JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas — The commander of Air Force Materiel Command officially activated the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center during a ceremony here May 5.
Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger appointed Maj. Gen. Theresa Carter as the first AFIMSC commander at the event attended by more than 500 people in the Basic Military Training Pfingston Reception Center auditorium.
“Today’s ceremonial actions are part of a larger strategic initiative for our Air Force to reduce operating costs and provide overall mission efficiencies,” Wolfenbarger said. “The Air Force has entrusted Air Force Materiel Command with the responsibility of centralizing the management, the resourcing and reach-back for installation and mission support activities covering all of the Air Force’s 77 major installations.”
As AFMC’s sixth center, AFIMSC joins the major command that serves as the Air Force lead for fielding, basing, protecting, supporting and sustaining combat capabilities.
The new center’s missions include security forces, civil engineering, base communications, logistics readiness, installation ministry programs, services, operational acquisitions and financial management. With headquarters at Joint Base San Antonio, the center is the parent organization of several Air Force units that include the Air Force Security Forces Center, Air Force Civil Engineer Center, Air Force Installation Contracting Agency, Air Force Services Activity, Air Force Financial Services Center and Air Force Financial Management Center of Expertise.
In addition, AFIMSC will serve major commands with collocated detachments designed to provide effective and efficient installation and expeditionary combat support capabilities to commanders and mission partners. Two detachments activated recently at Pacific Air Forces and Air Combat Command. The remaining eight are scheduled to activate by May 26.
The Air Force stood up a provisional AFIMSC Aug. 8 at Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Facility Washington, Maryland. Joint Base San Antonio was selected as the unit’s permanent headquarters Jan. 15 following Air Force completion of a deliberate basing process to determine the location.
After taking command, Carter said AFIMSC is still in the early stages of building the organization.
“Over the course of the next year and a half, we’ll stand up the organization, hire the permanent staff and establish the necessary processes and procedures to deliver resources and support to commanders,” she said. “We’ll work side-by-side with the staffs at the major commands as we transition capabilities and workload over the next six months and prepare to fully accept resourcing responsibilities on Oct. 1.”
She said she expects the unit to reach initial operating capability later this summer and to be fully operational by October 2016.
Carter said the unit’s success depends on establishing trust.
“One of the many things I’ve learned throughout my career, but particularly as a mission support group and air base wing commander, is that the key to success is trust,” she said. “You don’t have to own the organization providing support; you need to trust that they’ll deliver what you need, where and when you need it, in the quantity and quality required to get the mission done.
“Trust must be earned … hour by hour … day by day … through our words and actions.”
Despite the enormity of the challenge ahead, the general said she’s “absolutely confident” the AFIMSC team can succeed. In addressing the members of her command about the capabilities they will deliver for the Air Force, Carter referenced a quote by Winston Churchill.
“Your Air Force is tapping you on the shoulder,” she said. “This is your moment and I know you’re ready. Make this your finest hour and, in doing so, we’ll provide our Air Force an organization that’s effective, efficient, responsive and focused on supporting commanders.”