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News > Personnel strive for brighter, more efficient future while achieving fourth strategic goal
Strategic Goal
As part of Strategic Goal No. 4, base officials have made pre- and post-deployment programs and initiatives a priority. In doing so, they strive to make Tinker’s Airmen fully prepared to deploy and while providing the training and equipment necessary to fulfill their mission downrange. (Air Force photo by Margo Wright)
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Personnel strive for brighter, more efficient future while achieving fourth strategic goal

Posted 1/6/2011   Updated 1/6/2011 Email story   Print story


by Brandice J. O'Brien
Tinker Public Affairs

1/6/2011 - TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla.  -- They're on it and striving to make a long-term difference.

In late October 2010, Maj. Gen. David Gillett, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center commander, introduced the 2011 OC-ALC Strategic Plan at the State of the ALC presentation. Four organizations were assigned to oversee the fourth goal: Improve Mission Readiness and Support. While, individually each unit has plans to tackle the task at hand, collectively, officials said they're planning for the future.

"Winning today's fight means we have to have a trained and ready force downrange that is able to operate successfully in that environment. It also means that we have to be able to perform our critical in-garrison combat service support mission to the best of our abilities here at home-- despite the obstacles we face," said Col. Bob LaBrutta, 72nd Air Base Wing commander. "The biggest challenges we have right now are the significant fiscal constraints in the base operations support portfolio. Because we don't have the dollars, we have to be innovative, very effective, and just as importantly, efficient in the policies, programs and services we provide for our workforce and for their families."

The fourth strategic goal is divided into three objectives and two focus areas. Within the first objective -- Shape Tinker Air Force Base Complex to Meet Mission Requirements -- are two focus areas. The first, Optimize Center Capacity to Meet Workload Assignments, is owned by the OC-ALC Plans and Programs Directorate. The second, Resource Conservation, is managed by the 72nd ABW Civil Engineering Directorate.

To optimize center capacity, Col. Lawrence Gatti, OC-ALC/XP director, said the office will strive for 360-degree awareness.

"We want to focus on strengthening our legacy workload capabilities by optimizing existing capabilities," Colonel Gatti said. "We are also looking forward into the future and seeing what kind of capabilities are out there that we want to obtain, so that Oklahoma City remains the most vibrant, capable air logistics center in the Air Force."

Long-term goals include ownership of the former General Motors plant, specifically Bldg. 9001, which the Air Force leases from Oklahoma County; and a short-term lease with the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Technology Center on Douglas Boulevard. Tinker currently has a year-to-year lease with the MROTC and would like to extend it until 2018, the length of the workload.

Even though budgets continue to be strained, Colonel Gatti said planning for the future benefits Tinker, the Air Force and partnerships with the private sector.

"By building public-private partnerships, we may be able to leverage the flexibility that our civilian counterparts have," Colonel Gatti said. "They can move their investments, personnel and workload much faster than we can. Turning the OC-ALC is like turning a battleship versus turning a speedboat - that's the private sector."

Resource Conservation is similar to the fourth breakthrough performance area, or focus area - Energy Conservation - introduced with the strategic goals at the State of the ALC presentation.

"Civil Engineering has been chartered for years with trying to be good stewards of our nation's resources, whether it's the environment, energy or water," said Thomas "Grif" Griffith, base engineer for the 72nd ABW/CE Directorate. "The environment is very important to us and we have to protect it as part of the day-to-day activities we have."

The 72nd ABW/CE has implemented several programs to conserve energy including fiscal 2010's How Low Can We Go, an electricity-reduction initiative. Initially introduced as a holiday-weekend challenge, it has been extended to every weekend, asking personnel to limit energy use, by turning off unnecessary lights and appliances, and lowering thermostats when away from the workplace.

While resource conservation programs will benefit the Air Force and the center's strategic plan goals, Mr. Griffith said to sustain changes, Tinker's personnel need to be educated and held accountable.

"We're really working hard to get folks educated," Mr. Griffith said. "If we could just get everyone to use the 'ON/OFF' switch, then we could meet every energy goal that the Air Force has mandated.

"We have to change our mindset," Mr. Griffith said. "Education is a great thing, but until people accept personal responsibility for turning off the light switches, we won't meet our goals."

Additionally, by instituting a cultural change, Colonel LaBrutta said the money saved could be reallocated and used in programs that are severely impacted by the budget reductions.

"Civil Engineering took a $6.3-million decrement this year. If we can generate energy savings and put those dollars back into some of the other programs that our civil engineers provide for us it would be prove very valuable," Colonel LaBrutta said. "All of us need to realize that 'we' are part of the solution. The short term gains we garner through sound energy practices and good stewardship will result in long-term benefits for the entire installation."

The second objective, Continue to Strengthen the Tinker Nuclear Enterprise, has advanced several degrees since an effort to reinvigorate the enterprise was introduced in 2008, but compared to other Air Force instruction, is still in infancy stages.

"A lot of the policies are brand new," said Chris Mance, OC-ALC Engineering and Technical Management Lead Logistics Management specialist. "These weren't established procedures, but newly created; and they continue to evolve. So, you have to work with the policies and continually improve them."

The nuclear enterprise primarily consists of a council chaired by General Gillett. Composed of Tinker members from various assigned and tenant organizations, the council discusses issues, which can later be brought to the attention of Air Force Materiel Command leadership.

Mr. Mance said the ultimate goal is to have a self-efficient enterprise.

"We want the program to stand on its own and not rely on any one person to make sure the program is successful," Mr. Mance said.

Lastly, Improve Expeditionary Operations is the final objective that is overseen by Colonel LaBrutta and the 72nd Air Base Wing. The colonel said the purpose of the objective is to ensure Tinker's Airmen, military and civilian, are fully prepared to deploy, are medically, physically and spiritually fit to fight, and that they have the training and equipment necessary to accomplish their critical missions downrange.

In the past year, Colonel LaBrutta said the wing has made significant strides in meeting those goals. In fiscal 2011, the wing will continue to make pre- and post-deployment programs and initiatives a priority and expects continued progress in these vital areas.

"Our goal is to meet 100 percent of our pre- and post-deployment requirements," Colonel LaBrutta said. "The only way we know how we're doing is by establishing specific objectives and then following through by monitoring key metrics that let us know whether or not we're on target.

"If we find that we're not meeting our objectives in any of the areas, we will employ the Air, Space and Information Operations area, value stream analysis, rapid-improvement events or 'just do its' to make course corrections," he said. "We're going to use our lean-transformation methods and tools to ensure that if we fall short, we make the required adjustments to get us back on track thus ensuring our processes and programs are as effective and efficient as possible."

As with the other organizations, Colonel LaBrutta said the ultimate goal is to achieve success.

"The boss has entrusted us with responsibility for these key objectives and we take his charge to us very seriously," he said. "We're excited to face the challenges 2011 will bring because we're going to tackle the barriers aggressively and turn those challenges into opportunities for the future. Success in meeting these objectives will not only have a direct, positive impact on the mission of OC-ALC ... but will also enhance the overall combat and combat support capabilities of the entire installation -- that's huge!"

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