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Col Emily Buckman

Vice President Lt Col Chris Boring

Chief Financial Officer Maj Mike Sander

Chief Information Officer Ms. Wendy Yonce

Membership Development Maj Alex Mol

Chapter Support

Maj Camille LaDrew

Executive Senior Advisor Lt Gen Judith Fedder

Webmaster/Website Lt Col (ret) JD Duvall

THE EXCEPTIONAL RELEASE Editor Lt Col Rich Fletcher, 436 MXG/CD

Assistant Editor

Col (ret) Mary H. Parker, 412 AMXS/MXAD

ER Worldwide Staff

Lt Col Michelle Hall, AFSOC/A4RX Maj James Dorn, 92 AMXS/CC Maj Timothy Dodson, 55 AMXS/CC Maj Dara Hobbs, AFSPC/A4RDX Capt Scott Manno, 927 LRS/LGR

President’s Log………………………………………………..3 Editor’s Debrief……………………………………………....6 From the E-Ring…………………………………………........7 Lt Gen Judith Fedder

Senior Leader Perspective…………………………………13 Brig Gen Kathryn Johnson

Pillar in Our Community…………………………………..18 Marta Hannon

Focus on Chapter Leader………………………………......22 Focus on CGO……………………………………………….24 Training the Future as an OTS Flight Commander …………………………………...28 Captain Edwin Gaston

Optimizing the LRO role within a Building Partner Capacity Mission ……………………...36 Captain Sofia Ciro

Balanced Scorecard Metrics for a Maintenance Group...…………………………………..…..42 Major Adrienne Stahl

Organizational Compliance Model………………………55 Major Michael Boswell

HERE’S A TOAST…………………………………………..67

LOA National PO Box 2264 – Arlington, VA 22202 Issue No. 130 – Summer 2014


PRESIDENT’S LOG(ISTICS) A word from our National Board President Greetings LOA Members! I hope you all are enjoying the beautiful Spring Season. I'm excited to update you on LOA's most recent activities. Our primary focus continues to be on executing our upcoming LOA Symposium and ongoing efforts we are pursuing to support the professional development of Logisticians. As you know, the 2014 Symposium is scheduled for 20-22 October...I really hope to many of you attend if your calendar allows--it will also be a Virtual Streaming

Colonel Emily Buckman

Event again (beyond DoD channels), but the goal is to bring as many folks to the large forum in DC for the face-to-face LOA University/Senior Leader Professional Development Event too. If you have been on our website recently you probably noticed our marketing of the Symposium has just started. I am very pleased with the progress being made in such a short period of time, and all the credit goes to Col Eric Jackson and his conference team. Despite a reduced budget and DoD conference limitations, Eric and his team are planning a Symposium I think will be every bit as informative and enjoyable as past events. Speaker invitations are out, and several senior DoD and corporate leaders have already accepted. We will send out more info to you shortly as specifics continue to solidify. My only request at this time is that you mark your calendar and continue to support LOA with this event


as you have in the past...we certainly will appreciate the experience and energy you bring each year.

Along that same thought, I want to mention a unique approach we took with event planning support. As I mentioned Col Eric Jackson has assembled a first-class team...some from locations spread across our AF, but the majority are from the NCR Chapter and the Mount Vernon Chapter at Ft Belvoir. Additionally, we found it necessary to seek assistance from nonDoD individuals to assist with fund-raising...and many other details that can't be done by busy officers during the AF day. Fortunately, we found a professional event planning team that organizes multiple events throughout the year, and operates with no financial risk to LOA. This is by all accounts the ideal arrangement for our current business model. I am pleased to report they are already making great strides and have seamlessly integrated into our organic team assembled by Col Jackson. Expect to see the great results of their work at the symposium in October. Another LOA announcement soon to be advertised is a "Race For Awareness" campaign. This effort is not to be confused with any type of Cancer research/fundraising, RFA is actually a non-profit organization that helps promote fundraising efforts. LOA leaders (our webmaster, Lt Col(ret) JD Duvall, and Maj (ret) Lou Littleton) have teamed with this organization to help raise LOA scholarship and professional development funds, foster teamwork/LOA pride, promote fitness, and provide LOA coins for those who wish to receive them (an alternate approach based on DoD conference attendance limitations). Not only do I think this will accomplish all those lofty goals, I am most impressed with the resourcefulness of LOA members. It's truly amazing to see some of the unique ideas and talents we have in LOA.


In a previous update, I mentioned our plan to pursue a LOA Certification. I am pleased to announce that this endeavor continues to progress. Our Chief Learning Officer, Col (ret) Dave Koch, along with Lt Col Scott Hopper and others have done amazing work to take this quickly from concept to reality. This effort has been attempted by LOA in the past, and I know it's close to fruition this time. This is an effort that will greatly benefit a wide range of LOA and not-so new members. The forecast on this opportunity is very positive. Our plan is to roll out details to the entire LOA membership in the coming weeks, and we hope to have our first round of Logisticians enrolled this summer. We believe this effort will help not only the development of our Active and Reserve members, but also give those currently serving in Corporate America the opportunity to compete well against other logisticians. Last, we are preparing to start another round of LOA Executive Board elections. Following LOA By Laws, the Vice President and Chief Information officer elections will be held this year. If you or you know of anyone up to the challenge, please run or encourage your coworkers to run for one of these seats following the announcement to all LOA members in the coming weeks. I can't overstate the great work that has been done by Lt Col Chris Boring (VP) and Ms Wendy Yonce (CIO) in these positions for the past 2 years. LOA Teammates, LOA is about you and we are here to serve you. The Executive Board and I welcome and need your candid feedback to help make LOA even better than it is today. Respectfully, Emily Buckman Col, USAF


Editor’s Debrief Restructuring the Force…All Air Force loggies with at least 10 years of active service has witnessed the Air Force “restructure the force.” Once again, our Service confronts a monumental challenge of balancing fiscal constraints and right-sizing the force. This balancing act unfortunately necessitates the always tough decision to terminate the service of great Airmen to made a commitment to serve our Nation. Right or wrong, restructuring the force through Force Management Programs and retirement of aircraft Lt Col Rich Fletcher

places burdens on the logistics community. Those burdens

can be addressed in a number of ways as articulated by a number of authors in this edition of the Exceptional Release. As always, Lt Gen Fedder’s article gives us keen insight from the hallways of the Pentagon. Her perspective is invaluable and ensures we remain confident the direction we are heading. Brig Gen “KJ” Johnson shares with us changes to the USAF logistics IT systems in an ever-changing world. Major Adrienne Stahl looks at Maintenance Metrics by asking us whether we are measuring the right things and recommends more appropriate metrics. Additionally, Major Mike Boswell offers one perspective on ensuring organizational compliance…a topic all loggies should never forget. Finally, Capt Gaston and Capt Ciro offer an inside look into two valuable programs for our Service and Nation. Finally, after 8 years as a field editor and 3 years editor for the Exceptional Release, I am handing the reins to Lt Col Jim Dorn. Truly, I have enjoyed my time on the ER staff and thank the past 3 LOA Presidents for giving me autonomy. I especially want to thank the team…Marta, Mary, Michelle, Paul, Jim, Scott, Tim, Dara, Donna, and Meilyn…for all the steadfast support. Keep the mission moving…. Fletch 6

FROM THE E-RING Restructuring the Force It would be hard to miss the magnitude of decisions and potential changes across the Total Force in recent months. As we have observed, our Air Force leadership has set forth on a course of action to build and sustain the kind of capability that only the Air Force can provide. In making the tough budget decisions at hand the Secretary and the Chief have remained true to our five core missions of Air & Space Superiority, Global Strike, Rapid Global Mobility, Intelligence/Surveillance/Reconnaissance, and Command & Control. They have us all focused on

Lt Gen Judith Fedder

figuring out how we can best support these missions—today and into the future—with the resources we have to work with. Their resolve reminds us that everything we do tracks back to supplying these National imperatives. From flightline to HQ, we’re linked to the same objectives. Still, we need to look closer at the range of tough calls that have to be made to keep us on track with the common objectives of our five core missions. The most significant of which revolves around force management initiatives and how we manage them to shape our collective as Air Force logisticians.


Steve Jobs once said, “For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” That sounds like good advice. Our work is fulfilling, challenging, satisfying, and at times conflicting. Yet as we look to the future the demands of National Security are unending. We need to support retaining those with the stamina and passion to lead in times ahead. Having a small network of peers and supervisors for mentoring and career advice offers the opportunity to receive and provide a candid assessment of potential, and a meaningful discussion on how an individual’s long term goal aligns with the needs of the Air Force. These advisors can really help in deciding what to do when faced with a force management option. We should all take responsibility to help fellow Airmen—uniformed and civilian—by productive and welcomed mentoring. Helping prepare an Airman for their future is vital, but it is equally important to do so with the most information available about the force management programs they face. All of us should dig into the Air Force Portal and other credible sources to understand as much as we can about how we’ll be implementing these initiatives and options. Air Force leadership has made transparency an essential component of force management and has testified on how the Air Force needs to reduce manpower in order to meet mandated end strength requirements. Within our functional community, transparency is essential to shaping how logistics cuts should be made. For example, the uncertainty of legacy aircraft retirements and new weapon system beddown requirements are driving execution challenges within maintenance manpower just as we’re facing decisions on how to implement force shaping. We have relied on multiple sources—from


wing to MAJCOM to Air Staff—to highlight the impact of these force reductions and have been able to mitigate some of those cuts in the interest of preserving readiness. So what other opportunities are there amidst all this change? At the logistics enterprise level there are many, but one I want to emphasize is Repair Network Integration (RNI). RNI is a game-changer that will enable us to better deal with any reductions of maintenance manpower. RNI networks allow us to maximize the effect of our off-equipment maintenance capability and protect mission-generating AFSCs, which is key to ramping up flying hours in order to boost readiness. Some repair work currently done by backshop AFSCs will ultimately consolidate into Weapon Systems Centralized Repair Facilities (CRFs) to improve efficiency and provide exactly what the AF supply chain needs to meet the demands of the flightline. What was once a vision is now the way we do business‌more and more! Mentoring, transparency and opportunity, when used effectively, can align the needs of the Air Force with the desires of our most important assets, our people. Whether staying in the Air Force or moving into another profession, I encourage you to continually challenge yourself to develop your critical skills, and constantly work to do


so in your subordinates. Be transparent with your people to build and establish trust, and never shy away from a challenge—it may be the catalyst to finding the next great opportunity. The great work of our logisticians does not go unnoticed, and I thank you for what you do each and every day for our Air Force. It is an honor to serve with you. Lt Gen Judith Fedder Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Installations, and Mission Support Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.

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DV Tour/Reception Industry Partner Sponsored Loggie Reception Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 Event Speaker Conference Command Post Operational Breakfast Registration Open Industry Partner Exhibit Hall opens Admin Remarks LOA President Chapter Awards LOA President/ CIO Panel - Developing Logisticians (AD, Guard, Main Stage Panel Reserve) Main Stage Speaker USTRANSCOM CC HAF A3/5 Main Stage Speaker 12 Break 2014 LOA National Awards Luncheon Industry Partner Exhibit Hall Closes

SENIOR LEADER PERSPECTIVE In step with Brigadier General Kathryn Johnson, the Director of System Integration, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. Changing the way we do business, one IT system at a time As logisticians we know change is hard. Change is really hard in our community where the difficulty is multiplied by the sheer number of people that comprise it—close to one third of the total Air Force. Our Logistics Information Technology Systems (Log IT) are undergoing a significant change. We need modernized IT systems, particularly in the wake of the failed Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS). Our young Airmen join our service with the thought that the Air Force is a modern fighting platform, capable of dominance in Air, Space and Cyberspace...and it is. But then they log on to one of our many IT systems and hit the “green screens.” I am sure, as they stand there with their smart phones in

Brig Gen Kathryn Johnson

one hand and tablets in the other, that they think; “Can’t we do better than this?” The answer is we can and we should. Changing from ECSS In December 2012, the Air Force made the hard decision to cancel ECSS—a major Acquisition Category One program—where we spent $1.03 Billion dollars. In a 7 year period not a single usable capability was fielded and the costs were continuing to rise. In fact, the


program was originally to replace 214 different Logistics systems, but had been downsized to only provide one fourth of the original capabilities envisioned. Additionally, our acquisition partners said they could not deliver the capability until the year 2020. Finally, it was going to cost an additional $1 Billion dollars to finish fielding, plus another $1 Billion dollars to sustain. Our Logistics leadership quickly decided those dollars were simply not in the budget. In the Air Force, only the acquisition authority can make the decision to cancel an acquisition program, but the user community can make the …in favor of fielding ECSS…our systems had been in bare-bones sustainment for 7 years…no tech refreshes, no upgrade, no new code. Essentially, nothing was done.

recommendation to do so. Talk about a hard change! This was a one hundred and eighty degree shift from our previous

strategy. We had saved every penny that would have gone to upgrade and enhance our legacy systems in favor of fielding ECSS. That meant that our systems had been in bare-bones sustainment for 7 years…no tech refreshes, no upgrade, no new code. Essentially, nothing was done. So changing from that strategy of fielding a major Enterprise Resource Program was a huge shift. So where do we go from here? First, we needed to do some work on our legacy systems. We are investing a relatively small amount of money back into those critical legacy systems to get us some modernization, some remediation and address some compliance issues. We are working on things like the Integrated Logistics System – Supply by modifying the existing ILS-S web print capability to produce auditable documents, and modifying inventory management and warehouse validation functions to allow users to download the inventory count records to a hand held terminal. The Combat Ammunition Support System is getting a code roll from Java 1.0 to Java 3.0 that will also add functionality. All in all, 21 legacy systems are getting a boost.


Figure 1. With the cancelation of ECSS, these legacy Logistics IT systems are receiving upgrades.

But the work doesn’t end there. There is still a need to modernize our legacy environment and create new capabilities that will move our logistics community into a modern, and more flexible, business oriented, re-engineered process. These are our Capability Initiatives and are the second half of the Logistics IT strategy. We went back to the requirements development phase to get a better handle on how we do our business in the Logistics community and using YOU, our own Subject Matter Experts, we are writing the requirements deck in smaller, more tightly scoped capability packages that we hope to field There is still a need to modernize our legacy environment and create new capabilities that will move our logistics community into a modern, and more flexible, business oriented, re-engineered process.

faster and at lower costs. We have created a plan that we think is much more manageable in a building block approach that starts with Maintenance Repair and

Overhaul (MRO) for commodities at the Depot level.


Figure 2. Maintenance Repair Overhaul for Commodities building block.

We started with MRO as the first project because we felt it had the best chance of success. Additionally, the capabilities of MRO would enable work load sharing and greater efficiencies across all the Air Logistics Centers. Projects that have kicked off this year include the Product Lifecycle Management for Commodities, Item Master for Commodities, and some portions of Supply Chain Management. This is only a small portion of the work that needs to be done, and we are relying on YOU to tell us not only how you do your business today, but what improvements you want for the future to make your job easier and more efficient. All this change will continue to be hard and time consuming, but this two pronged approach to fixing our legacy systems and then working on modernization projects in a smaller, more tightly scoped manner with a focus on requirements, and deliver capability faster and at less cost will give the logistics community the greatest chance of success over change!


Figure 3. USAF Logistics IT governance and data management strategy.

About the author: Brigadier General Kathryn J. Johnson is the Director of System Integration, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. General Johnson plans, develops and implements innovative and transformative logistics concepts and initiatives across the full spectrum of the Air Force logistics enterprise to enable the evolving expeditionary air and space force. She develops architectures, and provides management and oversight across the full range of a diverse logistics information technology enterprise. She defines and integrates logistics management information systems requirements for the Global Combat Support System. General Johnson gained her commission from the United States Air Force Academy, where she graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management. She holds a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from the Air War College at Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, and a Masters Degree in Military Studies from the American Public University in Manassas, Virginia.


LOA Recognizes a Pillar in Our Community…. In step with Mrs. Marta Hannon, CIO of Standing Ovations Events and former Director of Symposium, Marketing and Publications for the Logistics Officers Association.

ER: Anyone who knows you understands your relationship with the Logistics Officers Association was more than just a business relationship. What was your inspiration for committing to the Logistics Officers Association? I believed in LOA – still do. The logistics community needed a way to promote professional growth through a cross flow of information on aviation maintenance policies, technical innovations and other logistics issues. I saw LOA as a means to provide an open forum to promote quality logistical support and professional development. They just needed help getting to that next step. ER: Over the 12 years you were a part of the Logistics Officers Association, what are your most fond memories? There are so many – it would be hard to just name a few. But I think first place has to go to the people I’ve met and worked with over the years. You can’t find better leaders and friends. It’s more than just a bunch of people who are all members of an association. We are all family and we care about LOA and what it stands for. ER: What is your hope for the future of the Logistics Officers Association? Any government association is going to face some very tough, lean years. LOA is strong, and it stands for such a fantastic cause. I know that it’s hard to tighten belts but in order for LOA to survive this it had to be done. I didn’t want to leave LOA, but that is what had to happen if the


organization is to survive. Now, more than ever, we need strong leaders and volunteers to carry her through this storm. ER: Give us a sense of your military affiliation prior to your relationship with the Logistics Officers Association. Essentially, none. Jim and I had just gotten married, and he had been a loyal LOA member early on. In 2002, LOA was in DC, hosted by the National Capital Region. Jim was President. So naturally I was roped into several volunteer duties. In 2003 the contract went out to bid for a new Conference Director. I was fortunate to have experience in conference planning and publishing from my years at Missouri Tourism. I poured my heart and soul into the organization. Through countless board turnovers, member deployments and new DoD rules – we all had to adapt. Plenty of sleepless nights and over the top stress – yet LOA grew and flourished. It was more than a job to me. It was – my baby. I truly hope I’ve left this organization in a better place and a stable foundation to continue this growth. ER: You spent a significant amount of time each year organizing the national conferences/symposiums. What was your secret to a successful event? Planning. Simple as that. I may not have ever been Active Duty but I AM a LOGGIE. Even with that – it takes a team. A really good, loyal team. I was fortunate to have a fantastic team, and some really valuable mentors. ER: The Exceptional Release has undergone a number of changes over the years. You played a significant role in those changes. In your opinion, what was the most significant change to the ER during your tenure? The first ER I assisted with was Spring 2003. I was so proud of that first issue! It was 32 pages plus cover. I look back at it now and realize how far we have come since then. My goal was to


bring it to a more reader friendly format, encourage more submissions and bring more information to the LOA community. We persevered through many editor changes. Each editor brought a new and unique perspective to the ER and LOA. We had many issues that were well over 100 pages. Packed with peer reviewed articles and insight to the Loggie community. It was not without struggle and as we grew so did the cost of production. Advertising dollars shrunk as industry partner ad dollars dried up, and the cost to LOA was unmanageable. That was when the decision to move from a printed tangible piece to an electronic format was made. It was the right and only decision for LOA at the time. We could not continue to support the magazine in a printed format. ER: So what now? What’s on your horizon? I was always a contracted entity to LOA. I was never an actual employee. My company – Standing Ovations Events – continues in the meeting and event planning business. I will always hold LOA near and dear – but it is time to step back and let it stand on its own. I know it can! I can step back in should LOA need my services again. In the meantime – if you or someone you know is looking for an event/meeting planner of our caliber be sure to mention us! Standing Ovations will make your event effortless, successful and well attended!

Dear Marta The men and women, past and present, are indebted to you for your unwavering service to our professional organization. You were more than just a resource; you were, and still are, a member of the family. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do.

The Logistics Officers Association



FOCUS ON A CHAPTER LEADER ER: What do you like most about being a loggie? As a Loggie we are in a unique position to not only effect change in the Air Force but in the Joint arena as well. ER: What was your biggest learning moment? My first deployment was to Afghanistan working in a Joint Operations Center. I learned how to articulate what the Air Force brings to the fight as well how all the Services interface to accomplish the mission. It was my first time working with the

The CFC-A JOC Crew during my first deployment to Camp Eggers, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug 2005. Photo taken by unknown photographer.

other Services and taught me the importance of Vital Statistics Name: Tammy McElhaney, Lt Col

team work. ER: What were you most proud of in your time

LOA Chapter: Alamo Chapter, Joint Base San Antonio,TX

on active duty?

Hometown: Lakeland, FL

I have been active duty for 16 years so not

College(s): University of South Florida Degrees: BA Criminology & MBA Logistics Management

exactly a short time. I am most proud of the fact that the Air Force has granted me the privilege of

Family: Lilly (daughter) Past Duty Titles: 502 LRS Commander 386 ELRS Commander Chief, Airmen Clothing & Individual Equip Student, Marine Corps Command and Staff College Joint Logistics Operations Officer Chief of DLA Director’s Staff Group Chief of Air Mobility Division Requirements Officer in Charge of Aircraft Services Officer in Charge of Air Terminal Operations Materiel Management Flight Commander Logistics Readiness Flight Commander Installation Deployment Officer Assistant Chief of Wing Plans Executive Officer Combat Readiness Flight Commander Vehicles Operations Flight Commander Chief of Transportation Resources

My daily motivation and my princess. My daughter Lilly, taken at the JBSA-LAK Holiday Tree lighting, 2013. Photo taken by Lt Col McElhaney.

commanding twice. To lead our Airmen is the greatest privilege for an officer and the biggest challenge of one’s career. ER: As a recognized leader in your local LOA Chapter, what activities/events are you most proud of? We have monthly lunches and mentorship sessions. Our members have a range of experience and use these sessions to give advice, network, and share information. Longtime friends and Loggies. Taken in 1997 at an AFROTC function at USF, Tampa. Photo taken by unknown photographer.


FOCUS ON A CGO IN THEIR OWN WORDS… There’s no doubt about it…logistics is a dynamic profession. If one thing remains constant though, it is the need to be flexible and adaptable. This is true at home and abroad. Leave it to the Company Grade Officer (along with many other valued service members) to face that challenge with gusto and get the job done right the first time. It is not always the loggie with the most years in service that is called to the job either. It is time to throw them a bone by putting them in the spotlight. Take for example, Captain Douglas E.

Enjoying time with his wife, Amanda, during a family vacation to China. Photo by Joslyn Curtis, Harbin China, Sept 2012.

Wiggers, Jr. Captain Wiggers began his journey in the Air Force after commissioning through Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) and graduating from North Carolina A&T State University. Captain

Climbing the Great Wall of China in Beijing. Photo by Joslyn Curtis, Sept 2012.

Wiggers’ family has had at least one Active Duty Air Force member serving consecutively since 1954. The son of a retired Chief Master Sergeant, he is proud to continue his family’s tradition of service. Capt Wiggers, now a Major


Select, completed Logistics Readiness Officer Technical Training in 2005 and is currently stationed at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph as an Ai r Expeditionary Force (AEF) Planner for the Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC). As an AEF Planner he is currently working on transitioning the AF to “AEF Teaming” (formerly known as AEF Next). Capt Wiggers has deployed numerous times in support of operations in Iraq, Romania and Africa. He is currently undergoing final preparations for his next deployment to Afghanistan.

The ER asked Captain Wiggers to share his thoughts on being a leader…in his own words. Captain Wiggers on his proudest moment(s): I’m most proud of my time as an Officer Training School instructor. My time as an instructor was a humbling one as I considered every day what an opportunity it was to help shape so many future leaders. While it remains the hardest job I have encountered in the military, it remains the most rewarding because I had a chance to sharpen so many different leadership skills and work with a group of awesome Company Grade Officers.

Spending time in the field together while serving as OTS instructors at Maxwell AFB. From left to right: Captains Gerard Fernandez, Ryan Thompson, Douglas Wiggers, Jason Read. Photo by Capt Holly Hollenbeck, Nov 2011.

Captain Wiggers on keeping leadership skills honed: Having already accomplished my graduate degree I frequently continue to read books steeped in leadership. The most recent book I’ve read was General Stanley McChrystal’s “My Share of The Task: A Memoir.” Next I plan to read “Designing Matrix Organizations That Actually Work” by Jay Galbraith; this book focuses on how companies like IBM and Proctor & Gamble plan for success. Mr. Galbraith states


“organization structures do not fail…but management fails at implementing them correctly.” I’ll be interested to read more on the topic, especially since AFPC is currently changing to a matrix organization.

Captain Wiggers on the leadership skills/traits that are most important to logistics officers: I believe one of the most important skills a loggie can have is to constantly research other DoD logistics organizations and find out what they have to offer. Once you have the information, save the contact information for those organizations whether it be web links or phone numbers. As logisticians we get tasked to figure out a range of problems, even though we may not always have the answer, it’s our job to find the solution. A great example of the Meeting General Schwartz (CSAF, Aug 2008-Aug 2012) at the 2011 Air Force Association (AFA) Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition in National Harbor, MD. Photo taken by unknown photographer, Sept 2011.

importance of this skill is when I was deployed to Africa with a Joint Special Operations Task Force in 2010 right before an Icelandic volcano

shut down all European and Northern Africa air operations. My task was to find a way to get our Special Operations Forces units home without air assets since we didn’t know when the volcanic ash would stop. Working with Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, we ordered a cruise ship. The ash clouds dissipated before we got the chance to use it, but to my knowledge I am the only AF logistician to successfully order a cruise ship as a mode of transport! I wouldn’t


have been able to do anything of this nature without understanding who the coordinating agencies were in the logistics arena. Captain Wiggers on his aspirations: As a logistician I am committed to trying to get our mission done cheaper, faster, and smarter. In a fiscally constrained environment, I’m looking forward to any challenge that allows me the opportunity to accomplish these goals.


Training the Future as an OTS Flight Commander Written by: Captain Edwin Gaston In August of 2010 my squadron commander called me to his office after the morning production meeting to ask me if I had applied for a special duty assignment without telling anyone. I had not, so I was very surprised to find out that I had received an assignment to Maxwell AFB as an Officer Training School (OTS) Flight Commander. There were some serious questions I had coming into this assignment: How would it impact my career? What opportunities would I have over the next three years to deploy or maintain the skills that my core Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) finds important? Upon coming back to maintenance after three years at OTS, I can say the assignment was an amazing experience and I am convinced it will prove to be beneficial to my career. My purpose in writing about being an OTS Flight Commander is to hopefully shed some light on this special duty assignment for other officers. I am certain the only reason more people do not volunteer for this duty is they just do not know enough about it and are concerned how it will influence their career. First, it’s helpful to understand how OTS is organized and its mission. OTS is a small (around 140 personnel, most of them CGOs) group-level organization under the Air University’s Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development, which also encompasses Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), and Civil Air Patrol-USAF. The OTS Commandant, a Colonel, oversees the operations of four squadrons and the $78 million OTS campus. The 22nd Training Support Squadron provides administrative, logistical, medical, and specialized training support for the other squadrons. Most of OTS’ enlisted airmen, including all Military Training Instructors (MTIs), Field Training staff, and 28

Physical Conditioning Instructors, are assigned to the 22nd. The 23rd Training Squadron handles Commissioned Officer Training (COT), a five-week training program for officers going into the medical, legal, and chaplain career fields. The 24th Training Squadron, where I was assigned for three years, is Basic Officer Training (BOT), a nine-and-a-half week course that commissions officers for Line of the Air Force career fields in the active duty and Reserve components, and for the first time in August 2013, a small number of Air National Guardsmen. BOT is the only program that always has at least one class in session and has used a senior class/junior class system to provide experiential leadership to officer trainees before graduation. The final unit at OTS is Air National Guard Detachment 12, the Academy of Military Science (AMS), which moved to the OTS campus from McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Base in 2009. The vast majority of Air National Guard officers are commissioned by AMS. AMS and BOT have been growing closer to implementing a “Total Force Course” over the past several years. This course would combine all Line of the Air Force officer accessions training for the Active Duty, Reserve, and Guard components. In any given year, more than 6,000 officer trainees and cadets transit through the OTS campus. This makes it an amazing opportunity for an officer to have an impact on the next generation of Air Force leaders.

BOT, COT, and AMS are all further divided into two or more “Student Squadrons” that help organize the trainees into a wing-type construct and open up more leadership opportunities for

both trainees and staff. As a Student Squadron Commander for several months in 2013, I was responsible for nine CGO Flight Commanders and anywhere from 40 to 90 trainees at a time. The OTS campus also plays host to six Air Force ROTC Field Training encampments during the summer months. In any given year, more than 6,000 officer trainees and cadets transit through


the OTS campus. This makes it an amazing opportunity for an officer to have an impact on the next generation of Air Force leaders. For non-volunteered officers, such as myself, there are several concerns about this assignment. I would like to address some of the most common concerns I encountered. Is being out of my core AFSC frowned upon and will it hurt my career? Being an OTS Flight Commander is simply one more avenue of pursuing career broadening, something found on every career field’s development pyramid. While it’s true I did not work inside my AFSC at OTS, the organizational and leadership skills I’ve sharpened by being a Flight Commander are priceless. As an instructor, you’re required to teach, train, counsel, evaluate, mentor, and lead flights of up to 16 trainees. Many of these trainees come to OTS with more experience than their Flight Commanders; some of my former trainees had been Army Warrant Officers, First Sergeants, Pararescuemen, business owners, PhDs, or professional athletes. Teaching and leading such individuals was an incredible leadership challenge that helped equip me for many of the challenges of leading Airmen in a maintenance organization. Further, your trainees’ problems are YOUR problems. Personal matters, performance deficiencies, lapses in Teaching and leading such individuals was an incredible leadership challenge that helped discipline, and medical issues are all part of equip me for many of the challenges of your responsibility as a Flight Commander, leading Airmen in a maintenance organization. just as they are in an operational unit. Many of the skills you hone at OTS are immediately transferrable back to maintenance. Additionally, promotion to Major and school selection rates for officers assigned to OTS match those of the Air Force at large. It’s true there are not as many deployment or TDY opportunities at OTS, but much of that is due to the general 30

reduction in deployment rates across the Air Force. OTS manning considerations do sometimes play a role, but squadron commanders do not usually get a vote in the process unless someone is volunteering for a deployment. In this case, there can be some reluctance to lose trained flight commanders for six months to a year, as it creates an even greater strain on the rest of the staff and severely limits the deployed officer’s time to show career progression while assigned to OTS. Are there limited options for advancement & career development? The squadron commanders at OTS are very aware of their officers’ need to show career advancement from year-to-year. As a Flight Commander, you can end up filling many different positions. Most officers spend about a year to a year and a half as a Flight Commander, “pulling” or “pushing” flights of trainees from arrival to graduation. Once you have a base of experience and proven performance as a Flight Commander, other opportunities may open up: Figure 1. Captain Gaston mentoring officer trainees. Photo courtesy of Capt Gaston.

Course Director, Student

Squadron leadership, Assistant Director of Operations, Standardization/Evaluations, Instructor Training, and Scheduling. I could talk all day about each of these, but what is important to know


is that there are opportunities to move around and learn new skills. While it’s possible that coming to OTS could mean you would be a Flight Commander doing one job for a solid three years, but it is definitely not the normal state of things. Additionally, there are opportunities for Executive Officer or Commander’s Action Group duty at Maxwell in the various organizations of Air University. As for professional development, most, but not all, Captains assigned to OTS will be able to go to SOS in-residence before they leave. There are also a variety of courses available locally at Air University. In particular, the Contingency Wartime Planning Course is one of the courses on the 21A, M, and R CFETPs, and is literally three blocks from the OTS campus. These courses are relatively easy to attend without the associated costs of TDY travel. I hated my time in ROTC/OTS/USAFA; why would I want to go back to that environment? Not everyone enjoyed their accessions training, and most of us have stories of inadequate instructors or Cadet Training Assistants who were not mentors. However, what you learn very quickly at OTS is there is no one, standard training approach all Flight Commanders must use, and if you did not like what you experienced as a cadet or trainee, you absolutely do not have to be the same way. You are encouraged to rely on your career field experiences and personal leadership style to form your method of instructing trainees. Throughout my time there, OTS

Figure 2. Officer Trainees exercising the USAF Combatives course. Photo courtesy of Capt Gaston.


leadership was adamant the staff conduct themselves professionally at all times: there is no tolerance for hazing, humiliating trainees, unprofessional relationships, or substandard performance. All instructors go through a rigorous training program to develop and test their teaching and evaluation skills, procedural knowledge, and ability to interact with trainees before they are ever entrusted with a flight of their own. Beyond learning how to teach in a class room, Flight Commanders are also taught how to evaluate, grade, manage, and debrief field leadership and classroom briefing events; facilitate and ensure student safety on a five-obstacle ropes course; and teach hand-to-hand fighting skills as ‌leaders must apply an effective mix of positive and negative incentives, pay attention to basic needs and motivations, provide for personal growth and development, set and enforce standards, and clearly communicate expectations and mission details.

part of the Air Force Combatives Program. Flight Commanders are evaluated on a regular basis, and constantly receive feedback from more experienced staff members to sharpen their skills. What you also learn is that training

is not about yelling and ordering trainees around. Just like with the Airmen in a maintenance organization, leaders must apply an effective mix of positive and negative incentives, pay attention to basic needs and motivations, provide for personal growth and development, set and enforce standards, and clearly communicate expectations and mission details. There’s nothing to do in Montgomery, Alabama! This is perhaps the easiest misconception to address. Most officers I have met have only been to Montgomery for ASBC and SOS; their view of the area is colored by those experiences. While you do have to deal with enthusiastic Alabama and Auburn college football fans, the River Region, as the area is known, is a great place for families and singles alike. Montgomery has been growing steadily over the past decade, and boasts a minor league baseball team, a world-class Shakespeare festival, big-name


concerts like Willie Nelson and Alice Cooper, and numerous restaurants of a variety of styles. There are biking, running, and hiking trails nearby, several lakes, and numerous areas for hunting and fishing. Montgomery is an hour’s drive from Birmingham, two-and-a-half from Atlanta, three from the Gulf Coast, five from New Orleans, and six from Nashville. As with most places, there is plenty to do for those willing to look. I loved my time as an OTS Flight Commander. One of the most important benefits is being able to build a network of friends and contacts in a wide variety of career fields and locations very quickly. I have former trainees in every Major Command and at bases from Yokota to Mildenhall, Los Angeles to Hanscom. Furthermore, the other Flight Commanders I’ve worked with have been absolutely topnotch officers. Several have been picked up for highly competitive Air Force Institute of Technology programs and Intermediate Developmental Education in residence. The variety of career fields represented on the OTS staff is incredible: I worked closely with Security Forces, Acquisition, Developmental Engineering, Public Affairs, Cyberspace Operations, Finance, Weather, Intelligence, and Space Operations officers…to name a few. These officers come from a variety of commissioning sources, bases, components, and deployment backgrounds, which mean that interacting with them gave me a better all-around view of the Air Force than I would have gained otherwise. It also means I have a network of colleagues across the Air Force in a number of functional areas that can potentially help during PCS, TDYs, deployments, and day-to-day projects. Finally, the best part about being a Flight Commander at OTS is the mission itself. Within a few short weeks, you get to see individuals, some just off the street, become confident, capable officers. The changes that some of them make are really remarkable, and my own leadership abilities have grown due to the experience. Believe it or not, the work hours were 34

much longer than my previous maintenance jobs, but it has been extremely rewarding to take part in training and developing the Air Force’s newest officers. Many of these fresh Lieutenants very quickly go on to do amazing things at their bases. It’s incredibly gratifying to hear back from them about all the great work that they have been doing and the impact that you had on them as an instructor. Upon returning to a maintenance unit, I can say without any hesitation that being an OTS Flight Commander was an amazing opportunity and experience. The concerns I had coming into the assignment were more than addressed by the benefits that I found. The mission is different from producing sorties and looking after the health of the fleet, but it’s no less rewarding to see a jet come back home after completing a mission than it is to watch your newly-minted Second Lieutenants march across the parade ground on graduation day. Figure 3. Captain Gaston providing instruction prior to an assault course exercise. Photo courtesy of Capt Gaston

About the author: Captain Edwin Gaston received his commission from Air Force ROTC upon graduation from Louisiana State University in 2006. He is currently the AMU OIC for the 605th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. From October 2010 to October 2013 he was assigned to the 24th Training Squadron, Officer Training School, at Maxwell AFB. He has held jobs as AMU Assistant OIC, Fabrication Flight Commander, Group Executive Officer, Flight Commander/Instructor, Student Squadron Director of Operations, and Student Squadron Commander/Evaluator


Optimizing the LRO role within a Building Partner Capacity Mission Written by Capt Sofia Ciro For most of their careers United States Air Force Logistics Readiness Officers (LROs) serve in a variety of logistics and leadership roles. At the Inter-American Air Forces Academy (IAAFA) the role of an LRO is further transformed. In the sole 21R position at IAAFA, an LRO serves as both an instructor and flight commander in a selectively-manned bilingual position. Most importantly, this unique LRO role optimizes the existing logistics foundation as a core for the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission BPC is managed by Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) and the Military Departments (MILDEPs) in support of assistant Secretary of Defense to equip, supply, and train foreign military forces (including maritime security forces) to conduct counter-terrorism operations, or participate in support of military and stability operations in which United States forces are participating.

in Latin America (LATAM). To understand this unique LRO role, first it is important to know the definition of BPC and IAAFA’s mission statement. The Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management (DISAM) defines BPC as follows: “BPC is managed by Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) and the Military Departments (MILDEPs) in support of assistant Secretary of Defense to equip, supply, and train foreign military forces (including maritime security forces) to conduct counterterrorism operations, or participate in support of military and stability operations in which United States forces are participating.” The LRO

takes the basic BPC concepts found in this definition, and combines them with logistics functions, thereby incorporating logistics principles into IAAFA’s mission. From IAAFA’s foundation at Albrook Field, Panama in 1943, through the move to Lackland Air Force Base in 1992, IAAFA still stands as the only educational institution in the USAF that executes a


regionally-focused mission. IAAFA’s mission is to “foster enduring Inter-American engagement through education and training.” For this reason, the LRO’s main objective is to deliver firstclass International Logistics and Materiel Management courses that promote joint and global logistics education and training that enables the BPC mission in LATAM. Although the above explanation offers a brief description of this unique role, the essence of optimizing the LRO role with BPC mission is contained within the following parameters: strategic impact, education and training, and engagement.

Figure 1. Captain Sofia Ciro (front/center) accompanied by two USAF logistics instructors from her team— SSgt Cesar Salgado (end of left column) and TSgt Hector Rodriguez (end of right column). Students from the Colombian Army Aviation and National Police, and the Mexican and Colombian Navy attended the International Logistics Course in 2014. Photo courtesy of Capt Ciro.

Strategic Impact: Every task that an LRO executes while assigned to IAAFA has a regionally strategic impact. For example, as a flight commander, the LRO manages four courses: International Logistics, Materiel Management, On-the-Job Training and Basic Instructor Course. Each of the 34 courses in IAAFA, including the ones mentioned above, are carefully designed, written, modernized, and delivered in Spanish. This is to meet the training and educational needs of military forces and government agencies from 21 LATAM Partner Nations (PN). Therefore, the LRO is a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for instruction and course development on logistics principles and functions, Security Assistance, Foreign Military Sales (FMS), and Materiel


Management concepts. This is essential not only to enable the LATAM BPC mission, but also to provide logistics training to United States NORTHCOM and SOUTHCOM geographic combatant command personnel. This unique training is tailored to maximize LATAM PN’s capabilities to operate in a joint capacity and pursue regional stability. Another example of regional strategic impact consists of leading a diverse team of USAF and LATAM PN instructors, responsible for educating and training students from the Western Hemisphere. In order to do so, the LRO applies unique cross-cultural and language skills to interact with the international students of IAAFA. For example, among the four courses previously mentioned, the LRO hosts a total of 60 distinguished representatives, who are guest speakers/instructors, from various LATAM countries each academic ‌the LRO bridges gaps among the PN cycle. As the primary instructor for the students by facilitating classroom discussion, fostering Inter-Americanism, and keeping the International Logistics course, the LRO can course interesting for seasoned leaders teach up to 16 students representing countries without leaving the younger personnel behind. such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and Uruguay. Their ranks could range from Corporal (E-1) to Colonel (O-6). To overcome the challenges of teaching a diverse group of students with a broad range of experience, and multi-cultural backgrounds the LRO must thoughtfully tailor the lesson plans. In other words, the LRO bridges gaps among the PN students by facilitating classroom discussion, fostering Inter-Americanism, and keeping the course interesting for seasoned leaders without leaving the younger personnel behind. Additionally, each course in IAAFA offers a suitable environment for instructors and students to learn from one another about military structure, culture, and how their respective defense departments operate. Most importantly, they


freely exchange ideas, build enduring partnerships, and promote professional relationships that will last a lifetime.

Figure 2 Captain Sofia Ciro (front row/right side) and SSgt Jaime Torres (center back row) in front of the Logistics Readiness Squadron at Lackland AFB along with the students from Mexico, Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Honduras during a 2012 tour of the facility. Photo courtesy of Capt Ciro.

Education and Training: The International Logistics course focuses on building logistics capabilities in LATAM PNs by enhancing their knowledge about logistics organizations, use of publications, management of Security Assistance, and FMS. Materiel Management focuses on building their capabilities to improve supply systems at base level to include inventory management, storage and distribution, warehouse and storage safety principles, and hands-on training for warehouse development, e.g. operating a forklift. The lesson on FMS has a significant impact on the students that manage their countries’ side of the FMS program. The objectives cover the acquisition, accountability, and management of FMS assets. Specifically, lessons include essential processes for an FMS customer to request and acquire defense articles from the United States government, i.e. the review process for Letters of Request and Acceptance. Additionally, the essence of BPC is personified in the experiences students share while training at IAAFA. A


student from Uruguay who attended the International Logistics course in 2013 said, “My experience in IAAFA was extremely positive. Learning about USAF logistics programs enhanced my vision on how I can employ macro-level logistics techniques in the contracting and acquisition field.” He added that this was the first time sharing experiences with military professionals from other nations and it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to make new friends with people from so many different countries. Another former student from Argentina, who attended the Materiel Management course said, “My experience in IAAFA was of dual benefit—both professional and personal. First of all, being in the Materiel Management course exposed me to the latest information regarding publications and how I can better utilize the resources I manage. Secondly, the best part of being in IAAFA was to make friends with people from other Latin American countries.”

Figure 3. Captain Sofia Ciro (left side) and her flight NCOIC TSgt Hector Rodriguez (right side) pose for a class photo at the IAAFA circle of flags with students from Colombia, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Panama, and Uruguay. The students are not only from different countries, but also represent branches of various service components—Army, Navy, Air Force and National Police. Photo courtesy of Capt Ciro.


Engagement: The mentorship role of the LRO in IAAFA has great significance as one leads a cadre of six cross-cultural bilingual instructors, four of which are logisticians. Overall, IAAFA instructors are exceptional and it is well demonstrated by the logistics instructors. For example, …the LRO and his/her team incorporate in the

instructional lessons the elements of the American culture, democratic values, and promotion of Inter-Americanism while emphasizing human rights.

aside from being SMEs in all aspects of logistics, the LRO and his/her team must be able to instruct in Spanish and articulate key concepts about their core career field, the USAF, and the

United States government—IAAFA students see IAAFA instructors as their regional partners and USAF ambassadors. In other words, the LRO and his/her team must operate with a strategic mentality to enable the BPC mission and, at the same time, be in a position to act as a United States representative to numerous LATAM partners. To put this into context, the LRO and his/her team incorporate in the instructional lessons the elements of the American culture, democratic values, and promotion of Inter-Americanism while emphasizing human rights. Additionally, IAAFA hosts eleven guest instructors and their families from seven LATAM countries: Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, Ecuador, Brazil, Honduras, and El Salvador. Although the Logistics courses do not have a guest instructor assigned currently, enormous potential exists to expand this program in the future and include a Latin American logistician on the team. The guest instructors are crucial to the success of IAAFA’s mission and the bonds they create with the USAF instructors extend outside the classroom. IAAFA integrates both the guest instructors and their families in the mission and community. Their families become valued coworkers, wingmen, and friends. Their presence in IAAFA represents the United States’ commitment to strengthen partnerships within LATAM.


Figure 4. Capt Sofia Ciro (center) at Inter-American Air Forces Academy, Joint Base San Antonio, TX.

In conclusion, the LRO role at IAAFA is extremely important. Being part of a crosscultural force of professionals, commits an LRO to redefine his/her roles as a logistician and as an Airman. Most importantly, the IAAFA experience serves as an inspiration to promote Airpower in Latin America by enabling the BPC mission and sharing it with our partners. We cannot have global vigilance, global reach, or global power for America, without partnerships. Serving in IAAFA requires reaching out to people, connecting to others through traditions, culture, and most importantly, incorporating logistics as well as other USAF core competencies and core values into IAAFA’s vision: “Airpower’s gateway to the Americas… training standard of excellence for today…building partnership for tomorrow.” IAAFA members set the standard of service as wingmen to PN around the world. About the author: Capt Sofia Ciro is a Logistics Readiness Officer assigned to IAAFA as the International Logistics and Training Management flight commander. She is the primary instructor for the International Logistics course and is also responsible for the Materiel Management, On-the-Job Training, and Basic Instructor Courses. She was born in Colombia, and is a native Spanish speaker. She has been a LOA member since 2007. To learn more about IAAFA visit: Or on Facebook: 42

Written by Maj Adrienne Stahl This article is an abridged version of a thesis paper submitted by Major Stahl while attending the Air Force Institute of Technology. Please contact the author directly to obtain an unabridged version of the research

Successful organizations have long recognized performance metrics as a vital method of establishing tangible goals for employees, understanding where they are succeeding, or identifying areas in need of improvement. Performance metrics provide leaders a means to manage by fact rather than by feel or anecdote. Since the goal of any manager is to extract the maximum potential of every resource in every Since the goal of any manager is to extract the process, effective measurement tools are maximum potential of every resource in every necessary to maximize efficiency and value, and process, effective measurement tools are necessary to maximize efficiency and value, minimize waste and error. and minimize waste and error. In Aircraft Maintenance, the criticality of sound decisions and the importance of the mission necessitate effective metrics to maximize readiness and combat capability. The challenging landscape of today's Air Force is an aging fleet with a reduced force structure during the tightest budget constraints of modern times. Considering this, one can easily see how maintenance metrics will play an important role today and in the future. The objective of this research was to assess the relevance of current metrics to the leaders and decision makers that use them, determine the optimal frequency of their review, evaluate individual metrics against objective criteria, and adapt, propose and evaluate a balanced scorecard metrics framework for use by a Maintenance Group. These objectives led to the


research question: What metrics should be used in the Maintenance Group balanced scorecard framework to meet the needs of the Combat Air Forces (CAF) Maintenance Community? The balanced scorecard approach was introduced in 1992 as an attempt to reconcile performance measurement problems in traditional management strategies. The creators of the balanced scorecard framework, Kaplan and Norton, realized the importance of having an easily understood method of providing managers a comprehensive view of organizational performance that allows them to see the interrelationship between the various components and processes. The four perspectives of the balanced scorecard focus on the strategic objectives of an organization and include the Customer Perspective, the Internal Process Perspective, the Financial Perspective and the Learning and Growth Perspective. Kaplan and Norton “recognize these four perspectives should be considered a template, not a straight jacket” (Kaplan & Norton, 1996). Organizations must use some latitude to tailor the framework to best fit their requirements. To meet the unique requirements of a typical CAF Maintenance Group, the researcher made adjustments to Kaplan and Norton's balanced scorecard perspectives to develop the Proposed Maintenance Group Balanced Scorecard. The first perspective remains as the Customer Perspective. Since a Maintenance Group’s value is not measured in financial terms, the second perspective was renamed “Readiness”, which better reflects what is expected by the customer and stakeholders (the combatant commander). The third perspective remains as the Processes Perspective, while the last perspective has been renamed “Workforce Quality” Perspective. The customer perspective helps to establish the fundamental purpose of an organization. “When choosing measures for this perspective, organizations must answer two critical questions: Who are our target customers? What is our value proposition in serving them?" In the context


of Maintenance Group, the customer could be any of the people or things that the Maintenance Group deals with--the Aircrew from the Operations Group, the maintainers within the Maintenance Group, assigned aircraft, or assigned equipment. Each of these entities requires services and resources provided to them by the Maintenance Group. From the Internal Process Perspective, the organization must answer the question, “What must we excel at?” In the context of the Maintenance Group’s potential customers, Air Force Policy Directive 21-1 outlines general processes the Air Force must excel at by stating, “The Air Force shall support readiness objectives by maintaining equipment in optimum condition, assign skilled personnel necessary to support expeditionary air forces, and manage fleet health to ensure long-term capability of air and space equipment” (Department of the Air Force Policy Directive 21-1, 2003, pp. 1-2). The Readiness Perspective of the balanced scorecard contains the metrics that give the manager a holistic view of whether the execution of stated strategy is leading to acceptable end results. From the Maintenance Group standpoint, one must consider the critical assets under the group’s control--aircraft, maintenance personnel, and equipment--and how the culmination of the previously described processes affects their bottom-line readiness. The Workforce Quality Perspective applies to the less tangible internal elements that sustain processes. Elements found in this perspective are “enablers” of all the other perspectives. For the Maintenance Group, the internal element that enables and sustains the primary processes are maintenance personnel--a fitting description of elements would be Workforce Quality. Workforce Quality could take into account skill level, experience level, quality of maintenance, safety of maintenance, maintenance discipline, and retention rates.


This proposed balanced scorecard framework was used as the model during the data gathering portion of the thesis research for maintenance metrics. A survey to query maintenance experts who use the sanctioned metrics in the management of their organizations was conducted to: identify strategic objectives of CAF Maintenance Groups, assign metrics to the balanced scorecard perspective, explore the utility of a metrics framework called "balanced scorecard" for use in a Maintenance Group, establish how often and at what level it should be studied, and evaluate the "goodness" of individual maintenance metrics. The researcher chose officers in the ranks of O-1 through O-6 because these are the ranks of officers who typically serve at the Maintenance Group level. Of the 1,397 Maintenance Officers in the solicited population, 352 completed the survey for a 25% response rate. Of the 352 completed surveys, 308 of the officers indicated they had CAF experience for a subcategory response rate of 22%. These 308 responses from the target subcategory were used in the researcher’s data analysis. A three-part process was used to analyze the data including descriptive statistics analysis, content analysis, and correlation analysis. The specifics of the methodology can be found in the full text of the thesis, and only the results of this data analysis will be discussed in this article. The survey first asked respondents about who is the Maintenance Group customer in terms of providing support, training or services. The potential customers of the Maintenance Group--Aircrew, maintainers, aircraft and equipment--were all offered as options; however, the overwhelming majority of respondents (88%) stated that the Maintenance Group should view the Aircrew as customers. Less than 50% believed that maintainers, aircraft and equipment are customers of the Maintenance Group. The survey then asked respondents to assess the benefit of examining metrics representing each perspective (Customer, Internal Processes, Readiness and Workforce Quality)


in the same setting in order for the researcher to determine field support or opposition of the Balanced Scorecard framework. The researcher also asked respondents what the optimal frequency of analysis would be for the Maintenance Group balanced scorecard approach. The responses indicated that 60% of the surveyed population Agreed or Strongly Agreed that the balanced scorecard concept would be beneficial, and it would have most utility when studied at the Wing Level quarterly, and at the Group Level monthly. The last section of the survey asked respondents to evaluate 28 individual maintenance metrics based on their experience utilizing and analyzing metrics. The survey asked respondents to select every metric they believe is not "good" for any reason, and then asked them to explain their reason for each metric selected. Of all the metrics that directly measure aircraft maintenance actions, the Fix Rate was viewed by respondents to be of the least utility for multiple reasons. Comments regarding the Fix

Of all the metrics that directly measure aircraft maintenance actions, the Fix Rate was viewed by respondents to be of the least utility for multiple reasons.

Rate largely addressed the rate’s lack of behavioral soundness because of its propensity to incite behavior counterproductive to sound aircraft maintenance practices and quality aircraft repairs. Respondents’ comments indicate that emphasis on the Fix Rate causes rushed maintenance action and a subsequent rise in the Repeat/Recur Rate. One officer stated that the Fix Rate is “counter to every other tenet of aircraft maintenance (safe, reliable, and by the book).” Additionally, many respondents felt the 4-, 8- or 12-hour standards for this rate were arbitrary, antiquated and relatively useless in modern day aircraft maintenance where aging aircraft require more time to fix and the newest 5th generation aircraft cannot possibly achieve the standard when performing low observable (LO) intrusive repairs. Comments indicate that a more relevant measure of repair efficiency


would be a metric that measures completion times as compared to a job standard repair time and encompassed all maintenance actions rather than just pilot reported discrepancies. Less than 50% of the respondents felt there were adequate measures of the Aircrew Mission/Training Scheduling and Execution processes. Content analysis of the issues respondents had with available metrics indicated that metrics were available, but were not visible to the Maintenance Group. Comments indicate the need for plainly visible measures for progress toward specific goals for Operations that are discussed in an open forum with Maintenance, so Maintenance is able to see how their processes truly impact Operations schedules. Current metrics do not clearly articulate if there were deviations to scheduled missions, only if there were deviations to the scheduled launch of the sortie. Bottom line, the comments indicate a lack of understanding of Operation’s requirements and The majority of respondents pointed to an effectiveness metric as a useful tool in knowing how the Maintenance Group is serving the customer.

exactly how Maintenance impacts them. A Mission Effectiveness Rate yielded the most suggestions by far, to help maintainers to

understand with more fidelity if Aircrew accomplished the mission as planned and scheduled. Additional suggestions further refined the Mission Effectiveness Rate. A rate that shows deviations between scheduled missions and planned missions, a rate that shows deviations between planned missions and briefed missions, and a rate that shows deviations between briefed missions and flown missions. Deviations to any parts of the Scheduling/Planning/Execution process would be attributed to the responsible agency--similar to traditional Flying Scheduling Effectiveness rate--to understand what is causing thrash to the schedule and why. Many respondents felt equipment maintenance metrics that paralleled many metrics already used in Aircraft Maintenance Scheduling and Execution would be helpful in studying


whether equipment maintenance processes are efficient and effective. Equipment Maintenance Scheduling Effectiveness Rate, Break Rates, Repeat/Recur Rates, and Repair Time were among metrics suggested by Maintenance Officers, as well as Equipment Mission Capable Rate, Critical Equipment Availability and Equipment In-Commission Rates. Respondents suggested that retention is a concern for the Maintenance Community, but had a variety of views on how to measure it. Additionally, factors such as sequestration, force shaping, voluntary separation programs, and involuntary separations make maintainer retention a fluid situation that would be difficult to meaningfully measure at the Group level. When asked to suggest metrics that could better articulate Maintainer Retention, most respondents believed a reenlistment rate would be beneficial to the Maintenance Group as a lagging indicator. The other trend amongst comments were to track items that that they believed contributed to job dissatisfaction, which could be correlated to

Survey responses regarding workforce quality revealed that the majority of respondents believed a metric measuring Experience Level, especially with looming manning cuts, is required for units to truly understand their capabilities.

retention rate--Weekend Duty Rate and Overtime Rate were the most commonly suggested metrics as more “leading indicators”. Many suggested that measuring time on an MDS is a good place to start measuring experience level. Skill Experience Identifiers are meant to measure this, but many respondents indicated this process was “broken” and not meaningful. Overall, respondents felt it was critical to separate skill level from experience level and should be given as much, if not more, consideration as skill levels are given when assessing manpower capability. Respondents felt the main issues with metrics measuring Maintainer Readiness were that they were not available, or metrics that were available were inadequate. Generally, the responses


indicated the inadequacy meant the available metrics only indirectly painted the picture of Maintainer Readiness--Maintainer Readiness had to be inferred based on maintenance performance metrics or training metrics. Suggestions for better metrics were numerous and diverse, but similar to metrics assigned to Aircraft Readiness category, capability and availability were among the suggestions. Some respondents suggested a capability metric be rolled up from Skill levels and Experience levels, and availability is the number of Airmen who fill the proper manning slot of unit manning documents and are available for duty. Recommendations: The results of the analysis of respondents’ views on metrics led to several recommendations to improve the current metrics set. The first recommendation is to create metrics to measure efficiency and effectiveness of Equipment Maintenance Scheduling and Execution, including Equipment Maintenance Scheduling Effectiveness, Break Rate, and Repeat/Recur rate as there are no reportable metrics to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of Equipment Maintenance above the squadron level. Respondents to the survey felt equipment is a vital component of Maintenance Group readiness and important enough to study on a proposed balanced scorecard. Also, metrics that measure the effectiveness of Aircrew Mission/Training Scheduling and Execution are recommended. Respondents indicated a desire to know exactly how maintenance operations impacted Aircrew, and to know the results of what they were providing from a RAP perspective. The survey revealed that an important component of the balanced scorecard, the Customer Perspective, required more transparency to allow maintainers to prioritize internal processes to better meet the needs of the customer.


Clear bottom-line measures are needed to assess Readiness of Maintenance Personnel and Equipment, similar to measures of readiness for Aircraft, such as Capability and Availability. Finally, respondents recommend that Maintainer Capability measure be a roll up of Skill level and Experience to truly understand the capability of the Workforce. Furthermore, Workforce Quality indicators are recommended to understand the condition of the enablers of the mission-execution--the maintainers. Recommended measures under this perspective include measures that could affect retention, such as Fitness Rates, and Duty-hours, Overtime, and Weekend Duty rate. Also a separate look at Experience and Skills are recommended under this perspective. The researcher recommends the current Fix Rate be eliminated to mitigate the negative behavior described by respondents. Instead, recommend a measurement of the length of time it takes to fix a discrepancy against a job standard time, versus against an 4-, 8-, or 12-hour measure. This would enable more accurate measurement of efficiency of repairs than an arbitrary standard. The final list of metrics to be incorporated into the CAF Maintenance Group balanced scorecard are shown in Figure 1, and the final proposed CAF Maintenance Group balanced scorecard is depicted in Figure 2.


Figure1. Maintenance Group Balanced Scorecard Metrics Recommendations


Figure 2. Final Maintenance Group Balanced Scorecard Since the beginning of Aircraft Maintenance, leaders have relied on performance metrics as tools to help guide decisions, improve processes and maximize performance. Maintainers and their stakeholders need to plainly see and understand the link between the processes of the Maintenance Group, the customers they provide for, the maintainers that enable it, and the bottom-line readiness of all entities involved. The Balanced Scorecard approach to looking at maintenance metrics first helps to focus the Maintenance Group’s analysis around their strategic objective and helps leaders to understand who their customer is, what processes are critical to achieving strategic objectives and customer’s needs, and gives a bottom-line view of readiness of


the entities of the Maintenance Group. Finally, the Maintenance Group Balanced Scorecard framework can help leaders and decision-makers view the health of the enablers of the entire operation--the maintainers--and understand factors that contribute to their job satisfaction, the quality of their work, and their skills and experience in their work. An organization as complex and dynamic as the Maintenance Group demands a metrics framework that is comprehensive enough to understand all aspects of organizational performance, but structured to directly see how positive or negative dynamics of one process may be affecting another. Metrics have helped to guide Aircraft Maintenance through decades of challenge and change. With an aging fleet, budget constraints, and slashed manning levels as the backdrop for current and future operations, there has never been a more critical time to implement a clear, holistic metrics framework that meets the needs of the leaders and decision makers who are navigating through the turbulent times ahead.


Organizational Compliance Model: One perspective on how to make your unit ready! Written by Major Michael L. Boswell Air Force officials announced in December 2013 that we have to “reduce our force by approximately 25,000 Airmen and as many as 550 aircraft if we do not receive any budget relief.” 1 As our global military commitment shrinks, the true challenge for today’s leaders is ensuring that the USAF continues to remain the most formidable air and space power the world has ever seen. As a commander, I often contemplate how to lead through such significant organizational change. While there are a host of Leaders should also possess a full tools the Air Force gives its leaders to understanding of what organizational compliance is and develop a process to ensure successfully lead, a grass roots analysis and compliance is maintained. back-to-basics approach is the start to this leadership challenge. At no other time in U.S. military history has it been more important to review processes and ensure the force is able to maintain proper balance with such drastic overhauls. As such, leaders must maintain an organization that is fully compliant and consistently executes all tasks, no matter how great or small, with the same level of focus. Leaders should also possess a full understanding of what organizational compliance is and develop a process to ensure compliance is maintained. This article 1.) Defines organizational compliance and 2.) Presents a four-step model to assist in ensuring an organization’s compliance as we move through this era of fiscal and structural change.


Svan, J. H. (2013). Air Force announces more force reductions. Retrieved on December 15, 2013 from


First, it is necessary to possess a fundamental understanding of what constitutes compliance. Organizational compliance is a phrase usually tossed into discussion in order to address a void that exists within a group’s ability to perform its responsibilities. A quick internet search on the subject does not reveal an exact definition of what this concept means. Rather, there are a plethora of articles that present this idea in specific functional arenas. As far as the Air Force is concerned, there is little empirical data or research that discusses this seemingly intuitive concept. When contemplating this topic, a basic assumption is that, if compliance involves “following the rules,” then organizational compliance entails following the organization’s rules. However, this logic does not truly capture the essence or complexity of managing such an immense endeavor as that of organizational compliance. Author and acclaimed management guru Phillip Crosby noted that, “Quality is the result of a carefully constructed cultural environment. It has to be the fabric of the organization, not part of the fabric.” 2 In part, organizational success can be defined by how well an organization is compliant with its own rules, cultural norms and values. In any organization, particularly those that have an industrial base, compliance is paramount to overall safety and mission success. To continue with Mr. Crosby’s analogy, the quilting pattern used by a leader to “sew” in the vertical, horizontal, or otherwise exotic designs, equates to organizational standards. A set of standards can be defined as “an acknowledged measure of comparison for quantitative or qualitative value; a criterion.” 3 Before an organization can be compliant, it must have established rules and criteria by which to operate. In the USAF, these standards come in the form of instructions, regulations, technical orders, and other codified rule sets. Additionally,


N.A. (2013). Philip Crosby quotes. Retrieved on December 4, 2013 from 3 N.A. (2013). The Free Dictionary. Retrieved on December 12, 2013 from


there are unwritten guidelines that, although not codified, define how the force operates, a violation of which would be considered taboo. Whether written or not, specific to one subcommunity or applicable to the whole, adherence standards set the foundation for organizational success. The next aspect of compliance is consistency. The Oxford Dictionary defines consistency as “the quality of achieving a level of performance which does not vary greatly in quality over time.” 4 A quilt maker must have a method or a constant as to how s/he sews in various patterns, otherwise the final product would be uneven and poorly made. Similarly, such a repetition of behavior, combined with an established pattern or standards, is what makes an organization compliant. Author Jim Rohn once wrote, “Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.” 5 Simply put standards plus consistency equals organizational compliance. Figure #1 is a visual depiction of this formula.

Organizational Compliance = Standards + Consistency

Figure 1: Organizational Compliance Defined


N.A. (2013). Definition of consistency in English. Retrieved on December 12, 2013 from 5 N.A. (2013). Brain Quotes. Retrieved on December 4, 2013 from


Now that we have established a working definition for organizational compliance, how can a leader ensure that it is tightly woven into every aspect of his/her organization? There are several ways by which to accomplish this task. However, this article narrows them down to a four-step model that involves establishing a baseline organizational assessment, identifying the compliance target, identifying or developing measurements of effectiveness, and finally recognizing the organizational tolerance for variation. Figure #2 is a depiction of the organizational compliance model.

Figure 2: Organizational Compliance Model Before we can begin discussing the baseline organizational assessment, it is important to note that a leader must understand the complexity of the task before him or her. Compliance is a multi-planed spectrum of activities, ideas, and concepts that often overlap and traverse a continuum. This concept is three-dimensional in nature and, in its simplest form, is akin to a geometry problem. However, compliance is often treated much like linear arithmetic. A simple way of understanding this idea is that compliance can be broken down into individual planes. A


single compliance plane is a group of like standards or rules within an organization. A plane can be functionally specific or categorical in nature. Whether involving dress codes, safety matters, or clerical standards, an organization will have a multitude of planes that need to be addressed in order to make it holistically compliant. Furthermore, within each plane there is a spectrum of compliance or non-compliance. An organization may simultaneously reside on several spectrum points given the standards or rules to which it must adhere. With this assertion in mind, it is important to understand that an organization can move fluidly between fully compliant and noncompliant states throughout each plane and spectrum. The true challenge for a leader is learning how to manage the task of being fully compliant in all areas at the same time. Figure #3 is a depiction of the multi-planed spectrum of compliance.

Fully Compliant Organization

Spectrum of Organizational Compliance Safety - Plane

Non-compliant Organization

Clerical - Plane

Figure 3: Organizational Compliance Spectrum Once the notion of the compliance continuum is understood, a leader must identify where his/her individual organization resides on the compliance scale by performing a baseline organizational assessment. During this step, the leader is establishing a compliance reference point for an organization. Arguably, this may be the easiest step in the process. This is due, in part, to the fact that most organizations have checklists, reference guides, and so forth. As a leader accomplishes this assessment, s/he must be careful to ensure that the organization is conducting a transparent and honest evaluation. Logically, if an organization is conducting its


own assessment, there is high potential for a biased result, thus skewing the baseline evaluation. If possible, using an outside organization to perform the assessment will yield the greatest accuracy and provide the best start to this process. After the baseline is established, a leader must present the findings, clearly communicate to the unit where the organization currently resides, and explain where the organization needs to be in the future. Figure #4 is a depiction of the assessment portion of the compliance model.

Figure 4: Organizational Assessment Portion of Model

It is critically important that a leader communicate the “where” to everyone in the organization. Regardless of an individual’s status or position, every member in the organization is important to its overall success. Additionally, the leader must ensure that timeline(s) for achieving compliance are realistic and achievable. The organization’s leader must establish compliance priorities so that members within the organization understand the leader’s focus, thus applying the correct attention to priority items. For example, if industrial safety is lacking or needs improvement, that issue may outweigh the need to renovate an outdated filing system.


This is not to say that the latter is not important, just that the consequences for a violation of one standard can be significantly more costly than another. Figure #5 is a portrayal of the compliance target portion of the compliance model.

Figure 5: Compliance Target Portion of Model

Once the starting and ending points have been established, an organization must ensure that it has accurate measurements to communicate progression or regression. These measurements can be established by metrics or new measurements to indicate the way forward. While all measurements of effectiveness are metrics, not all metrics are measurements of effectiveness. A leader must be able to identify those measurements that are true indicators of an organization’s whereabouts as they relate to overall compliance. These metrics represent areas in which the USAF must improve the most. There are certainly hundreds of thousands of metrics that are reviewed each year. While most are supposed to be measurements of


effectiveness, not all of them are. Metrics should communicate to a leader how the organization is doing and where improvements are needed. In many instances, we are culturally groomed to want and need instant gratification. This can be satisfied through data mining versus statistical information that is objective, comprehensive and mathematically sound. When applied correctly, statistically accurate leading and lagging indicators are amongst the most effective methods of evaluating an organization. Leading and lagging indicators are investment terms coined by economists as predictors of stock variations and as mechanisms for identifying trends that may predict future stock levels or market events. 6 The military as an enterprise has adopted these terms for predicting trends and occurrences within the organizational structure. Developing a causal method of linking standards or measurements to missions is also an important consideration in this analysis. Leading indicators are actions, activities or measurements that are potential predictors of future events. As an example, a yellow traffic light indicates the coming of a red light. Conversely, lagging indicators are actions, activities or measurements that follow an event. In the same example, a yellow light is a lagging indicator for the green light because yellow follows green. Of note, a leader must also closely observe coincidental indicators. This is a lesser known and often overlooked fiscal term that is lost in our military lexicon. Coincidental indicators occur at approximately the same

Developing a causal method of linking standards or measurements to missions is also an important consideration in this analysis.

time as the conditions they signify. In our traffic light example, the green light would be a coincidental indicator of the associated pedestrian walk signal. Rather than predicting future events, these types of indicators change at


N.A. (2013) Retrieved on 10 Dec 13 from


the same time as actions, activities or measurements being assessed. 7 Figure #6 illustrates the measurements of organizational compliance.

Figure 6: Measurements of Organizational Effectiveness There are other methods available by which to categorize leading and lagging indicators. Leading indicators can be qualified as overarching measurements established by higher headquarters as a method by which to assess the overall readiness of a unit, AEF Reporting Tool, Aircraft Mission Capable rate, etc. For example, leading indicators “may� involve covert organizational actions, activities or measurements that are indicative of a greater organizational climate. Moreover, leading indicators can be more overt indicators for organizational compliance. Examples of lagging indicators include basic annual training statistics that are low and significant delinquencies in the government travel card program. Barring isolated,


N.A. (2013) Retrieved on 10 Dec 13 from


significant events, if these are normal and acceptable standards, then an environment exists in which compliance is not the norm. The final aspect of achieving organizational compliance is identifying organizational tolerance. A leader must determine what the levels of acceptable deviation are within the spectrum of organizational compliance. This tolerance can be imposed by regulations, higher headquarters, or another enforced method. A leader must also be realistic regarding his or her expectations as to where the organization is going and what potential setbacks may occur. Furthermore, the military as an organization functions more like a living organism rather than a mechanical automaton. As such, its ability to be compliant is fluid and changes frequently. When members retire or rotate into different shops, the organization’s dynamics change. This fluctuation must be accounted for in striving to achieve the organization’s goals. The entire organization must understand and accept that some fluctuation is tolerated within the standard, but not beyond a certain point. Figure #7 represents the organizational tolerance portion of the model. Once that threshold has been met, the leader must either continue as planned or refocus efforts. While seemingly intuitive, this may be extremely difficult for a leader to accept, especially as s/he juggles several areas requiring improvement. There is an inherent desire within leadership to ensure that everything is compliant at the same time, but the reality of the matter is different. As resources become scarcer, effective leaders must be able to prioritize efforts and make the determination as to where the weight of effort will be placed.


Figure7: Determining Organizational Tolerance In closing, entrepreneur and author Jim Rohn once wrote, “Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.� 8 In an organization, true success does not usually lie in some ground-breaking, innovative idea, but rather is realized through hard work and dedication to meeting the standards. However, before a leader hits the ground running, s/he should understand the necessity of organizational compliance through meeting the right standards with consistency. Once that notion is accepted, a leader must In an organization, true success does not accomplish a baseline assessment that identifies usually lie in some ground-breaking, innovative idea, but rather is realized through where an organization falls within the hard work and dedication to meeting the standards. compliance spectrum. This is the foundation for the way forward. After the assessment and baseline have been established, a leader develops his or her road map to success. This is a realistic way ahead detailing where the organization is expected to be within a given timeframe.


N.A. (2013). Brain Quotes. Retrieved on December 4, 2013 from


Compliance can only be accomplished with measurements of effectiveness, such as leading and lagging indicators or other methodology utilized by the organization as a whole. These measurements are be used to communicate progress or regression in the compliance spectrum. The final aspect of making an organization more compliant is identifying and communicating organizational tolerance to the entire unit. Compliance is a fluid activity and a leader must accept this fact in order to be successful. While an organization may move towards compliance in one or more areas, it may fall short in other areas. This is where establishing priorities and standing by organizational tolerance is critical. As the force continues to reshape fiscally and physically, so too must the way that business is done daily. For the USAF to continue to be the most formidable Air and Space power on the planet, it must successfully navigate future challenges more effectively and efficiently. The first step towards overall mission success starts with the basis of organizational compliance.

About the author: Major Michael L. Boswell is the Commander, 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS), RAF Mildenhall, England, UK. He is responsible for 460 US Air Force, US civilian and British Ministry of Defense members, providing logistical support for the 100th Air Refueling Wing and five partner units. Prior to arriving at RAF Mildenhall, he was a student at the Naval War College at Newport, RI.


HERE’S A TOAST… Lt Col(ret) Larry Matthews USAF May 1963 – June 1983 MOA President 1982-1983



ER Summer 2014 edition  

The Logistics Officer Association's Exceptional Release - Summer 2014 Edition

ER Summer 2014 edition  

The Logistics Officer Association's Exceptional Release - Summer 2014 Edition