990s. From 1991 to 2001, seven of eleven annual spares budgets were substantially under funded creating a “snowball effect”.
LMI and RAND. In March-June 2001, a Red Team Review organized into five process teams that quickly identified 47 process disconnects, 170 implementation options, and 86 recommended actions organized into 20 initiatives. The MAJCOM LGs then prioritized the list into the following top nine initiatives. Change Depot Level Reparable (DLR) Structure Improve Spares Budgeting Improve Financial Management Improve Demand and Repair Workload Forecasting Establish a Virtual Single Inventory Control Point Align Supply Chain Management Focus Figure 1: Graph depicts the inconsistent spares funding during the 1990s
Standardize Use and Expand Roll of the RSS Adopt Improved Purchase & Supply Management Techniques
Note that from 1991 to 1994, spares funding was well below the computed required levels to achieve readiness targets with four years funded less than 82 percent of required levels. The failure to fund required spare levels in conjunction with deployed operations, aggressive “Lean” inventory reductions, aging aircraft fleets, depot closures and the inefficiency of the decentralized operations of the 1990’s all formed a critical situation that resulted in an unprecedented bow wave of spare shortfalls. The negative impact on aircraft readiness was both predictable and ultimately crippling. The Air Force readiness rates continued to decline through the 1990’s, reaching all-time lows at 74.4 percent in FY 2000 from a high of 85.2 percent in FY1991. Note the direct correlation between the under funded budget years and the sharp MC trend line.
Improve Depot Repair Throughput Re-Engineering the Process The nine Spares Campaign Initiative areas resulted in re-allocated funding priorities and re-engineered policy that almost immediately began to arrest the readiness decline. The Air Staff logistics team successfully pressed the case for these changes and funding as a result it gained support from the Air Force corporate structure through a series of briefings and one-on-one discussions among Air Force leadership. Three key funding initiatives directly influenced spares provisioning.
First, the Spares Campaign identified a need to fix the Readiness Spares Packages (RSP) sustainment funding The Air Force flying hour program and policies. RSPs were was in jeopardy and aircraft mainnow provided a stand alone tainer morale was suffering with dedicated funding line in many bases possessing multiple canthe POM rather than being nibalization jets and shift work proFigure 2: Note direct correlation with MC rates and spares funding in figure 1 submerged in the overall ceeding around the clock to strip supply account to ensure the and replace parts from the associated fleets. The Air Force needed more spares not only by improv- visibility of the requirement and support from the operational coming funding, but by taking an in-depth look at the overall spare munity in the course of Air Force corporate structure deliberations. parts needs and processes. In February 2001, the CSAF granted approval for a comprehensive review of the Air Force supply enterprise. An innovative Spares Campaign review began immediately consisting of 71 handpicked logistics experts from the Air Staff, MAJCOMs, HQ AFMC, DLA,
In addition, the process teams recommended annual updates for RSP funding to adjust funding based on unprogrammed modifications, realistic demand rates, experienced spares mean-time-
Continued on following page...
1990S OF THE
S PA R E S C R I S I S THE
of LEAN manufacturing between-failure (MTBF) RSP DEDICATED FUNDING and repair techniques data and actual deploythroughout the three ment-based phenomena. Year FY98 FY99 FY00 FY01 FY02 FY03 FY04 ALCs) arrested the spares The previous practice of $M N/A N/A 19.5 45.8 134.6 40.8 33.6 bow wave of the 1990’s. decreasing the actual estimated RSP forecast The extended team of Air Figure 3: Note the sharp increase in funding from 2000 to date. based on historic canniStaff and MAJCOM balization levels was experts used the nine stopped since that only Spares Campaign Program initiatives in 2001-2003 to identify underwrote the undesirable practice with its many secondary and areas for improvement and then developed funding and policy tertiary degrading impacts on the maintainer force. initiatives to address the shortfalls. The companion focus on Additionally, to compensate for previous years of under funded improving depot operations via the Depot Maintenance Re-engikit spares, the Air Staff and MAJCOM LGs infused a one-time neering & Transformation (DMRT) initiative attacked the sevbuy of $50M for strategic airlift and C-130 kits. The fighter RSP eral “depot related” improvements called for in the 9 Spares support was also increased $108.2M from FY02-04 to support an aircraft availability model with a surge of 63 percent to 83 percent and a 75 percent sustainment factor. These funding improvements took a large step to remedying the bow wave shortfall. Second, Air Force leaders successfully defended funding of the entire computed requirement for spares repair and procurement activities to include material replacement rates in setting the true cost of these activities in the Working Capital Fund (WCF). Unlike the 1990’s when funding dropped as low as 70 percent of the computed required levels, which drove huge holes in the pipelines, from 1999-2002, spares in the WCF were funded at 100 percent. Third, renewed emphasis was placed on the Air Staff’s Supplies and equipment are unloaded through the nose of a C-5A Galaxy transport airAircraft Availability Model which identifies spares forecraft in support of Operation Desert Shield. (USAF Photo) casting in the D200 spares requirements process. Like RSP accounts, previous aircraft availability computations decreased spares forecasting models based on a cannibalization factor. In FY 2002, the Air Staff removed the cannibalization factor from the Aircraft Availability Model, and began revisiting and revising inputs to the model which had been artificially constrained to reduce the requirements (such as the number of locations supporting F-16 fleets). By adjusting the requirement to Air Force operational and deployment realities, a more accurate spares forecast was carried into the Air Force budget for Congressional funding. Quite simply, these three changes worked as intended. These three funding and policy initiatives—dedicated program RSP funding, 100 percent funding of requirement for Working Capital Fund and the removal of a cannibalization factor in the Aircraft Availability Model—with various other depot and spares initiatives (perhaps most importantly, the widespread implementation 30
Figure 4: An extraordinary achievement in six years restored supply rates
and logisticians as the nation sought out the post-Cold War peace dividend. The 1990s saw a profound decline in spares availability seriously but not unexpectedly eroded Air Force readiness. However, dedicated professionals at the Air Staff and MAJCOM LGs partnered to first analyze the entire spares enterprise in an innovative Spare Campaign program and then implemented a broad-based program of funding, policy, process and organizational corrections that improved spares support significantly. Today, we are reaping the benefits of their initiatives as we maintain a 78 percent MC rate and an outstanding 7 percent TNMCS rate, with the oldest aircraft fleet in our 60 year history and less than acceptable manning rosters. Military trucks are unloaded from the nose ramp of a C-5A Galaxy transport aircraft of the U.S. Air Force Reserve, Military Airlift Command, in support of Operation Desert Shield. (USAF photo)
Campaign Program initiatives. Not surprisingly, DMRT was another program whose creation and advocacy happened during this same period. The extraordinary improvements accomplished by the AFMC at its three ALCs worked synergistically with the Spares Campaign efforts to dramatically ramp up the speed of readiness recovery. The mission capable rate increased from an all time low of 74.4 percent in 2000 to 78.1 percent in FY2007. Further testimony to the success of the initiatives was the dramatic decline in TNMCS from a high in FY 2001 at 12.7 percent to 7.7 percent in FY 2007…almost a 40 percent decline in nonmission capable supply rates.
Why? Because of the dedication and innovations of a small dedicated group of professional logisticians that were determined to put spares in the hands of our maintainers. Just as we remember General Marshall’s contribution to win WW II, we must remember the logistic leaders with their vision and tireless advocacy teaming with “make-a-difference” action officers as the key to winning the war to Arrest the Spares Crisis of the 1990s. And make no doubt about it they won that war. About the Author: Colonel Dennis Daley is the 436th Maintenance Group Commander at Dover AFB DE and in his free time serves as the editor to this esteemed journal.
Perhaps, the TOTAL elimination of C-5 cannibalization jets at Travis Air Force Base and Dover Air Force Base in 2003 provides the best tangible evidence of the associated improved spares availability. Today, almost five years later, Travis and Dover still do not possess a CANN bird. Although many thought that this would be impossible in the first place, the elimination of C-5 cannibalization jets best illustrates the improved spares pipeline since the Air Staff in partnership with the MAJCOM staffs used an innovative Spares Campaign to analyze the spares enterprise then to implement corrective measures based on the team findings.
B O T T O M L I N E TA K E AWAY
A C-130E Hercules transport aircraft does an assault landing on a desert runway during Operation Desert Shield. (USAF photo)
Times and workloads were tough for operators EXCEPTIONAL RELEASE
LEADING THE TRANSITION Today, technology helps us remain the dominate air force
Submitted by Col Jim Silva and Capt Doug Kuhn
in the world. But with it comes needed changes to the magine riding a shiny, well-oiled bicycle on a marked
course with no obstacles in sight. While traveling down that pristine road, a tire starts to wear, the chain starts
to rattle and obstacles even jump out of nowhere that need to be negotiated!
What are you going to do?
Despite all that is facing you, you know that stopping the bike to fix the problems is not an option. You must conduct the repairs while continuing down the path. You have a new bike waiting for you just over the hill.
way we do our maintenance business. We use new repair processes and even use manpower differently. This significant shift in aircraft maintenance has occurred whether we fully realize it or not. However, for the foreseeable future we will be in a state of transition. The replacement time for changing out our force structure with our future weapons systems is taking much longer than in previous eras. Fighter aircraft provide the best example: the F-15 and F-16 replacements with the F-22 and F-35 are occur-
Sound familiar? Probably so, if
you are a maintenance offi-
cer in todayâ€™s Air Force. The
to the F-4 replace-
new bike waiting for you over
ment of the F-15 and
the hill is akin to our anticipa-
tion of the F-22 and F-35 being
fully integrated into our fleet.
we will have to main-
In the meantime, like the bicy-
tain our legacy air-
cle rider whose equipment is
craft for an extended
wearing, so too are we main-
period as we transition
tenance officers trying to sus-
to the F-22 and F-35.
tain our aging fleet of C-5s, C-
Ultimately that means
130s and F-15s.
Add to that
we will need to find
the pressures of dealing with
ways to operate more
all of the PBD-720 cuts ripping
efficiently and effec-
into your manpower pool and you have a recipe for a
tively over a long period of time with both aging and new
very difficult day. Despite the heavy burden, it is very rep-
weapons systemsâ€™ processes and manpower arrange-
resentative of our current Air Force state of maintenance.
ments. During this transition period as we pedal our bike
The days of overflowing budgets, surplus personnel and
over the hill, we need to more clearly define the leader-
having more iron than you can fly in a day are memories
ship actions necessary to continue our outstanding main-
of a bygone era.
What can be done to handle this transition period? We need to
dents from late fiscal year 2005 through fiscal year 2007.
pay attention to three key areas to enable us to keep our focus.
Brigadier General Frank Bruno, the then PACAF/A4, directed a
First and foremost, we must install and keep our maintenance
broad scope evaluation of how we conduct business and a review
Second, we must be careful while dealing with
of the aircraft and munition’s safety procedures. His guidance
process improvement. And third, we must get back to face-to-
drove the Relentless Pursuit of Maintenance Excellence initia-
Remembering and institutionalizing each of
tive. The ‘Relentless Pursuit’ provided seven focus areas to pro-
these key areas will give us the ability to continue to maintain
vide a pathway for PACAF Maintenance Groups to improve air-
our aging fleets while incorporating our new fleets of aircraft into
craft and munitions safety and operational procedures.
The seven focus areas included: (1) identifying high risk tasks,
What do we mean by installing and keeping maintenance disci-
(2) conducting Operational Risk Management refresher training
pline? It is simple yet complex. It means that maintenance
and raising “Knock-It-Off” awareness, (3) applying 6S (sort,
leaders need to ensure compliance with technical orders and
straighten, sweep, standardize, sustain, safety) principles where
published guidance. But of course it is not that easy. We must
applicable, (4) maximizing supervisors/stripes on the flightline
remember that technical orders are written by us. We do the
and other high risk areas on all shifts, (5) increasing cross-tells,
best we can to engineer the correct maintenance procedures and
quality assurance flashes and notices to Airmen briefs, (6) estab-
most often we get all of the steps necessary to conduct safe repair
lishing and enforcing procedures for beddown of incoming forces
events. However, sometimes errors creep into ‘the book’ and
and development of PACAF forces prior-to-operating proce-
missing steps, warnings, cautions, or notes contribute to improp-
dures, and (7) reviewing best practices and sharing lessons
er maintenance actions. In those cases, we must submit change
notices to get ‘the book’ updated. What is different today is that
‘Maintenance 101’ where the focus is on doing maintenance the
we must rewrite the change notices faster and get them to the
right way, not just doing maintenance.
field to prevent potential accidents. Our maintenance leaders must pay closer attention to changed guidance. Daily announce-
All of these focus areas tie directly back to
Continuing to highlight ‘following the book’ and emphasizing the basics of maintenance
ments of technical updates
has to be the top priority of
must be passed on to all maintainers.
our maintenance leaders
during this period of transi-
investigation causal factors
such as ‘failure to follow technical data’ cannot be
the maintenance discipline
allowed to happen because
mantel with vigor. He cus-
we just didn’t get the word
tomized the pillars of the
out fast enough or we didn’t
“Relentless Pursuit’ for each
pass it on to all of our troops.
flight in his group. He then
took photos of Misawa Air
leaders, we must get the ‘right
Col Cedric George,
the 35 MXG/CC, carried
Base maintainers perform-
ing safe, by-the-book tasks
Airmen’s hands so they can
in and around their work
then conduct their flawless
were then transformed into
Installing and maintaining
motivational poster format
maintenance discipline also means that we must tell our main-
for display across the base bringing the maintenance discipline
tainers every day how important it is to maintain a laser spot-
message home to each work center and every Airman. His lat-
light on safety. Whenever a decision pops up that involves a
est claim, “it’s working...well!”
question of efficiency or safety, it means that safety wins every time. PACAF experienced a spike in maintenance related inci-
Continued on following page...
The second leadership focus area maintenance leaders need to
dardize and crossflow improvement initiatives will be the right
pay close attention to during this transition period is that we
conduit for our needed future change. Of the many AFSO21
must be careful while dealing with process improvement. This
initiatives, we must have an overarching clearinghouse to per-
concept initially appears to fly in the face of our current Air
meate the best ideas across the Air Force. The days of “county
Force Smart Operations for
the 21st Century (AFSO21)
replaced with standardized
the truth. In this period of
In those cases,
maintainers must engage
continuous process improve-
the system; they must
research all of the hazards
smaller manpower availabili-
with doing things a new
ty, we simply must find new
way and present their case
and unique ways to do our maintenance
barrier to process improve-
pose pursue the objectives of ment.
In addition, policy can be a
with great strength of pur-
leaders must continually and
ing could be further from transition, our maintenance
must weigh all of the risks
However, we must not act in
with a view on safety,
isolation. We have to look for change applicability beyond the lens of our single operation. Leaders need to ensure processes are standardized, repeatable and consistent across more than just one base. The AFSO21 offices across the Air Force are attempting to work the standardization of projects, but our local leaders cannot wait for events to be handed to them. Our maintainers must champion the continuous process improvement at their bases by accelerating the pace of change and not expending great amounts of effort ‘recreating the wheel’...they must take advantage of other AFSO21 study events and simply execute the new process at their base.
impact on current operations, and effect on future operations. Our maintainers must not try to implement change without weighing all of the impacts/effects throughout the maintenance community. In a recent AFSO21 initiative, PACAF found ways to improve the way Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) is processed through the back shop. An AGE Rapid Improvement Event revealed savings and efficiencies could be significantly gained by just rearranging the shop from a ‘first-in, first-out’ layout to a cellular layout. In the ‘first-in, first-out’ concept, a piece of flightline AGE was moved for servicing and put on a ‘needs to be prepped’ line.
However, to execute new processes leaders must occasionally
Another technician would then take care of washing and prepar-
hurdle organizational roadblocks keeping us from implementing
ing the AGE for induction into the shop. Another technician
AFSO21 change. In 2007 at Hickam Air Force Base, Col John
would then conduct the repairs, spending a lot of time going
Lipinski, the 15 MXG/CC, worked closely with the 715th Air
back and forth across the facility to acquire parts, technical
Mobility Operations Group’s en-route maintainers to consolidate
orders and equipment.
their independent Maintenance Operations Centers and
would deliver the AGE back to the flightline.
Consolidated Tool Kit functions. The walls were broken down
turnover times were accrued with each technician’s touch. In
and six maintainers were able to be returned to the flightline
the cellular layout, all of necessary tools, technical orders and bit
after the combined operations reaped efficiencies.
and piece parts are prepositioned for the technician’s use. A sin-
important to note is that significant cross-Major Command poli-
gle technician picked up the AGE, prepares and conducts the
cies had to be rewritten to enable this operation to succeed.
repair, and delivers it for use.
New Combat and Mobility Air Force (CAF/MAF) supplements to Air Force Instruction 21-101 are now in place that encourage crosscommand standardized applications of process improvement. Major General Robert McMahon’s, AF/A4M, decision to stan34
After the repair, another technician Significant
The continuous cellular concept is being tested at Yokota Air Base and Col Jerry Frisbee, the 374 MXG/CC, expects great savings. Policy on moving technical orders and tools from a cen-
tralized library and tool room to decentralized areas throughout
Maintenance Unit.” In 2001–2002, an influx of F-15 techni-
the AGE shop needed to be adjusted...done! The process is now
cians flowed into the A-10 community to offset short-tour rota-
effective and efficient. The 374th AGE shop is also working to
tions for A-10 technicians; shortly thereafter, the F-16 commu-
ensure their test processes will apply at all bases across the
nity felt the relief for their short-tour rotations as well. Today,
Pacific. Furthermore, the Air Force is looking more at its sister
any fighter crew chief or avionics technician may find them-
services’ processes to capitalize on proven methodologies. This
selves on any fighter airframe with limited or no experience or
larger Department of Defense corporate perspective is the wave
training for that weapons system. This is the new paradigm of
of the future.
This will become more pertinent as the F-35
today’s Air Force maintenance manning structure. These issues
stands up at Eglin AFB. Joint and even combined operations
reinforce the fact that our maintenance leaders must be cog-
may have a new, broader application in the next decade. They
nizant of process improvement changes and continuously look at
will drive us to pay even closer attention to process improve-
the impacts and ensure standardization as much as possible across
multiple weapons systems and bases.
An obvious effect
The third and final leadership focus
of changing main-
area maintenance leaders need to
pay close attention to during this
during this period
transition period is that we must get
of transition can be
back to face-to-face leadership!
readily seen on the
Nothing says leadership better than
a senior maintenance leader wander-
shifts for aircraft
ing the line and shops to put eyes on
target. This period of transition will
come about from
require leadership involvement at all
the Air Force’s cor-
levels to conquer the ‘business as
porate decision to
usual’ phenomenon. We must blend
the cultures, habits, and varying
practices from each airframe com-
munity and refine our leadership and
er reductions were
time management approach. This is
a great time to participate in the
nected to this generalization of specialties. Today, heavy air-
leadership labs of the Air Force’s flightlines, back shops and
frame crew chiefs have joined together to pool the manpower
depots. However, there are unique challenges facing our senior
resource of being a flying crew chief. Similarly, fighter crew
leaders today that previous leaders did not encounter.
chiefs have gone the same way in a modular stepping process a few years ago. No longer can the Air Force financially afford to maintain pools of technicians specialized on single airframes or sub-systems. Osan Air Base is a perfect example of how the fighter crew chief merger played out.
Our A-10 aircraft are
tough workhorses whose recent history demonstrates the aircraft’s ability to take a pounding and keep on fighting. One reason this aging jet remains the Army’s favorite is because of the maintainers who keep it airworthy. Step into the “Pigpen” at Osan and you’ll find technicians who proudly display their art as maintainers. Colonel Bob West, 51 MXG/CC, said “times, they are a-changing…this small fraternity of maintainers is forcing
Today’s commanders no longer have the luxury of a seasoned NCO corp. Today, a Senior Airman is often the dedicated crew chief . Today’s average technical expert pins on Staff Sergeant at 4.3 years of service compared to over 7 years only a decade ago, and our core Airman Basic through Staff Sergeant workforce time in service decreased from 6 to 4.4 years in the same period. A compounding factor for maintenance action proficiency is the percentage of 3-levels in this core group. While it appears to stay flat, the change from 16.7% to 21.6% of 3-level maintainers in the last decade significantly changes the workload on junior NCO leaders. We lean heavily on a Staff Sergeant and
open its doors to F-15 and F-16 crew chiefs. No longer are just Continued on following page...
A-10 technicians servicing subsystems in the 25th Aircraft
Technical Sergeant’s ability to
all personnel, a key com-
function independently and
ponent to building a
teach and groom others while
strong foundation for the
continuing to grow them-
future of the Air Force.
Getting through this dif-
More than ever, our techni-
cians need to see our leaders
tomorrow’s Air Force will
‘out and about’ learning first
be a success story only
hand the unique problems
because of the ingenuity
that crop up in every unit.
of engaged leadership.
Maintenance leaders’ active
We are no longer in our
participation in their person-
Dad’s Air Force of yester-
nel’s lives will motivate them
year; we are embarking
to work through the chal-
on agile, lean logistics
lenges coming at them. This
will pave the way lay the path-
before while still having
way for discovering new solutions to old and even new problems
to continue to maintain our legacy systems. Getting through
as we maintain aging aircraft while also taking care of our new
this transition will take self-taught maintainers who focus on
fleet. Colonel Mike Arceneaux, 3 MXG/CC, stated proudly
maintenance discipline, carefully negotiate process improve-
that “although Elmendorf AFB is challenged in ways almost
ment, and find the time to talk to the troops face-to-face. Those
unprecedented in the Air Force, it’s the people’s attitude of
officers who can thrive in this transition time and shift their par-
embracing change in a positive way that makes the difference.
adigms to this new frontier will be the ones who ensure our Air
It is looking for new ways to do business and asking questions on
Force remains the world’s best.
how can we do this better that enables my junior officers and senior NCOs to inspire success.”
About the Authors:
A recent article entitled “Front Line, Combat Aircraft’s Regular
Col Jim Silva is the Chief of the Maintenance Division in the
Column – Taking a Look Behind the Headlines” in the current
Logistics Directorate of the Pacific Air Forces as has been assigned
edition of the Combat Aircraft magazine explicitly discusses the
to Hickam AFB, HI since June 2006. He oversees all aircraft and
challenges the Air Force faces in this transitional period of modernizing our Air Force. Author Robert Dorr explored our aging fleet issues and quoted Secretary Wynne as saying our warplanes
munitions maintenance matters pertaining to policy, management, and flying/munitions operations for over 400 aircraft and 14 MDSs.
will “simply rust out, age out, and fall out of the sky” as the arti-
He has Group Commanded the 8 MXG at Kunsan AB and the 982
cle begins to describe the November 2007 F-15C mishap. Our
TRG at Sheppard AFB as well as the 35 MXS at Misawa AB. He
modernization efforts and our ability to provide air superiority
has also served in various staff positions at the Headquarter Air
are front page headlines and thus, deserving of our best leader-
Force, SOCOM, PACAF, and the AFLMA.
ship at all levels.
High energy, engaged, active leadership
involves defying the opportunity to e-mail and seizing the
Capt Douglas Kuhn is the Chief of the Policy and Requirements
moment to interact with your troops. Finding ways to get feed-
Branch in the Logistics Directorate of the Pacific Air Forces,
back from your junior folks who are closest to the work is not a
Hickam AFB, HI and has been assigned to the PACAF/A4 since
novel idea, but is one often not practiced. Today’s working environment is filled with series of production meetings, endless ‘paperless’ paper trails and a constant bombarding of “front-burn-
July 2005. His duties include overseeing aircraft maintenance policy, Logistics Standardization and Evaluation Program, mainte-
er” issues which distracts us from going face-to-face with the pri-
nance scheduling and analysis and training. He has served in an
array of aircraft maintenance positions in AETC, ACC and
This face-to-face time displays interactive,
engaged leadership and provides a vibrant working attitude for
LEADERS: The Most Important Resource the AF Needs Now & Tomorrow Submitted by Maj Chuck Payne
s we approach the anniversary of a day in our history that tragically changed the United States and arguably the entire World, I would like to discuss a requirement critical to our future. September 11th marked a momentous change in what we expect and require from our Nation’s leaders; from strategic planners at the White House, to general officers in the field, down to the NCOs and Airmen in shops and sections — we, now more than ever, desperately need leadership! Leadership is the key to our country maintaining a strong defense and ultimately, winning the war against terror! AFDD 1.1 defines leadership as the art and science of influencing and directing people to accomplish the assigned mission. This highlights two fundamental elements of leadership: (1) the mission, objective, or task to be accomplished and (2) the people who accomplish it. All facets of leadership should support these two basic elements. It is important to note that leadership doesn’t equal command, but all commanders should be leaders. However, not being a commander does not mean you can sit back and leave “the leadership” to others in today’s military. The vast Books on leadership: majority of AF leaders are not commanders; they are individuals who step forward to lead others in accomplishing the mission, simultaneously serving as both leaders 1. What Leaders Really Do, by John P. Kotter and followers at every level. From young Airmen who work in maintenance shops, to captains in wing staff positions, to civilians at supply agencies, to generals at the 2. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Pentagon; leaders can positively influence their entire organization without necesby John C. Maxwell sarily being in a formal command position. 3. Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell, by Oren Harari Today’s Air Force leader’s primary responsibility is to motivate and direct people to successfully carry out the unit’s mission. To do so they must never forget the importance of their people’s role in supporting the mission.
4. Taking Charge, A Practical Guide for Leaders by Perry Smith
Photo: Students from Kisling NCO Academy Class stand in formation Kapaun Air Station, Germany. In addition to learning about communication, leadership skills and the profession of arms, students also participate in ceremonies such as reveille and retreat. USAF photo SSgt Greg Bluethmann)
Former Secretary of State and Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General (retired) Colin L. Powell provided his own definition of leadership, as he put it: “Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible.”
On the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, 184 beams of light rise from the courtyard of the Pentagon. The lights are to remember the 184 lives lost when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2001. (USAF photo Col Walter Gordon)
The essence of bona fide leadership rests with those who have the fortitude to step forward directing people to succeed in accomplishing the mission in places never visited, all the while obtaining more from their followers than those followers believed they could possibly produce. As an example, Brigadier General Douglas H. Owens,Commander, 36th Wing, has a vision for the 36th Wing that will produce an end-state in which Team Andersen will be a superior warfighting platform and staging area at Anderson AFB on Guam—ready to meet any contingency. A key element that will support the accomplishment of this goal will be finding some courageous leaders, at all levels within the organization, to achieve that goal.
Former Chief of Staff, USAF, General (retired) Ronald R. Fogleman stated, “Good leaders are people who have a passion to succeed… To become successful leaders, we must first learn that no matter how good the technology or how shiny the equipment, people-to-people relations get things done in our organizations. People are the assets that determine our success or failure. If you are to be a good leader, you have to cultivate your skills in the arena of personal relations.” The first step in becoming an effective leader in today’s environment of force shaping, aging equipment and resource constraints; is to understand the task you need to accomplish and the required end-state. It will often appear that you can’t always get there, but effective leaders can usually accomplish the impossible and beat the odds by developing creative solutions and then successfully motivating their people to action! Again, I emphasize that people are the heart of an organization and without their actions a unit will fail to achieve its objectives. A leader’s responsibilities must include the care, support, and development of a unit’s Airmen. (An Airman is any USAF member, officer or enlisted; active, reserve, or guard; and Department of AF civilians.) If you take a moment and look around, you will usually find that successful leaders have continually ensured that the essential needs of their Airmen are met promptly and properly. A true leader understands the motto, “Mission First, People Always!” In my opinion, leadership is founded on three fundamental components: Air Force core values, competencies and actions. Leaders apply these components equally at all levels. AF core values are the values we must demand of all our Airmen. Service Before Self, Excellence in All We Do, and Integrity First must be a standard we all live by, not just used as slogans. Competencies are the occupational skill sets and enduring leadership capabilities that AF leaders should develop as they ascend to echelons of increased responsibility. Actions are the steps leaders MUST take to get things done — without action, nothing gets accomplished. You can’t just think, plan or dream about it…you MUST do it! At the heart of our AF core values is the most important quality for an effective leader…integrity! Integrity is the single most important part of character. It makes Airmen who they are and what they stand for, and is just as important to their professional reputation as their ability to fly or Continued on following page...
SrA Robert Ollquist and Matthew Pilch and SSgt Eric Utrecht use the buddy system to climb over the bar at the confidence course. This segment of Airman Leadership School is used to increase morale and promote teamwork. (USAF photo by A1C Melissa Flores)
E R : L E A D E R S : T H E M O S T I M P O R TA N T R E S O U R C E
fix jets, run computer networks, repair the runway, or defend an Air Base. Integrity is the ability to hold together and properly regulate all the elements of one’s personality. A person of integrity acts on conviction, demonstrating impeccable self-control without acting rashly. So, how does one become a better leader? To improve on our leadership abilities, you must accept leadership challenges. Yes, I know we have all heard, “don’t volunteer for things, because that just leads to more work.” Leaders, to misquote a famous saying—are made, not born. A perfect opportunity available to most Airmen are the volunteer positions found within the base and the community. Accept the challenges to serve as the President of the CGOC, Top 3, Network 56, Airmen’s Council etc.; these are test beds for future AF senior leaders. “I’ve discovered that the difference between a good unit and poor unit is fundamentally leadership.” General (retired) Ronald R. Fogleman Let me summarize my thoughts on leadership. Our world has changed—probably in ways that we have yet to fully understand. One thing is clear—our various enterprises, both public and private, will need strong and effective leaders to move forward. The AF desperately needs leaders at all levels and in all positions for it to be successful today and into the future. Leaders must lead. A leader must have confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He or she does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of their actions and the integrity of their intent. An effective leader is not satisfied with only knowing how to do what will get the organization through today; they must also be concerned about what the organization will need for the future. True leaders seek out opportunities; they’re always looking to increase their professional knowledge and skills. General Here are a few sources I have found useful on leadership: Many officers and noncommissioned officers have the attitude of “Don’t do as I do, do as I say. This type is not a leader. Men look to their leader for their model. A leader sets the proper example. Do everything you can to increase the personal pride of your men by example. Cleanliness, neatness, and orderliness are evidence of personal pride. Proud outfit is a good outfit. ––Lt Gen Manton Sprague Eddy, USA (1892-1962) About the Author: Major Hollis R. Payne III is the
Air Force Chief of Staff, General T. Michael Moseley speaks to NCOs from around the Air Force about policy changes, recapitalization, the "Warrior Ethos" and other Air Force concerns. (USAF photo TSgt Cohen A. Young)
1. It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning. 2. Get mad, then get over it. 3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it. 4. It can be done! 5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it. 6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
Commander of the 36th Munitions Squadron, Andersen Air
7. You can’t make someone else’s choices. shouldn’t let someone else make yours.
Force Base Guam, responsible for over 200 permanent party
8. Check small things.
personnel plus 40 additional deployed members.
responsible for the maintenance and assembly of the largest Air Force conventional munitions stockpile valued at over $1B as well as the only overseas Cruise Missile Facility in direct support of USPACOM OPlans, contingencies and exercises.
9. Share credit. 10. Remain calm. Be kind. 11. Have a vision. Be demanding. 12. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers. 13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
AMMOS: Leadership Laboratory Submitted by Lt Col Jeff Decker
Class 07C - Capt Seanna Less and Capt Kylene Ruth observe maintenance on a HM-14 CH-53 at Norfolk Naval Base. (USAF photo by Maj Tom Preston)
“I’m firmly convinced that leaders are not born; they’re educated, trained, and made, as in every other profession.” –– General Curtis E. LeMay, Chief of Staff, 1961-1965 We fight as a component and we fight as a member of the joint team. I believe that we are completely, totally interdependent with each other. –– Gen T. Michael Moseley, Chief of Staff, October 2005
In April 2008, the United States Air Force Advanced Maintenance and Munitions Officer School (USAF AMMOS) will graduate its fourteenth class and commemorate its fifth year since the school’s establishment. The current complement of 136 graduates are assigned throughout all Air Force major commands, commanding squadrons, serving in line and staff billets and have (or are currently) deployed “down range” as advisors to the Iraqi Air Force or are serving in other capacities in the AOR. In short, the USAF AMMOS graduate is fulfilling the institution’s vision of producing expeditionary combat airpower, instructing officers and SNCOs and advising the personnel they are privileged to serve with. As we complete the maintenance reorganization of our fighter and CSAR units, continue on-going transformation efforts and expand the expeditionary capabilities of our Air Force, AMMOS grads will be called upon to solve the challenges and exploit the number of opportunities which will be available. Maj Gen Dave Gillett, Air Combat Command A4, recently advised AMMOS Class 07C: “each of you has the opportunity to re-shape the Air Force and our maintenance organizations—this is an exciting time to be a maintenance and munitions officer!” But how is AMMOS preparing its students for the Air Force’s current and future operational environment and supporting what Chief of Staff General Moseley has termed the “joint interdependent fight?” First, the AMMOS mission is to expand combat capability by developing graduate-level expertise in aircraft and munitions maintenance using the USAF Agile Combat Support (ACS) master process construct. Starting with Air Force Doctrine Document 2-4, Combat Support¸ the AMMOS curriculum strives to increase a student’s understanding of the operational art of maintenance, fleet health and unit readiness, sortie generation and an effective flying hour program, combat munitions operation and production, logistics command and control and finally, hone critical thinking skills and sharpen leadership abilities.
Secondly, AMMOS partners with staffs from the HAF, ACC, AMC, TRANSCOM, and the Global Logistics Support Center (formerly the MAF and CAF LSC) to complement classroom instruction on such topics as the “repair enterprise,” aircraft availability improvement or logistics command and control. These visits also provide the students with CAF, MAF and joint command operational perspectives. In addition, students team up with counterparts from the USAF Weapons School and receive an operator’s viewpoint and share crosstalk on operations and maintenance issues as well as how to employ intelligence officers within the expeditionary logistics environment.
Thirdly, the USAF AMMOS student gains a greater appreciation for both our sister service capabilities and contributions of our coalition partners. We’re fortunate to reside at Nellis Air Force Base and partner with organizations one might not suspect to be located at an Air Force installation. Army and Marine officers assigned to units here at Nellis provide instruction on their service’s doctrine, organization, logistics and current operations. Also at Creech Air Force Base, we’re fortunate to team with 39 Squadron of the Royal Air Force, who facilitate a similar seminar on the RAF. Students are also afforded the Class 07C aboard the USS George Washington. (USAF photo by Maj Tom opportunity to visit Preston) Langley Air Force Base and Headquarters, Air Combat Command, as well as other sister service installations in the Virginia area. AMMOS Class 07C recently visited the USS George Washington and helicopter squadron HM-14 and received in-depth capabilities briefs and a glimpse of “ship board” maintenance.
Class 07B - L-R: Capt Deedrick Reese; Capt Danzel Albertsen; Capt Jeffrey Anderson; MSgt Bill Sheaffer (AFCOMAC); Capt Robert Custer. (USAF Photo by Lt Col Jeff Decker)
As you can see, the AMMOS experience is not just a study of the latest edition of AFI 21-101 but a holistic approach in preparing individuals with a unique skill set for the challenges of garrison and expeditionary operations. However, these skills are for naught unless graduates pass along what they’ve learned to fellow officers and NCOs after their graduation and partner with their fellow ALROC and Weapons School grads at the wing level and in the joint AOR environment. Ten years ago, the Army periodical Parameters featured an insightful article titled Preparing for War in the 21st Century. The authors, retired Marine Lt Gen Paul Van Riper and Maj Gen Robert H. Scales Jr., offered this interesting and astute observation: Moreover, as the United States continues to shift from a forward deployed to an expeditionary force posture, dependence on both aerospace and naval capabilities will increase merely to ensure ground forces reach the theater of operations rapidly and safely. Hence to insist that future US military operations will inherently be joint is not just rhetoric but rather frank acknowledgment of strategic and operational imperatives. All Air Force loggies would do well to adopt this quote—especially AMMOS grads who share a responsibility to ensure the maintenance and munitions personnel they’re privileged to lead are prepared to fight, maintain and lead in this joint expeditionary environment. Our Air Force is facing tough challenges, especially as resources are increasingly stressed by current operations. The AMMOS grad has acquired a unique skill set—not for personal use but to instruct and advise their fellow loggies and ensure our service’s ability to wage the “joint interdependent fight.” Lt Col Jeff Decker is the Commandant of the USAF Advanced Maintenance and Munitions
Royal Air Force Wing Commander Andy Jeffery hands off the flag during an activation ceremony of the 39th United Kingdom Reaper Squadron to Flight Lt. Bert Weedon Jan. 23 at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. RAF officials activated an unmanned aerial vehicle squadron during the ceremony. (USAF photo SSgt. Scottie McCord)
Officer School, Nellis AFB, NV and assumed command in July 2006. Lt Col Decker previously commanded the 9th Munitions Squadron (Air Force Combat Ammunition Center) and 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron.
Submitted by Lt James Harris
n the words of Aristotle, “All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of
Never have these words rang truer than in the
relationship of the newly commissioned Air Force Company Grade Officers (CGO) and the Chief Master Sergeants charged with teaching them how to best accomplish the mission.
In the following article, I will
examine this relationship from the perspective of the Chief. While these views are not intended to be all-inclusive, they were obtained through direct interaction with over 20 Chiefs throughout the United States Air Force. CGOs…heed this good advice from our Chiefs.
1 . W H AT CGO’S?
A R E T H E M O S T C O M M O N M I S TA K E S M A D E B Y
Most CGO’s commit mistakes when they become overly confident. This can be exhibited in a failure to consider all of the potential impacts of their decision before they make it. Many times, CGO’s fail to avail themselves of the wealth of knowledge and experience they have at their disposal in their SNCO corps and particularly in their Chiefs. In rare cases, some CGO’s are absolutely convinced they are capable of making better decisions than the Chiefs, who have significantly more experience, and in most cases, just as much education. Most CGO’s really don’t realize how much they still have to learn, but they are motivated to make a difference for their unit. Once an officer earns the reputation of not soliciting or heeding advice from the SNCO’s, it is virtually impossible to recover as they have lost all credibility. However, it is also possible to go the other way. CGO’s
Three Airmen reflecting the historic bond between our Chiefs play between our enlisted ranks and junior officer corps. L to R from 436th MXS, A1C Joshua Irwin, Chief Ray Holland, 1Lt Jeff Fry.
that wait too long to step in and take a leadership role will lose respect and credibility due to a perceived lack of fortitude to make the tough decisions.
2 . W H AT A R E T H E E X P E C TAT I O N S CHIEF FROM THE CGO’S?
To ask, listen and learn. Try to get out to where the work is actually being accomplished. Hands on is always the best way to learn their trade. This also helps the leader to lead by example as they will have a better grasp on what it is that they are managing. It is also important to balance mission and people. The CGO must stay focused on the goals of the organization and take care of the people. Sometimes the mission will override the needs of the people, but sometimes the needs of the people will override the immeChief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley joins a 16th Special Operations Squadron gunner, diate requirements of the mission. Additionally, it Master Sgt. Preface Hedin, with loading the 105mm howitzer on the AC-130H Spectre gunship. (USAF photo SrA Andy M. Kin) may help a young officer understand the situation that their enlisted Airmen are in if they were to take time to read and learn the enlisted structure through reading publications we are not going to increase our force size in the foreseeable future, such as AFI 36-2618, “The Enlisted Force Structure”. Next, some so it is up to us to ensure that we push hard enough to push our good advice offered to all officers, regardless of rank is to seek every abilities, but not so hard that safety and well-being is compromised. opportunity to learn; come prepared and on time for meetings; real- Another way to show your Airmen that you care is to fight for the ize that there is no such a thing as “you can’t”; know your Airmen’s things that matter to them the most. Let the Airman see that you names, what shift they are on and who their supervisor is; and build truly care about them, and that it is not about the CGO getting the ability to discipline and maintain control. In the beginning, it ahead. Finally, another way to ensure that you are looking out for will be important to learn everything they can and then slowly start the development and well-being of your Airmen is to understand taking the reigns. Stand by their decisions even when they are not the process of how they are developed and to truly care for their the popular ones and make the hard calls. Immerse yourself in new well-being. Airmen know when leadership is not really looking out roles/responsibilities, learn quickly, engage at the right levels and for them. Sometimes the smallest thing you do for an individual communicate what is going on to the Chief. It is important for the officer and the Chief to have the same information. All of this will lead to the officer to be better engaged and become a force multiplier rather than a form of resistance.
Continued on following page...
B E S T S H O W T H AT T H E Y C A R E F O R
THE DEVELOPMENT AND WELL-BEING OF THE
T H AT W O R K F O R T H E M ?
The overriding way to show that a CGO cares for the development and well-being of the Airmen that work for them is to listen to their suggestions and take action. The CGO may not be able to “fix” every situation, but they can follow-up and provide feedback to the enlisted force. This will go a long way towards understanding the challenges facing the enlisted force. Additionally, it is important to be consistent. You have to strike a balance between people and mission. Sometimes, we take care of our people best by pushing them to reach productivity levels previously thought unattainable. Allowing work to pile up in favor of providing time off is rarely a good idea. Also, having our people accustomed to a high operations tempo is not necessarily a bad thing. It has become obvious that
Chief Master Sgt. Richard Small, CENTAF Command Chief, and Lt. Gen. Gary North, CENTAF Commander, address members of the 586th Expeditionary Mission Support Group at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. (AF photo SSgt. Ian Carrier)
and the CGO should provide a united front to the enlisted force under their leadership. If 4. HOW SHOULD A CGO you follow the APPROACH A TOPIC IN ground rules for dissenting from the WHICH THEIR OPINION DIFChief’s opinion, it FERS FROM THE CHIEF’S will allow the two OPINION? of you to come to a The answer to this question is decision that can be best summed up in one equally enforced by word…carefully. The individual both. In the end, if that you are dealing with has (From left) Capt. Kristopher Johnston, 64th Expeditionary Support Squadron; Chief the officer makes a been around for 20+ years and is Master Sgt. Lloyd Hollen, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing command chief; and Col. Keith decision that goes Moncreif, 64th Air Expeditionary Group commander, receive a mission brief from the 64th probably very well-versed on difagainst what the AEG logistics readiness flight at a forward deployed location recently. (USAF photo) ferent courses of action. Chief wants to do, a Fortunately, in most cases the good Chief will Chief will realize that they do not accept that and will help make it work. This is reliant upon the have the market cornered on intelligence. Any good Chief will CGO heeding the advice of the Chief and the CGO showing be willing to listen to the inputs of a CGO that has exhibited that they are willing to accept the consequences of their actions. that they are willing to listen to them. There are a couple of It is important to note that the opinions of the Chief and the ground rules that the CGO should follow when discussing difCGO do not have to be identical on every decision. However, ferences of opinion with the Chief. These include such things it is very important that once the decision is made that all paras being open minded, having viable solutions to the problem, ties agree that the time for discussion is over and there is one being flexible, taking it behind a closed door, being respectful direction for everyone to move forward. There are few resources and having the facts. It is important to remember that the Chief in the Air Force for them to be squandered on personal agendas rather than one clear course of action.
Airman may be huge for them. They will pay you back ten-fold knowing that you cared for them.
5 . W H AT
ARE THE BEST AND WORST QUALITIES
T H AT Y O U H AV E S E E N E X H I B I T E D I N T H E
T H AT Y O U H AV E W O R K E D W I T H ?
Some of the best qualities exhibited by CGO’s include such things as the ability to follow, ability to listen, a willingness to learn, a desire to get in the trenches with the Airmen that they lead, moral courage, compassion, judgment, creativity, determination, responsibility, and an ability to remain diplomatic. Additionally, some other qualities mentioned as best qualities include such things as a willingness to delegate with follow-up, not being a micro-manager, possessing a good work ethic, an ability to remain calm under pressure, truly caring for the well-being of their Airmen, and possessing an infectious energy that can permeate through the entire organization. Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley and Marine Staff Sgt. Jason McIntee help load a patient going onto an aeromedical evacuation flight at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (USAF photoA1C Kenny Holston)
As for the worst qualities exhibited by CGO’s, the Chiefs mentioned an officer that already knows-it-all, an unwill-
ingness to listen, being so close to the Airmen that they lead that they lose the ability to successfully lead, and a belief that since they are a commissioned officer, they must make every decision. Additionally, some of the bad qualities that an officer may exhibit include such things as acting as if they are better than their enlisted Airmen, a willingness to step on the Airmen that work for them without regard to the needs of those Airmen, and an inability to delegate tasks, leading to them working alone and doing everything themselves. Finally, some poor qualities that an officer can exhibit that truly destroy their reputation is lying to cover their tracks, letting their rank go to their head, enforcing a “do as I say, not as I do” double standard, chasing personal agendas and being self-centered for personal gain.
W H AT H AV E
ACCOMPLISHING THE MISSION?
Good supervisors and leaders are rarely liked by their troops all of the time. You can’t be successful if your focus is on the troops all the time. The mission has to get done by people and not everything we do is palatable. It is very important to listen and learn, get involved, and to ask lots of questions. The key is to remain hungry to learn not only our mission, but also what motivates the enlisted force, since they are the back bone of the Air Force. Some good indicators of a successful CGO are good leadership ability, decision making abilities, ability to focus, articu-
late orally and in writing, and are willing to internalize the job that their unit does. Finally, it is the great CGO that is charismatic and inspiring, did and meant what they said, lives the core values and keeps their eyes always on target, never forgetting that they are an officer.
7. YOU THE
H AV E
Chief Master Sgt. Rodney J. McKinley, shown here shaking hands with Airmen, is the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley. (USAF photo)
C H I E F. ANY-THING ADD…PLEASE TELL ME
CGO’s are the future leaders of the Air Force. It is up to them to latch onto a SNCO/Chief and follow them around in an attempt to gain every piece of theory and practice possible. They need to get out from behind the desk and go to where the work is being done. If they don’t, they will never truly know what is going on. They need to trust what their SNCO’s are telling them, but verify all data before taking it forward. You are here to learn and help your people and your organization obtain excellence. Get involved in the community, show the troops you care and never forget you are an officer. The young officers of today need to understand you cannot be friends with those who work under you or you will not be able to make the tough choice when necessary. In the end, the CGO must be involved. Do more than just be there. Make your mark! Learn, learn, learn and then take charge. About the Author: 2Lt James M. Harris is the Executive Officer, 436th Maintenance Group, supporting both C-5 and C-17 fleets assigned to Dover AFB and all transient traffic.
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley answers questions on healthcare during his testimony at the Capitol Building Feb. 7 in Washington, D.C. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs held the hearing to discuss military quality of life issues. (USAF photo TSgt. Cohen A. Young)
He has maintenance experience in ACC, AFMC, PACAF and AMC.
Leadership Opportunities as an Aircraft WSM
Submitted by Lt Col Mark Guerrero, Maj Jonathan Downing, Capt Jerrymar Copeland & Capt Al Martz When most maintenance officers hear the term “leadership opportunity”, it conjures up thoughts of running an Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU) or a back shop organization and managing large numbers of aircraft, equipment and people. However, there are more than just wing-level “opportunities” when it comes to leadership. Not many people think of a staff job in the context of leadership, but a MAJCOM Aircraft Weapon System Manager (WSM) is a challenging (and sometimes frustrating) yet rewarding position that offers a great opportunity for a maintenance officer to effect command-wide change, interact with multiple agencies, learn the Air Force Enterprise, and exercise leadership. There are probably some of you reading this that haven’t heard the term WSM, or don’t know what a WSM is, or what the job demands. A WSM works for their respective MAJCOM Aircraft Maintenance Division and ultimately reports to the MAJCOM Director of Logistics (A4). WSMs are charged with maintenance management and coordinating the logistics requirements to ensure sustainment, acquisition, and modernization of their respective weapon system fleets, including National Guard and Air Force Reserve fleets. In addition, they analyze their fleets for any adverse
trends and coordinate with multiple agencies to implement fleetwide fixes. This usually includes, but is not limited to, coordination with HQ USAF, other MAJCOMs, Air Logistics Centers, Systems Groups, and field units. In addition, the recent Lead Command designation of AMC for the MAF and ACC for the CAF has increased the responsibility of the WSM because decisions made by the Lead Command now affect not only AMC and ACC aircraft, but the other MAJCOM fleets as well. Most WSMs oversee a small team of 4-5 SNCOs and/or civilians, and although each individual has their specific area of responsibility and expertise, the entire weapon system team is focused on fleet management. So what does it take to be a good WSM? Being a great communicator is the first and foremost requirement. You must be able to communicate vertically within the chain in a clear and concise manner using numerous methods such as verbal and written (formal and informal) correspondence. Your bosses are extremely busy dealing with a variety of other issues and they rarely have the additional time to edit or reformat your correspondence. With the numerous and often simultaneous activities being handled within the Maintenance Division, communication is always a challenge. Keeping the entire WSM team on the same page and providing clear guidance to the field allows our senior leaders access to the right information to make smart decisions. It also reduces the con-
unpopular decisions. The old adage “you can’t please all of the people all of the time” definitely holds true for WSMs. The key is your ability to coordinate with the appropriate agencies in an effort to bring staff and field members toward consensus. Sometimes a consensus is not possible, but the negative effects can be mitigated when the field at least had an input into the final decision.
fusion and frustration at the field level as to what direction the command is headed regarding a particular weapon system or policy. Many of you may have experienced the frustration firsthand of not knowing what the MAJCOM is thinking and/or doing.
Understanding the day-today activities of the field units and their maintainers’ needs is critical to being a good WSM. “At the end of A Galaxy far, far away -- MSgt. Jeff Wisley marshals a C-5 Galaxy aircraft that landed at the Another key ability is how each day I would ask myself international airport here supporting Operation Unified Assistance. U.S. service members are helping bring relief supplies and equipment to various locations in Sri Lanka. (USAF photo by you interact with senior if I had done anything to MSgt. Val Gempis) leaders. In many field units, help the field accomplish the O-6 Wing Commander the mission. If the answer was yes, it was a good day; if the answer was no, a course correction is the highest ranking and prevailing individual on base but as a was required,” says Colonel Keith Frede, current 552 MXG/CC and staff officer and WSM, it’s not uncommon to have three O-6s in former C-5 WSM. It is very easy to lose focus on what’s important your immediate chain, all of whom work for the A4 General to the field when you live in a cubicle or office environment, far Officer. Daily interaction with these senior officers, and multiple removed from a flight line. Additionally, it’s important to keep the MXGs and System Program Office (SPO) Directors is commonEnterprise in mind. Each unit has their own unique challenges to place, and you must be able to maintain open channels of commuovercome and at times do not realize or see the full picture. What nication with all of them, regardless of the rank gap. As the curmay be a mission impacting issue for a specific unit is not necessar- rent AMC Director of Logistics, Brig Gen Ken Merchant discussed ily a command-wide issue. Each field unit brings their own envi- the importance of his WSMs and the almost daily interaction he ronment and culture to the table and many times a unit’s values, has with them: “It is routine for my WSMs to be in my office briefenvironment, and issues are completely different from their sister ing me on aircraft fleet sustainment issues. I cannot stress enough units. It is very important as a WSM to understand that an issue the value of energetic WSMs who keep me abreast of all the issues McChord is working desperately to solve may not be an issue at all so I can provide strategic direction to the entire AMC logistics community.” for Charleston and likewise for other weapon As a WSM and trusted subsystems and bases. Your ject matter expert, you have a leadership ability comes real opportunity to advise and into play as you resolve assist senior military and challenges such as an sometimes civilian leaders MXG/CC who disagrees with difficult strategic deciwith a path your weapon sions. In one case, the C-130 system is taking and WSM was tasked to support weighing their input the AMC Director of Plans in while still keeping the briefing House and Senate health of the entire fleet Armed Services Committee in mind. Staffers regarding the state of a C-130 fleet and the critical This WSM challenge is need for fleet recapitalization. not unlike any position It is instances like these of leadership where C-130 Hercules aircraft taxi to the parking ramp at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., after completing sometimes you must have airdrop missions for a mobility exercise over the Keno range in Nevada. (USAF photo SSgt. Continued on following page... the willingness to make Scottie McCord)
ER: LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
where you have the opportunity and responsibility to engage with senior leaders to make a strategic impact on your fleet for decades to come. Although the demands of being a WSM are extremely high, there are also numerous benefits of the job and increased potential for future leadership opportunities. Even though you don’t get the satisfaction of launching daily sorties, you do get the fulfillment of knowing you have the ability to effect command-wide change, influence broad-reaching policy, and make fleet management decisions. A first-hand look at the Air Force Enterprise is also a benefit of being a WSM. Much can be absorbed by attending meetings in which senior leaders discuss major issues and make Enterprisewide decisions. It’s the norm to sit in on a meeting where AF and MAJCOM issues are discussed and decisions made and then a few days later, you read about it in a large aviation periodical, see it in a press release or on television, or hear about it in a Congressional hearing. Acquiring and honing your staff skills is a great (albeit painful at times) benefit that will help you as you progress in your career. You will be thankful for it when the opportunity for an assignment to the Joint Staff, Air Staff, or a Combatant Command Staff such as TRANSCOM or CENTCOM arises. These staffing skills require interactions with the other functional communities whose priorities and agendas may not be directly in line with yours. Negotiation is also a key leadership skill, and as a WSM you have numerous opportunities to exercise this when balancing the need to generate aircraft to meet the mission and Operations’ training requirements while maintaining the overall long-term health of the fleet. The understanding of this delicate balance is also helpful as you progress in your career as a Maintenance Operations Officer or Squadron or Material Group Commander. Major Paul Brown, former C-17 WSM and current AMXS/CC at Travis, commented on his time as a WSM: “Being a “graduated” C-17 WSM has added tremendous value to my squadron command. I’ve been able to provide insight into decisions and modifications on the weapon system and answer questions by line mechanics about the C-17 program’s direction. It’s also provided me with countless skills to help address problems, given me a large network of contacts to assist and vector me, and enabled me to learn the “big picture” from various MAJCOMs. All of these things have made me more effective as both a maintenance leader and squadron commander.” There are numerous opportunities to interact with other logisticians and agencies and they are both a benefit and challenge. In our current organizational structure, other logistics disciplines such as Aerial Port, Transportation, and Supply do not fall under the Maintenance Group at the base level. However, at the MAJCOM staff level, all logistics functions fall under the A4. 50
C-130 Hercules aircraft taxi to the parking ramp at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., after completing airdrop missions for a mobility exercise over the Keno range in Nevada. (USAF photo SSgt. Scottie McCord)
This gives you an excellent opportunity to hear and understand other logistics’ disciplines issues when they are discussed during staff meetings and other briefings and how the entire logistics machine interacts with your piece. Although the logistics career fields are soon to undergo a significant organizational change, the MAJCOM staff functions and their organizational structure will change very little and will continue to provide logistics officers a great opportunity to interact and share issues. Working with multiple agencies is of course a challenge. As a WSM we not only deal with government agencies, but sometimes we are required to deal with outside agencies you might not think of. Col Tracey Smiedendorf, the current AMC Chief of Maintenance Policy, is a graduated C-17 WSM. During his tenure as a WSM, he was charged with naming a C-17 production aircraft now known as the “Spirit of Bob Hope”. This intensive project required him to coordinate with AMC and AFMC protocol personnel, C-17 SPO production managers, and even Bob Hope’s daughter. The seemingly simple task of naming an aircraft required a great amount of coordination and effort. Interaction with the acquisition and depot communities is also a great benefit that few younger maintenance officers get the chance to appreciate or even know about. Unless you’ve had an assignment at a SPO or an ALC, you probably only had a short visit during your initial maintenance training to a location to see where many of your spare parts and Technical Orders come from or view the work required by the depot in order to return your aircraft from programmed depot maintenance (PDM) on time. WSMs are regularly exposed to these concepts and processes and they will help you gain an understanding of the entire logistics enterprise from cradle to grave, and at all levels (base, ALCs, and SPOs). The amount of interaction you have with the depots depends on the depot-level support concept for your weapon system, but it’s not uncommon to have direct input into the PDM
process to learn, lacks glamour, and isn’t enjoyed by most maintainers, funding is the lifeblood of what we do. Once you grasp an understanding of the POM process with its rules, regulations and language, you will be much better prepared to influence the prioritization of funds, and help to secure the funding needed to support long-term fleet health. Colonel Frede points out, “Having a good idea is not enough—-a WSM’s job is to prove their program is the most critical in the command. It’s doubtful the number two priority will get the funding or support needed to make it a reality!” The ability to speak the POM and budget process language and engage intelligently with the acquisition community is extremely beneficial when dealing with Air Staff counterparts, and will better equip you to be a senior Air Force leader. Best of the Best! AMC Weapon System Managers (l to r): Capt Al Martz, Lt Col Mark Guerrero, Capt Jerry Copeland and Maj Jon Downing. (USAF Photo)
maintenance contract. Learning the acquisition process is hugely beneficial as well. WSMs regularly interact with the A5 community to ensure that logistics’ needs and supportability requirements are identified early on in a program. This is especially critical on the numerous high visibility programs currently in the acquisition phase such as the new tanker replacement program (KC-X), Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA), and the C-130J. Over two-thirds of the cost of a weapon system program over its life cycle is driven by sustainment, not the up front acquisition costs, and it’s important for long-term fleet health to ensure these logistics requirements are identified and implemented early on in a program’s life cycle. One of the biggest challenges and benefits to being a WSM is learning the Program Objective Memorandum (POM) and budgeting process and how the money flows. Although it can be a painful
This is by no means an all inclusive editorial on life as an Aircraft Weapon System Manager at AMC. Along with the day-to-day management of our fleets, we, like our wing counterparts, are required to fill AEF deployments, are encouraged to demonstrate leadership by mastering tasks outside our normal duties, participate in professional organizations, and support local and base communities. For many maintainers, life away from the flight line seems foreign and uncomfortable; however, a WSM tour at a MAJCOM headquarters is a very enlightening and educational experience and the benefits far outweigh the challenges. In fact, learning to work with the vast assortment of organizations to overcome challenges, while keeping your leadership updated, provides an intensive, worthwhile education that will make you a better logistician and a better leader. About the Authors: Maj Jonathan Downing is Chief, C-17 Weapon System Section, HQ AMC Directorate of Logistics, Scott AFB, IL. He is responsible for the maintenance, sustainment, modifications, and logistics for the fleet of 171 C-17A aircraft in 4 commands and the ANG. Lt Col Mark Guerrero is the C-130 WSM, HQ AMC Directorate of Logistics, Scott AFB, IL. Capt Jerrymar Copeland is Chief, KC-135 Weapon System Section. His duties include managing maintenance, sustainment, modifications, and logistics related to the long-term health and capabilities of the 497 aircraft KC-135 fleet in five commands. Capt Al Martz is Chief, C-5 Weapon System Section, HQ AMC Directorate of Logistics, Scott AFB, IL. His duties include managing maintenance, sustainment, modifications, and logistics related to the long-term health and capabilities of the 111 aircraft C-5 fleet in three commands.
AMC A4 Brig Gen Ken Merchant receives daily briefing from his WSMs. (USAF Photo)
Logistics Career Broadening Program: Good Deal for CGOs
Capt Chad Parks and Capt Gary Durst Air Force leaders, from the Chief of Staff to the flight line, are asking themselves a,question: “How do you address the challenge of sustaining the oldest aircraft fleet in Air Force history, in stride with recapitalization and modernization, while still meeting the commitment to deliver sovereign options for the defense of the United States”? Further, what avenues are available to develop logistics leaders who are equipped to understand and resolve problems unique to this challenge during what is arguably the most turbulent period Air Force logisticians have ever faced? One answer is the Logistics Career Broadening Program (LCBP). The advent of Centralized Asset Management (CAM), the establishment of the Global Logistics Support Center (GLSC), and the upcoming wing reorganization underscore the fact that change is our constant; thus it’s imperative that we as an Air Force have a means of developing leaders with an understanding of the logistics enter-
prise. This is where the LCBP comes in. It provides mid- to senior-level captains from the 21X, 61, 62, 63, 64, and 65 career fields, with a history of superior performance, potential for promotion to senior-level logistics positions, and full qualification in their logistics specialty the opportunity to broaden their skill set through a structured assignment at one of the three Air Logistics Centers (ALC), or for selected 21R officers, an assignment to the Defense Supply Center Richmond (DSCR). During a typical assignment to an ALC, Career Broadening Officers (CBOs) will follow a program flexible to expose them to key facets of the sustainment enterprise. This is accomplished through customized rotations in ALC wings and staff agencies to include program management, supply chain management, engineering, depot maintenance, strategic planning, and contracting. For 21Rs assigned to DSCR, there is a supply chain centric rotation and a focus on learning how DLA integrates with the larger DoD logistics enterprise. Senior leaders in the wings and staff meet regularly with
Capt Chad Parks (WR-ALC Career Broadener) and David “Bubba” Stone go over documentation checklists on the C5 engine. (USAF Photo)
CBOs, both individually and as a group, to evaluate their progress and discuss relevant topics facing Air Force logisticians today. While working through rotations, CBOs will also attend Defense Acquisition University classes, earning Level I Program Management and Level I Lifecycle Logistics professional certifications under the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA.) Some CBOs have even earned Level II in both of these career tracks. Officers with current DAWIA certification can pursue higher/other certification on a case–by-case basis. Finally, CBOs have an opportunity in the final phase of their rotations to concentrate in one the three primary areas (program management, maintenance, supply chain management) or an additional area (such as Contracting, LEAN, Plans and Programs) in order to fine-tune what was learned in the first phase. This job assignment is usually related to the CBO’s primary logistics specialty. Recently LCBP has beenviewed as a “low-visibility” or “underadvertised” program within the logistics officer development pipeline. This has caused many potential LCBP candidates to not consider LCBP as one of their options during career path dis-
cussions with their raters. This circumstance should soon be resolved with the implementation of the rewritten AFI 36-2111, expected to be released in Spring 2008. Anticipated changes include transitioning selection for LCBP from an AFMC-managed board to a Developmental Team (DT) vector. In the near future, officers desiring assignment to the LCBP should discuss their desires with their rater and indicate their assignment preference on their Airmen Development Plan. This will assist the DT in vectoring officers in accordance with their desired career path. Some may ask what is the benefit to being a CBO? Officers coming to an ALC or to DSCR from the operational units bring with them current, relevant expertise and talent from the various positions they’ve held during their previous assignments. They are able to capitalize on these skills during their rotational assignments in the ALC. (It should be noted that ALCs and DLA are predominantly staffed by civilians, many of whom possess a wealth of technical expertise, but have limited exposure and Continued on following page...
David “Bubba” Stone awaits tow truck to take C5 engine to mounting dock form the 6S’ed engine location. (USAF Photo)
ER: LOGISTICS CAREER BROADENING PROGRAM
tion and depot logistics. AMMOS understanding of the & LCBP represent our corporate unique and dynamic commitment to provide training nature of an active and education opportunities for flightline maintelogistics officers; both are great nance activity, much programs and both serve Vital less the challenges of needs in the logistics community. operating in a Both provide officers the opportudeployed environnity to learn critical skills and ment.) For example, logistics officers need to underyou may have constand both sides of this equation to sidered that fuel coneffectively lead our people and trol you’ve had manage our resources.” MICAPed for three days to be the critiFollowing a CBO’s tour at the cal link in keeping ALC, the officers may have the your engine spare David Tilley and Paul Netchaeff discuss how toovercome wire chafing in the C5 pylon opportunity to remain at the ALC levels above the upper cowling. (USAF Photo) to further hone the skills they have goal; however, you learned while in the program or must also understand that the ALC craftsman producing that parPCS to an operational unit or staff assignment where they will ticular end item may be on-hold due to the non-availability of a be counted on to be the “go-to” person on issues concerning specific piece-part…which, by the way, may no longer be availALCs. LCBP graduates can expect a future assignment back able due to the aspect of what those around the ALCs call “vanwithin AFMC at some point during their career as a “Return On ishing vendors.” Situations like this occur daily in the ALCs, and Investment” for the time and opportunity given to participate in the CBO can be a vital link in communicating the “real’ probthe program. This type of deliberate structured development will lem to the warfighter while presenting the warfighter perspective help to develop logistics leaders for the future logistics enterprise. to those responsible for resolving issues such as diminishing sources of manufacture. Thus a CBO is not only learning the As Gen Atkinson stated in a follow-up comment, “the AF has process of sustainment, but integrating the knowledge they bring invested heavily in the development of our logisticsoOfficers and from the field into the ALC to “cross-pollinate” with the ALC LCBP is a critical milestone in the continuum of training for our workforce and to help improve overall ALC operations. future Logistics leaders. We expect to see great advances for all Senior leaders are aware of and vocal advocates for the LCBP. In a recent interview, Brig Gen Mark Atkinson, Commander of the 402d Maintenance Wing at Warner Robins ALC, stated that he expects three things of LCBP graduates:
ALCs due to the expanse of knowledge received and subsequently applied by the officers who attend the LCBP.” Again, officers interested in LCBP should discuss the program with their raters and update their ADPs accordingly.
1. Find and bridge ways to impart their new ALC knowledge to other logisticians in the field.
About the Authors: Captain Chad A. Parks is a USAF Logistics
2. Be “the” advisor and liaison in their new unit regarding all ALC related issues.
Logistics Center, Robins Air Force Base, GA.
3. Encourage your peer group to participate in the program… “I think it is important to get more officers into our depots early in their career to better prepare them for senior leadership challenges and roles both at the ALCs and in our war fighting units.”
Sustainment Group, involved in learning aspects of Supply Chain
Follow-on questions were fielded specifically on the LCBP vs the AMMOS curriculums. Gen Atkinson stated “LCBP is an outstanding way for young officers to get first exposure to acquisi54
Career Broadening Officer assigned to the Warner Robins Air He is currently
assigned to the 542 Combat Sustainment Wing/752 Combat
Management within the LANTIRN and Pave Penny Precision Attack weapon systems squadron. Captain Gary A. Durst is a Logistics Readiness Officer assigned to currently assigned to the ALC Commander’s staff as Chief of the Commander’s Action Group at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Robins Air Force Base, GA.
CGO Corner “ C A P TA I N ! M Y C A P TA I N ! ” It has been said that the years one spends as a Captain are some of the best in a military career. In the logistics community we find ourselves leading the daily charge —making the mission happen by launching jets, passing gas, pushing cargo, leading truck convoys, and a host of other tasks. Finally
Capt Ernest Cage
you are judged by your actions and expertise rather than by the single gold or silver bar you wear on your shoulders. The enduring phrase of “L-T” respectfully muttered by every weary chief or senior has been replaced with “sir”
You have paid your dues
in time, and it feels good to be accepted by the SNCOs, NCOs and young airmen you lead. As we get swept away in mountains of e-mails, production meetings, award ceremonies, and daily Airmen leadership it is easy to forget the Lieutenant years.
While we all set our eyes on the road ahead and prepare to take on more responsibility, we
ER: CGO CORNER
must also look behind us at the road already traveled. Specifically, I am talking about mentorship – preparing young Lieutenants to be tomorrow’s Captains. Too often our newest officers find themselves thrust into a unit in one of two situations. In bigger squadrons Lieutenants, may be placed in charge of a flight, tasked with all the responsibilities associated with command. While in smaller units, the experience at times can be better characterized as officer-in-charge of all the special projects under the sun. It is easy to assert that OJT or “learning by doing” is healthy in the course of skills development. You say to yourself, “Hey after all if I made it, then certainty the new Lieutenant can figure it out.” I would argue that this assumption is a faulty approach that merits a course correction. While commissioning sources do an outstanding job teaching principles of leadership, real-world Air Force operations present their own leadership challenges. How does a newly commissioned Lieutenant learn the ropes of leading a flight without driving the superintendent crazy?
Who encourages the squadron’s special projects
Lieutenant, who thought he or she would be directly leading Airmen from day one, to stay motivated? The answer is, of course, the unit’s senior company grade officers—the Captains. During my indoctrination into the New Cadet System, I could do nothing right in the eyes of my upper-classmen, many who were only two to three years older than me. When I finally made it to my senior year and commanded a cadet battalion, I took a different approach. I never yelled, instead I let patience and professional discourse set the tone. I tell this story because it is important for Captains to develop professional informal relationships with Lieutenants. “Yes sir” and “No sir” are appropriate and should be used by the subordinate—however, you must be approachable. is worn on a uniform for a purpose—you don’t have to prove you are worthy to wear it.
Once earned, rank
Think for a minute about all the
things you wish you had known when you were a Lieutenant, what would you have done differently? Take this knowledge and
share it with those who have yet to write their Air Force story. In doing so, you will be directly contributing to a stronger more proficient logistics officer corps—poised and ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead. Lastly, mentorship is a two way street. Ask yourself, “Are you presenting an image that others will want to follow?” This includes physical demeanor (fitness, uniform, and haircuts), technical competence (Do you know your job?), professional development (PME, Masters Degree, LOA, National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA), Airlift/Tanker Association (A/TA)), and moral leadership (Do you follow you own advice?). You can be assured that your young officers are looking at you, your actions, and your reactions. I will leave you with this short story. The other day as I was hurrying out of the office for a lunch date, one of our young Lieutenants knocked on my door and asked it I could help him figure out how to do a staff summary sheet.
My first reaction
was to tell the young officer that I was busy. However, I stopped myself and fifteen minutes later the Lieutenant left my office knowing everything he ever wanted to know about a staff summary sheet plus a few more “I was there stories.” Later that afternoon, the Lieutenant stopped by the office to thank me for my help. He was beaming with pride as he showed me his staff summary sheet which had been signed off by all applicable parties.
After he left I thought back to the first time I had to do
such a tasking—I was horrified and totally lost. In my mind, helping this young officer was the most important thing I did that day. I leave you with this question and challenge—What kind of Captain will you be?
The CGO Corner is written by Captain “Nest” Cage, a Logistics Readiness Officer, currently in the USAF Logistics Career Broadening Program serving as Deputy Director, 547th Propulsion Maintenance Squadron, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, Tinker AFB, OK. For comments, submissions or questions about the CGO Corner please email CGOCORNER@LOANational.org
**Help Wanted ** A Special thanks to my co-author Maj (s) Vanessa Vargas for her contributions to the “CGO Corner.” She has “graduated” and is fully employed as the new assistant executive officer to the Air Force Director of Logistics Readiness. That being said, we are looking for a passionate maintenance CGO to join the staff. If you’re a good writer and want to help shape the logistics CGO community, then we want you! Interested applicants should submit a sample of your writing and your squadron’s commander endorsement letter to Col Dennis Daley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chapter Crosstalk WRIGHT BROTHERS CHAPTER – WRIGHT PATTERSON AFB, OH
E R : C H A P T E R C R O S S TA L K
The Wright Brothers Chapter is expecting a fantastic year in 2008 and yes, it is off with a great start. After getting our batteries charged at the National Conference in Washington D.C., the whole team is excited and eager to put forth one of the best efforts yet. In December, the team rallied 82 strong at the brand new CSC executive building in Beavercreek, Ohio for an in-depth look at the Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS). Ms. Lynn Moad and Mr. Don Pugh, HQ AFMC/A4N System Integration office, shared with us the objectives of ECSS. Their goal is to establish a real-time modernized information system, apply best commercial practices, use COTS based solutions, plan and execute obsolete legacy retirement of 400+ systems, increase equipment availability by 20%, and help to reduce annual O & S cost by 10%. Obviously, there were numerous questions and much discussion on the topic. Special thanks to Jim Marsh for putting the event together and to CSC for hosting the chapter event. In addition, a couple of the LOA members volunteered to help the Joe Foss Institute (www.jfiweb.org) promote patriotism to the youth of America by visiting Ohio schools and motivating students to take pride in their country. Over 500 students were impacted by these positive role models, great job VP Bob Fudge and team! January proved to be a super month too. We hosted Amanda Wright Lane, the great grandniece of powered flight’s fathers Wilbur and Orville Wright, the namesakes of our proud chapter! She shared how she cherishes their world-changing accomplishments that took place 100 years ago and is honored to represent them at every opportunity. In addition, the 08 Conference planning team, with strong leadership by Col Chris Mardis and Mr. Jeff Frye, has taken the bull by the horns and is making every effort to construct one of the best conferences you will ever attend. For example, Maj (sel) Dennis Higuera is hard at work networking professional and spouse tours, which everyone will want to attend. Places like — the National Museum of the United States Air Force and the Longaberger Basket company to name a couple. There is a chance we could see the Ohio State University coach, Jim Tressel, up close and personal as well! Furthermore, Capt Ian Young and his team is planning a super golf tourney at Scioto Reserve…check it out, amazing course — http://www.sciotoreserve.com/fw/ main/Course_Tour-423.html. We look ahead to hosting you all! Stay tuned to updates LOA members volunteer at the Joe Foss Institute to promote patriotism. on the National LOA website. As always, great quarter Wright Brothers’ team - strength and honor!
KANALOA CHAPTER – HONOLULU, HI Submitted by Mr. Darrell Bridges Aloha, the Kanaloa Chapter was again a beehive of activity during this quarter starting out with 2 membership activities in October. We kicked off the month with a luncheon with General Norton Schwartz, Commander, United States Transportation Command. Gen Schwartz spoke on a number of logistics issues and their impact upon his command. We then followed up 2 weeks later with
a tour of the S.S. Matsonia. The S.S. Matsonia is a container/RO ship owned by the regional shipping company MATSON. The ship sails between California and Hawaii delivering a number of goods to the islands including military household goods as well as POV shipments. Finally, we started making preparations for attending the National LOA Conference. For most members, November couldn’t come fast enough as we eagerly awaited attending the LOA convention. Our chapter had 16 members in attendance and it was a resounding success for all in attendance. With shouts of “Aloha!!” resonating throughout the banquet room, it was a clear sign our small, but growing chapter, was represented well in a number of award winning categories. First up, one of our member’s design for the LOA magazine cover was selected for the 2025 Exceptional Release (ER) issue. We next saw the hard work for developing our local scholarship program reap big rewards as a Hickam recipient, A1C Tassinda K. Yerk, took home one the National LOA scholarships. Finally, to cap off the evening, our very own Chapter President, Lt Col Rodney Mason, took home the coveted Chapter Distinguished Service Award. All in all, it was a good time for all and we learned a lot and developed a number of professional relationships to assist us in forging our collective paths in the future.
A1C Tassinda K. Yerk, receives one of the National LOA scholarships
After returning home to the islands, we were able to squeeze in a few more events before the holidays. We hosted a joint service luncheon with Air Commodore Gower, Commander of Australian AF Combat Support Group. Air Commodore Gower while assigned to the USAF was involved in the development and implementation of the support aspects and operational concepts for the USAF expeditionary capability. He also provided a wealth of information on international logistics. Next, we were able to arrange a luncheon with 3 ALC Commanders (Maj Gen Loren M. Reno, Maj Gen Thomas J. Owen, and Maj Gen Kathleen D. Close) in attendance. This was a rare treat especially during the holiday season and we were able to obtain a focus on how all three interact. Finally, we were able to cap off the year by giving back to our local community. Our chapter sponsored a needy family through the Salvation Army and we donated much needed items and gifts to ensure their family had a joyous holiday!
ALC Commanders visit PACAF.
In summary, we came a long way in a short time this year as we resurrected a dormant chapter. We feel very fortunate for our opportunities this year and the successful heights our chapter attained. We can’t wait to get started in 2008 and look forward to continue to build our chapter membership and make our presence felt in our local community.
WASATCH WARRIOR CHAPTER - HILL AFB, UT Submitted by Capt Mackenzie Shultz The Wasatch Warriors Chapter at Hill AFB has been very active this snowy winter. October was highlighted by a discussion from our Contracting Director, Mr. Roger Correll. Mr. Correll gave insight on the future of contracting, highlighting the regionalization concept. Continued on following page...
November was the highlight of our year. We started the month celebrating Veteran’s Day at Mountain View Assisted Living facility. Twenty chapter members were treated to dinner and socializing with the residence’s Veterans and their spouses. The National Conference was next on our agenda and what a fantastic time! In addition to catching up with friends from afar, the hardworking men and women of the Wasatch Warrior chapter captured the coveted Lt Gen Donald J. Wetekam Large Chapter of the Year award for the second year running. Also, our very own Mr. Ryan Nichols of the 519 CBSS was one of the National Scholarship winners; a first for a Hill AFB civilian! We’ve been busy post-conference as well! In December, three of our members volunteered to recap a few nuggets from the National conference for our members who were not able to travel to Washington. Many thanks to Capt Will Thomas, Capt Dave Kunick and Ms. Pat Mulstay for providing those briefings to us. 2008 came in with a bang. January brought both Brigadier General Bruno, AFMC/A4, and Major General Gillett, ACC/A4, our way. We were treated to an afternoon social with BG Bruno with an AFMC “how goes it” discussion. The following week, we enjoyed listening to MG Gillett over lunch as he discussed the way ahead and transformation of logistics.
AIRBRIDGE CHAPTER – DOVER AFB, DE
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Submitted by Maj Andrew Levien The Dover Chapter was extremely busy over the last quarter and we have several outstanding events planned for the near future to help enhance our logistics professionals, specifically aiming to improve our Lean culture. In November, 13 of us took a tour of a local metals manufacturing plant, Camdel Metals, to learn about their Lean journey. Camdel Metals recently hired one of Dover’s reservists to help convert them to a Lean enterprise. This plant is exactly where Dover was two years ago and it was exciting to see how far Dover has come and how Dover team members are contributing to the local community. In December, 16 of us took a tour of the Boeing plant in Philadelphia—this Boeing plant produces the V-22 and the Chinook. On this tour we also took several airman and NCOs from the Maintenance Group to help spread the culture. We saw 5S, Visual Factory, and Continuous Process Improvement molded throughout the factory—all tools that we were able to compare to Dover’s processes and ID ways for improvement in our organizations. In addition to these trips, we have had two outstanding guest speakers at our meetings. Col Steve Harrison, our Wing Commander, spent an hour with us talking about logistics professionals and the challenges we as leaders will face in the months and years to come as we continue to work with less people and aging weapon systems. It was a mentoring session to be remembered. We also had the good fortune of hearing Lt Col Moynihan, our Mission Support Group Deputy Commander, talk to us about her deployment to Iraq. The stories and pictures she shared brought the mission home. It put our home mission into perspective and made us realize how important what we do here at Dover is! Over the next couple months, we are planning two more trips—one to the GE Engine plant in Ohio and the Toyota plant in Kentucky and one to the C-5 Depot at Warner Robins. These trips and some great speakers we are working into future meetings will continue to develop our current and future logisticians.
CROSSROADS CHAPTER – TINKER AFB, OK Submitted by Cat Brenden Shaw Tom Brokaw once wrote, “It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” An annual tradition of the members of the Tinker Crossroads chapter is to make that difference by volunteering their personal time to help the Oklahoma City,
Salvation Army Distribution Center to provide gifts to families of those less fortunate. A total of 25 volunteers comprised of military and civilian employees of the Tinker Air Logistic Center spent their weekends and personal leave time to ensure over 6,637 family members (4,008 children) and 410 senior citizens in the Oklahoma City area received gifts along with 2,379 boxes of food this year for needy families. The logistics of this event proved to be no small challenge given the ice storms and power outages which contributed to over 300,000 people this year being stranded without heat and power. Millions of toys, Christmas stockings and over 850 bicycles were donated by local businesses and families under the Angel Tree program. The Angel Tree Program allows individuals and partnering corporations to personalize a gift for a child in need By adopting an Angel and purchasing toys or clothing items for an individual child. Countless hours were expended to organize and distribute these toys to the appropriate families. According to Salvation Army leadership, this event simply wouldn’t happen without volunteerism. Though these are selfless acts, they are not without reward. The greatest of all comes from the expression on the faces of the people who are so very thankful to have something to put under the tree and on the table at Christmas time. Comments like, “We wouldn’t have had anything to give this year if it wasn’t for you!” and compelling stories, like the one from Ms. Charvella Rushing whose life changed from being a recipient of these items last year to come back and volunteer this year to provide for others. Ms. Rushing has spent the last 11 years as a self-employed paramedical insurance examiner. Though she made an average salary, her rent was too steep for a single Mother with a teenage son and an 8-yr old daughter. Only with the Salvation Army’s help and her volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity was she able to put a roof over her head, lower her monthly payments to $400 (on her home that she helped build) and provide food, clothing and an education for her family. In her own words, Ms. Rushing mentioned that, “In life there are takers and then there are givers, but I think people who are at the poverty level spend so much time trying to survive and get ahead that they find it difficult to focus on their jobs. Additionally, it is very difficult to change from taking mode to giving mode, but working with Habitat allows you to see that working on your own house or helping others has a reward all it’s own…and until you experience it firsthand it is hard to grasp. Regardless of socioeconomic status EVERYONE IN LIFE IS A TAKER AND A GIVER AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER it is just a part of every aspect of life, from being a mom, girlfriend, ex-wife, daughter, child of god, employee, friend, mentor, enemy, student, teacher, child etc. I remind everyone, life is full of choices good and bad, please live in the moment and remember that every person on the face of earth has value.” This experience can best be summarized by a quote from Winston Churchill who said, “You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.” Continued on following page...
SPIRIT CHAPTER - WHITEMAN AFB MO Submitted by: 1Lt Joshua C. Christopher The “Spirit” Chapter just closed out on a successful year chock-full of activities. Last June we raised nearly $2K at our annual basewide golf tournament. With these funds we were able to give away $1K in scholarships. Enlisted members of our wing in a logistics career field pursuing higher education submitted essays to compete and three were awarded. In addition donations were made in support of the Air Force Aid Society. Tours are also planned quarterly to examine logistics processes in the corporate world. Recent tours included the Boeing JDAM plant and Anheuser-Busch Brewery in St Louis MO. In addition, our regular monthly luncheon meetings are accompanied by guest speakers from all around the logistics community at home station and beyond. Special meetings are held in the cases of distinguished visitors such as a recent guest, Dr. Ron Ritter, Special Assistant for Air Force Smart Operations and others whom which are able to stop on by.
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TEXOMA CHAPTER – SHEPPARD AFB TX Submitted by Maj James D. Upchurch It’s been a while since the Texoma Chapter reported in to Crosstalk so bear with us as we give you an update on what we’ve been up to! The executive board developed an aggressive 2007 campaign and through teamwork, membership support, and leadership involvement, the plan was a tremendous success! We primarily focused on improving the professional development of our logistics officers and civilians through a number of opportunities such as tours, guest speakers, and senior leader briefings. Tours included a trip to the Peterbuilt Plant in Denton TX where they build up to 100 big rigs per day! We then visited the Lockheed Martin complex in Ft Worth TX for a unique look into the F-35 logistics and sustainment processes. The National Conference topped off our off-site visits with 15 of our loggies attending. Guest speakers this past year included Mr. Dale W. Meyerrose (USAF Maj Gen Ret), Assoc Director, National Intelligence and Chief Information Officer for the US Intelligence Community, who gave a remarkable brief on a number of high level issues including GWOT support. In addition, we were fortunate to have Maj Gen Dave Gillette, ACC/A4, provide us with an excellent discussion on several topics to include the enterprise approach to logistics transformation, the importance of the Mx/Muns TTP and how critical process improvement efforts are to the future of logistics. Professional development continued with briefings from Sheppard’s senior leadership on AETC’s role in building the Iraqi and Afghanistan Tech Training Schoolhouse, a look into the Joint Logistics arena, and the newly developed AFMx21 Strategic Plan that is setting the groundwork for AF Mx for the next 20 years. Additional programs included a professional reading review/discussion and a partnership with Altus and Tinker for LOG 199/299 courses. The Texoma Chapter continues to support our newest Maintenance Officers graduating AMMOC by providing a one year National LOA membership to the Distinguished Graduate of each class – 12 in 2007. 2007 was a great year for the Texoma Chapter. And 2008 is shaping up to be just as exciting! You’ll be hearing about that in future updates! K
Give Them the Recognition They Deser ve! Do you know someone who always goes above and beyond? Nominate those deserving individuals for a National Award! NOMINATIONS ARE DUE 1 AUGUST. M I C H A E L E . Z E T T L E R L I F E T I M E A C H I E V E M E N T A W A R D - This award recognizes members of the Logistics Officer Association who have demonstrated sustained superior leadership in service to this organization. The nominees for this award will have at least 20 years of service in a logistics related career and also at least 10 years of membership in the LOA. G E O R G E T. B A B B I T T A W A R D - This award recognizes the two LOA National members who made the greatest contributions to the furthering of LOA Nationalâ€™s goals and objectives. M A RY L . S A U N D E R S C H A P T E R D I S T I N G U I S H E D S E R V I C E A W A R D - This award recognizes the three LOA National members who made the greatest contributions in support of their local LOA Chapter activities. D O N A L D J . W E T E K A M C H A P T E R O F T H E Y E A R A W A R D - This award recognizes the chapter (large category) which displayed outstanding support of LOA National objectives, innovation of programs for their local membership, and community involvement. J A M E S L . H A S S C H A P T E R O F T H E Y E A R A W A R D - This award recognizes the chapter (small category) which displayed outstanding support of LOA National objectives, innovation of programs for their local membership, and community involvement. All nominations are due by 1 August 2008 and should be sent via e-mail to InfoOfficer@loanational.org. Chapter leadership should refer to http://www.loanational.org/g-5.htm for specific guidance on award nominations.
Milestones MAJ ROEL ZAMORA
Just finished the MBA program at the Naval Postgraduate School. Our EFMP assignment to Beale fell through at the last minute, but I was able to get released for an ROTC instructor job at CSU Sacramento so we can take advantage of the great autism services in the area. As one of my old Pro Supers used to say, sometimes you fall into a pile of crap and find a diamond. Take care, all! Z
COL MICHAEL PELLETIER
After two years at Edwards as the 412th Maintenance Group deputy commander and then commander, my family and I moved to the OC-ALC at Tinker AFB. I assumed command of the 555th Aircraft Sustainment Sq and in that capacity serve as the B-1B System Program Manager, responsible for all modernization and sustainment support for the mighty BONE.
COL (RET) DEB SHATTUCK
It’s hard to believe, but 25 years of service absolutely flew by and now I’m Col retired Deb Shattuck. My retirement ceremony was on 4 Jan 08. Fortunately, there were no boxes to pack afterwards (13 moves in 25 years was plenty, thank you very much) because Cliff and I are going to stay put right here in Rapid City, South Dakota, near Mount Rushmore and the beautiful Black Hills. Be sure to drop us a line if you’re passing through. KEEP ‘EM FLYING—SAFELY!! K
LOGISTICS OFFICER ASSOCIATION Post Office Box 2264 Arlington, VA 22202
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Permit No. 768 Nashville, Tennessee