TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Oklahoma — The new commander of Air Force Materiel Command may have had to cross three time zones to complete her immersion of the Air Force Sustainment Center last week, but, geographical variance aside, what she saw was a highly connected enterprise focused on generating combat power for America.
“Getting to see the ‘AFSC Way’ in action over the last few days, and the results it produces, is very impressive,” said Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, AFMC commander. “AFSC is truly focused on delivering war-winning capabilities while making every dollar count.”
Pawlikowski began her immersion tour at Robins AFB, Georgia, on Aug. 3 and completed her trip at Utah’s Hill AFB on Aug. 6. In between those stops, she visited Tinker AFB. During the immersion, she was shown several examples of how the center uses the “AFSC Way” to be more agile and responsive to warfighter needs now and in the future.
“Our air logistics complexes, supply chain wings and air base wings are all major contributors to how AFSC provides worldwide readiness,” said Jeffrey Allen, AFSC executive director, who accompanied Pawlikowski throughout the visit. “She was able to see how the ‘AFSC Way’s’ standardized processes and culture of continuous process improvement are enabling us to do more, with higher quality and at less cost than ever before.”
Allen pointed out that the general was able to see firsthand how the complexes are providing quality aircraft, exchangeables and software to support the warfighter; how the supply chain wings globally deliver what the Air Force needs where they need it; and, how the air base wings provide the infrastructure and resource support critical to the success of their mission partners.
The general was also updated on how AFSC provides vital support to the Air Force’s nuclear mission.
In addition to seeing how AFSC units continue to generate Art of the Possible results, the general took time to hold all calls with AFMC Airmen at each base and to engage with community leaders. Chief Master Sgt. Michael Warner, AFMC command chief, also participated in the AFSC immersion.
Pawlikowski repeatedly stressed the importance of AFMC units having the capability to quickly adapt and respond to warfighter needs in today’s world environment — a requirement clearly defined in the command’s new vision statement: “Delivering the world’s greatest Air Force … the most trusted and agile provider of innovative and cost-effective war-winning capabilities.”
“We live in a very dynamic time,” said Pawlikowski. “Our Air Force is being asked to shift focus and do different things very quickly, and we need to respond and be very creative and innovative in how we do that.”
The general emphasized the need for all of AFMC to become more agile because “none of the things the Air Force does can be done without the men and women in AFMC making it happen.”
She added, “Our Air Force cannot be agile if AFMC is not agile. Embracing and understanding that AFMC will deliver when needed as the most trusted and agile provider is important.”
Citing the feedback she has received from other major command leaders, the general praised the work being done across the center to sustain customer trust.
“We want our mission partners to come to us because they know we’re going to deliver and at the price that we say, that they’ll get things on time, and we’ll be there to support it,” she said.
The general also discussed several key areas AFMC personnel must value in order to successfully provide agile combat support to the Air Force. These include the trust and confidence of those we serve; leading-edge Airmen empowered to be agile and innovative; diversity and inclusion; resource stewardship … making every dollar and minute count; continuous process improvement; safe and secure environment; and enterprise focus.
The general had especially high praise for the workforce, citing its resiliency and mission focus and “across the board, 100 percent buy-in to the “AFSC Way.”
According to Allen, “The strength of AFSC is our dedicated and innovative workforce. I believe that stood out everywhere she went.”