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Designed a Reformed Supply Support Program to improve the spares acquisition process by integrating the support contractor into the government supply system
Continued, with OSD support, expansion of the Reduction in Total Ownership Cost program to identify critical cost drivers, fund investments to address them, and generate cost savings and cost avoidance
Aligned with OSD's push to adopt Balanced Scorecard performance measures and the President's Management Agenda, these initiatives are only the beginning of a comprehensive and aggressive approach to reforming Air Force business practices. Our efforts today will have a direct effect on efficient and effective air and space capability acquisition, both immediately and in the future.
Reconstituting and reconfiguring our expeditionary basing systems and wartime stocks is a critical element of our force projection planning. While we made significant strides in funding, we require additional investments in bare base systems, vehicles, spares, munitions, and pre-positioning assets. Our infrastructure investment strategy focuses on three simultaneous steps. First, after a thorough examination, we must dispose of excess facilities. Second, we must fully sustain our facilities and systems so they remain combat effective throughout their expected life. Third, we must establish a steady investment program to restore and modernize our facilities and systems, while advancing our ability to protect our people and resources from the growing threat of terrorism at current, planned, and future operating locations - at home or abroad.
Improved vehicle fleet funding allowed us to replace some aging vehicles with more reliable assets, including alternative fuel versions to help meet federal fuel reduction mandates. Targeted efficiencies in spares management and new fuels mobility support equipment will improve supply readiness. In addition, our spares campaign restructured Readiness Spares Packages and repositioned assets to contingency sites. Moreover, to increase munitions readiness, we expanded our Afloat Prepositioning Fleet capabilities, and continue acquiring a broad mix of effects-based munitions in line with the requirements of all Air Force CONOPS.
Finally, our Depot Maintenance Strategy and Master Plan calls for major transformation in financial and infrastructure capitalization to ensure Air Force hardware is safe and ready to operate across the threat spectrum. To support this plan, we increased funding in FY 2004 for depot facilities and equipment modernization. We also began a significant
push to require weapon systems managers to establish their product support and depot maintenance programs early in the acquisition cycle and to plan and program the necessary investment dollars required for capacity and capability. Additionally, we are partnering with private industry to adopt technologies to meet capability requirements. The results from these efforts will be enhanced, more agile warfighter support through the critical enabler of infrastructure.
Expanding AEF Personnel
In the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks, the Global War on Terrorism, and stepped-up air operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and other hotspots, workload and stress in a number of mission areas have significantly increased for our expeditionary forces. Manning for these operations is drawn from our existing AEF packages. In order to accommodate increased contingency requirements we are exploring options to augment the existing AEF construct. Recent and ongoing efforts to maximize the identification of dcployable forces and align them with the AEF cycle have helped in meeting the more immediate warfighting requirements.
We are refocusing uniformed manpower allocation on our distinctive capabilities to reduce the stress on our active force. Additionally, we are carefully considering technologies to relieve the increased workload. These efforts exist within our longer-term goals to reengineer, transform, and streamline Air Force operations and organizations, and have allowed us to realign some new recruits into our most stressed career fields.
Our focus on more efficient and responsive capabilities and planning processes has inspired us to adapt the way we organize, train, and equip our forces. The requirements that emerge from the Air Force CONOPS will guide a reformed acquisition process that will include more active, continuous partnerships among requirement, development, operational, test, and industry communities working side by side at the program level.
Science and Technology - Wellspring of Air and Space Capabilities
We are improving our Science and Technology planning and collaboration with other services and agencies to ensure that we encourage an operational pull that conveys to the Science and Technology community a clear vision of the capabilities we need for the future. The goal is to address the full spectrum of future needs in a balanced and systematic manner. We are also working to enhance our ability to quickly demonstrate and integrate promising technologies. Some of these new technologies - for example, the Predator unmanned aerial vehicle and laser-based communications - show clear promise for near-term, joint warfighting applications.
Addressing the Recapitalization Challenges
We have made tremendous strides in modernizing and improving maintenance plans for our aircraft; however, the cruelty of age has introduced new problems for old aircraft. Reality dictates that if we completely enhance the avionics and add new engines to 40year old tankers and bombers, they are still 40-year old aircraft, and subject to fleetthreatening problems such as corrosion and structural failure.
This is equally true for our fighter aircraft, where once cutting-edge F-117s now average over 15 years of service, and mainstay air-dominance F-15Cs are averaging nearly 20 years of service. With double-digit surface-to-air missile systems, next-generation aircraft, and advanced cruise missile threats proliferating, merely maintaining our aging fighter and attack aircraft will be insufficient. In fact, the dramatic advances offered in many of our operational concepts cannot be realized without the addition of the unique capabilities incorporated in the F/A-22. Simply stated, our legacy systems cannot ensure air dominance in future engagements - the fundamental element for joint force access and operations. We will thus continue executive oversight of F/A-22 acquisition in order to ensure program success.
Although ultimately solving these recapitalization challenges requires acquisition of new systems, we will continue to find innovative means to keep current systems operationally effective in the near term. We know that just as new problems develop with old systems, so too do new opportunities for deployment, such as our use of B-ls and B-52s in a close air support role during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. We will also pursue new options for these long-range strike assets in a standoff attack role for future operations.
Additionally, we are looking for ways to replace our orbiting space systems and satellites, improve outmoded ground control stations, enhance protective measures, continue to address new space launch avenues, and address bandwidth limitations in order to continue leveraging space capabilities for the joint warfighter. We are exploring alternatives for assuring access to space, and a key aspect of this effort will be invigorating the space industrial base.
Finally, it is imperative that we address the growing deficiencies in our infrastructure. Any improvements we may secure for our air and space systems will be limited without a commensurate address of essential support systems. Deteriorated roofs, waterlines, electrical networks, and airfields are just some of the infrastructure elements warranting immediate attention.
In 2002, we initiated numerous adaptations to more efficiently and effectively exploit Air Force advantages for the joint warfighter. Comprehensive integration of the Air Force's extensive C4ISR systems is paramount for our future capabilities. This requires an enterprise approach of total information cycle activities including people, processes, and technology. To achieve this, we created a new Deputy Chief of Staff for Warfighting Integration, which brings together the operational experience and the technical expertise of diverse elements (C4ISR, systems integration, modeling and simulation, and enterprise architecture specialties). This new directorate will close the seams in the kill chain by guiding the integration and interoperability of manned, unmanned, and space C4ISR systems.
Partnering with Warfighting Integration efforts, the Air Force Chief Information Officer shares responsibility to spearhead the transformation to an information-driven, networkcentric Air Force. These two organizations orchestrate the integration of Air Force systems, processes, platforms within our information enterprise. The goal is to provide the roadmap for innovation and to function as a blueprint that can be used to leverage our information technology resources. This comprehensive information architecture will serve as a key construct in defining mission information requirements and promoting interoperability.
We do nothing in today's Air Force without Guard, Reserve and civilian personnel working alongside Active Duty airmen. A fundamental initiative of Air Force transformation is to employ innovative organizational constructs and personnel policies to effectively integrate these components into a single, more homogenous force. In this way, we can create efficiencies, cut costs, ensure stability, retain invaluable human capital and, above all, increase our combat capabilities.
A key effort is to "blend" units from two or more components into a single wing with a single commander. This level of integration is unprecedented in any of the services, where Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve personnel share the same facilities and equipment, and together, execute the same mission. In essence, blending provides two resource pools within a single wing - one, a highly experienced, semipermanent Reserve component workforce, offering stability and continuity; the other, a force of primarily Active Duty personnel able to rotate to other locations as needs dictate.
In October 2002, the blended wing concept became a reality with the activation of the 116* Air Control Wing. Meanwhile, parallel efforts, such as placing Reserve pilots and maintenance personnel directly into Active Duty flying organizations under the Fighter Associate Program, add to this leveraging of highly experienced Reservists to promote a more stable, experienced workforce. As organizational constructs, blending and associate programs have laid an important foundation for a capabilities-based, expeditionary air and space force that is inherently flexible enough to meet rotational AEF requirements.
The comprehensive evaluations in our ongoing transformation have also included examining our wing structure. Given all of the lessons gleaned from expeditionary operations over the past decades, we thought it possible to derive advantages in revised wing organization for both force development and combat capability. The result was the creation of the Combat Wing Organization. The central aspect of the Combat Wing Organization is the new Mission Support Group. This will merge former support and logistics readiness groups, and contracting and aerial port squadrons, as applicable. Within this group, we will hone expeditionary skills from crisis action planning, personnel readiness, and working with the joint system for load planning and deployment, to communications, contingency bed-down, and force protection. Currently, all of these aspects exist in skill sets that none of our officers have in total. But the new expeditionary support discipline will address this, and provide our officers with broad expertise in all aspects of commanding expeditionary operations. With this reorganization, each wing will now have one individual responsible for the full range of deployment and employment tasks - the Mission Support Group Commander.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The events of the last year have emphasized the uncertain dynamics of a new international security era marked by the rise of non-state actors and rogue powers, many following a path of ruthless aggression and massive destruction. The undeterred spread of weapons of mass destruction has upped the ante in a high stakes game. Yet, just as America adapted to new global dynamics in the past, we will again confront emerging challenges with confidence and faith in our ability to meet the demands of assuring freedom and safeguarding global peace and stability.
The men and women of the U.S. Air Force continue to spearhead our nation's defense against aggression. The ability to reach out and deliver precisely targeted effects across the spectrum of national security requirements is the cornerstone of Air Force strategic planning and programming. Closely integrated with ground, naval, and marine forces as well as other national agency systems, the Air Force will bring to bear a suite of flexible air and space capabilities to ensure the success of tomorrow's joint force commander.