Working smarter, not harder
By Brig. Gen. Susan Helms, 45th Space Wing commander
/ Published August 16, 2007
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Over the past eight months I've written about our journey down the Air Force Smart Operations 21st Century (AFSO21) path. As you recall, our entry into the AFSO21 arena was driven by a tasking from the Secretary of the Air Force. We've mapped how we conduct launch operations and outlined what the future state should be for Systems Safety and Range Scheduling. We are working action plans to make these visions come to fruition.
At the same time, we have worked hard with our counterparts at the 30th Space Wing, the Space & Missile Systems Center, 14th Air Force and Air Force Space Command to leverage efforts in producing the way ahead for other launch-based improvement events over the next 18 months. The consolidated view of the Space Launch High Value Initiative was briefed this week to Gen. Kevin Chilton, commander of Air Force Space Command. He will present the command's way ahead to the SECAF at the 4-Star Summit Wednesday. The schedule is aggressive and we are targeting those areas of improvement that can garner the 45th SW the most in reducing cycle time and costs to execute our launch mission.
Next week, we begin tackling non-launch specific events to expand the utility of AFSO21. I have asked our 45th Mission Support Group leadership to look at how we deploy our forces in support of AEF taskings and redeploy them when they return. In addition, we need to look at our facility resources, our current footprint and how we allocate these to maximize resources.
Our examination of the deployment and redeployment process will drill down to each step of the process we currently use and identify the inefficiencies. The next step will be creating a deployment and redeployment process that reduces wait time, holds folks accountable in the process and forestalls late deployments in support of theater commanders. We will also look at how we welcome our warriors home to ease the transition and make it as simple as possible.
We will also do a hard look at our Cape Canaveral facilities to see how we can be more efficient with our space utilization and our O&M dollars. Much of our launch infrastructure is 50+ years old, and we must make adjustments in our "footprint" to be postured for the future! Driven by the improvements we discover, we will map an action plan to have a more mission-focused and cost effective operation at Cape Canaveral.
The 45th SW is leading the pack and our reputation in the AFSO21 community and with Air Force leadership is second to none. You are the ones making this happen. I am proud to serve with you on this exciting journey. Go Sharks!