AFMC leaders urged to focus on nuclear sustainment and other command priorities

  • Published
  • By Ron Fry
  • Director, Air Force Materiel Command Public Affairs
From a top priority of robust nuclear sustainment to increased warfighter support and resource conservation, Gen. Donald Hoffman, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, charged his center and wing commanders along with AFMC headquarters staff to make the command's priorities a fundamental part of their daily mission.

General Hoffman called for maximum focus on the command priorities during AFMC's semi-annual senior leaders conference March 5 and 6 at Robins AFB. In advance of the conference, leaders formally approved a list of five command priorities that complement Air Force priorities. They are:

· Reinvigorate AFMC's role in the nuclear enterprise.

· Implement effective and efficient Integrated Life Cycle Management to support the warfighter.

· Support the Air Force by recruiting, training and retaining a high-performing workforce.

· Nurture and protect our people and families.

· Be good stewards of government resources.

AFMC's renewed role as keeper of the Air Force's nuclear arsenal was highlighted as AFMC 's and the Air Force's most critical priority. "Everyone in AFMC has a role to play in getting our nuclear enterprise where it needs to be," General Hoffman said.

His views were echoed by Brig. Gen. Everett Thomas, commander of AFMC's Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at Kirtland AFB, N.M. General Thomas said the Air Force lost focus on management of its nuclear weapons as the service went through transitional periods in the mid 1990s. Two well-publicized incidents in recent years highlighted the need to regain emphasis on the nuclear sustainment mission.

"It's AFMC's mission to sustain our nuclear force," General Thomas said. "It's up to us to keep it a priority and make sure we don't slip back to the days when we did not pay the proper amount of attention to our nuclear mission."

A priority almost as critical as nuclear sustainment is AFMC's role of providing war-winning capabilities to the warfighter -- on time and on cost. General Hoffman cited several examples he observed during a recent trip to Southwest Asia during which he heard warfighters tell of their needs.

"We have to aggressively work on meeting the warfighter's needs," the general told his commanders. "Everyone in this command has to contribute to warfighter support. It's our job."

Another priority is the sustainment of the civilian workforce. General Hoffman told his leaders to fill their civilian employee vacancies to the maximum extent possible. He said a robust workforce will help AFMC better achieve its mission.

"We must move full speed ahead and fill our vacancies," he said. "And whether we're hiring from the outside or picking from a list of internal candidates, we must hire the best qualified people, regardless of where they come from."

General Hoffman praised his commanders for making progress in energy and resource conservation since he took command in December 2008, but called for continued focus. "It's up to you to set the tone for your people and treat every penny spent as if it were your own," he said.

To emphasize the conservation priority, the gathering heard from Michael Aimone, the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support at Headquarters Air Force. He discussed how the Air Force has made great strides in energy conservation over the past several years. Also, Tim Bridges, AFMC's Director of Communications, installations and Mission Support briefed on several energy conservation initiatives under way or planned for AFMC.

Conference attendees heard other updates on issues central to AFMC's warfighter-support mission, including a status report on the Global Logistics Support Center, Centralized Asset Management and the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center's initiative known as high velocity maintenance. Command officials hope high velocity maintenance will reduce the time aircraft are out of service undergoing programmed depot maintenance by doing more advance planning and finding efficiencies in the maintenance process.

Topics relating to the command's "people" priorities included the command's suicide prevention and fitness programs and its Voluntary Protection Program safety initiatives.