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AFSO21 - You May Have Heard ...

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century - or AFSO21 - is an initiative being introduced to the Air Force. Many of you have likely heard the term, and some of you may even be familiar with the AFSO21 initiative. For those of you who aren't aware of AFSO21, this article will give you a brief introduction to one of the Air Force's newest directives.

AFSO21 was announced by Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne in his letter to Airmen, dated March 8, 2006, where he introduced the concept as a "dedicated effort to maximize value and minimize waste in our operations." Secretary Wynne stated that AFSO21 signifies a shift in our thinking where we focus on the value in each task we perform and then set a course to eliminate as much waste as possible. It's not about cost cutting but about efficiency in our ways of doing business.

What industry refers to as "Lean" principles (continuous process improvement) are the underlying concepts the Air Force is using for AFSO21. In an era of budget and personnel cuts - and the subsequent belt-tightening that impacts our organizations - we must work smarter and more efficient. General Keys, the Commander, Air Combat Command, in his July 2006 Sight Picture, challenged us to all look hard at our organizational processes and evaluate their value to our operations with the intent of eliminated excess time and effort.

The 55th Wing is onboard with AFSO21 and is taking steps to lead the way for Air combat Command and the Air Force in eliminating mission and process waste. Over the next several months, The Air Pulse will publish periodic AFSO21 tidbits to expose you to the concepts and terminology behind this program. AFSO21 is a mindset for the future, and I need all of you to look at the opportunities for continuous process improvement in the workplace.

If you have questions or want to be involved with the wing's newest program, please contact either your group AFSO21 process manager or my wing AFSO21 initiative point of contact, Lt. Col. Scott Vanderhoof at 294-4108.