Air Force Support Center Celebrates Decade of Service > Robins Air Force Base > Article Display
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. —
The Air Force Sustainment Center was established in 2012 to streamline the sustainment needs of weapon systems around the world, assess their status, disassemble, repair, reassemble and paint them, and refurbish them. air as quickly as possible. .
The US Air Force was challenged by the US Congress during the sequestration budget crisis to find ways to operate more efficiently. What was once just an idea turned into a real possibility during a 2011 flight from Afghanistan to the United States, when a four-star general broached the subject in front of a commanders plane. .
“We told the general that there is a concept that we have been thinking about for 10 years,” said the major at the time. Gen. Bruce Litchfield, “and that’s to take a more corporate approach to how we do business in Air Force Materiel Command. That was the thought generation that ‘the time to do something different”. Thus, the five-center construction was born.
As the concept of five centers under the AFMC matured (eventually expanding to a sixth center), leaders decided to look beyond simply consolidating locations and creating efficiencies in workflow and to examine how the US Air Force could make the most of national assets. and the capabilities and human capital that were already in place.
Lt. Gen. Tom Miller, current commander of the AFSC, who was a colonel at the time, co-led a team of 50 officers and senior civilians tasked with establishing the Air Force Support Center. “We wanted to make sure that we wouldn’t hurt the mission that we were doing while we were transforming,” Miller said. “We cast a wide net to hear voices from all places and there were many incredible leaders who worked tirelessly to ensure creation was headed in the right direction.”
“No one likes change,” Litchfield added, “but by giving leaders the ability to build their own organization and their own processes, create the tools they needed, and use their leadership skills, they are changed from skeptics to supporters.
“The biggest reward is seeing what was put in place 10 years ago and is still in use today.”
On July 10, 2012, the AFSC was officially activated in a ceremony at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, with Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, officiating. Litchfield, commander of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at the time, was promoted to lieutenant general and named commander of the AFSC. Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, Ogden Air Logistics Center and Warner Robins Air Logistics Center were designated as complexes and realigned under the AFSC with two supply chain wings and three air-base.
Today, the AFSC sustains the Air Force’s most sophisticated weapon systems, including the F-35 Lightning, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Falcon and F -22 Raptors; KC-46 Pegasus and KC-135 Stratotanker refueling aircraft; the A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft; the B-1 Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress bombers; the C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster III and C-130 Hercules cargo planes; E-3 Sentry and E-6 Mercury early warning aircraft; T-38 Talon trainer; QF-16 unmanned aerial vehicle; Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile; as well as a wide range of engines and components.
The AFSC is headquartered at Tinker Air Force Base, providing oversight of maintenance, supply chain activities, and installation support. Personnel offices help to ensure that planning, policy, guidelines and procedures are effectively implemented and executed for the center.
In addition to Hill AFB, Tinker AFB, and Robins AFB, approximately 20 satellite locations help support the Air Force Sustainment Center, including Scott Air Force Base in Illinois and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
All of AFSC’s activities are guided by the Art of the Possible, a model for AFSC to achieve meaningful results while being good stewards of taxpayers’ dollars. “Art of the Possible has been implemented as an approach across the Center in everything we do. It’s basically the playbook for us to attack the constraints of our mission and speak the same language,” Miller shared. It reflects collective experiences, lessons learned, best practices, insight and significant content on how the art of the possible is applied to each area of work in sustaining, he added.
To prepare for the next 10 years, the AFSC is focusing on Airmen, both uniformed and civilian.
“We need talent as diverse as the challenges we face as a nation,” Miller said. “We must continue to break down barriers to ensure we have a military and civilian workforce that resembles the country we serve. This is how we will succeed in meeting our future challenges.
Litchfield agrees. “We cannot stress enough the importance of public servants and what they mean to this Air Force. Artisans, mechanics, professionals, technicians, engineers, supply chain professionals and production specialists are the heart and the glue of the maintenance. We will make it better tomorrow than it is today; better next week than today.
AFSC relies on partnerships with industry and academia to accelerate innovation throughout their processes and create opportunities for knowledge sharing, growth and efficiency.
To usher in the next decade, the AFSC will welcome a new Commander this fall. Maj. Gen. Stacey T. Hawkins has been promoted to lieutenant general and will serve as the new commander of the Air Force Support Center later this year. Hawkins is currently the director of logistics, engineering and force protection at Air Combat Command. With extensive maintenance operations and AFSC experience, Hawkins previously served at Tinker in 2012 and 2013 as deputy maintenance commander at Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex and as commander of the logistics complex commander. Ogden Airline from 2017 to 2019.
Litchfield and Miller can’t wait to see what the AFSC will look like in 10 years. Although the mode of defense changes with the state of the world, they both believe that supporting and defending the nation through sustainment will make it a better and stronger place.