The Road Ahead: AF Leaders discuss path to partnering with industry

RAYMOND CRAYTON, JR./U.S. Air Force
Lt. Gen. Lee Levy II, Air Force Sustainment Center commander, speaks to a packed crowd at the Program Executive Officer Review and Outlook in the Museum of Aviation March 23.
By TECH. SGT. KELLY GOONAN
Robins AFB Public Affairs
April 6, 2017

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — This year’s Program Executive Officer Review and Outlook was about providing industry with the information needed to help them be competitive and innovative when seeking to partner with the government.

Lt. Gen. Lee Levy II, and Lt. Gen. John Thompson – Air Force Sustainment Center and Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commanders respectively – spoke to the 400 in attendance about what the Air Force needs to be postured for current and future conflicts.

Levy discussed the importance of uniformed military personnel, civil servants and commercial industrial partners coming together to aid in the delivery of air power for the nation.

“This is important not only for Robins, not only to Middle Georgia, but this is important to our United States Air Force,” he said. “Let’s think about that, and let’s think about the concepts that we’re going to discuss today how they can integrate seamlessly to provide combat power not just for today or tomorrow but for the next 20 or 30 years.

“All of us in this room, as Airmen, own our Air Force for the next coming years and the decisions we make as a team will influence that,” he added. “So as we look around this temple of air power we see SR-71s and Global Hawks. What are we going to design? What are we going to create that are going to be the next displays in the museum our grandkids are going to see? You in this room will determine that.”

The event offered an opportunity to inform private industry about focus areas and acquisition forecasts essential for Robins organizations to achieve their mission of war winning capabilities on time and on cost. “We have a very old, busy fleet of airplanes,” Levy said. “We are the smallest Air Force we’ve ever been. We’re not as ready as we’d like to be and we have a shortage of pilots. I’d say there are some pretty significant opportunities available for us to curb that readiness, generate additional pilots and continue to have the world’s best air force.”

Thompson spoke about the importance of Defense Department cyber initiatives.

“I can’t think of anything more important right now than cyber resilience,” he said. “We have to bolt cyber security onto legacy capabilities and bake in future capabilities into the acquisition process to ensure future weapon systems are resilient against cyber threats.

“The cyber resiliency office of weapons system, the CROWS office, just stood up this year,” he added, “and the workforce will grow to manage cyber resiliency issues for our weapons systems.”

Thompson summed up the importance of bringing all the players together with one simple sentence.

“Events such as the one here enable important discussions on how to do things better and improve processes,” Thompson added. 

Eight Program Executive Officers were in attendance and provided an overview which included anticipated funding and projected future requirement opportunities. 

Participants were given the opportunity to not only learn more about Robins’ capabilities, but also requirements that could be satisfied by contracts solicited and awarded to large and small businesses.

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