Vandenberg works to improve base capabilities

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Angela Webb
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
An Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century team recently visited Vandenberg for a four-day conference to discuss improving base capabilities Jan. 29 through Feb 1. 

AFSO21 is a project headed by the Secretary of the Air Force, Michael W. Wynne, and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, to enable Airmen to work more efficiently and effectively. The project focuses on what is important and vital to the mission and eliminating the unnecessary. 

The project is an Air Force wide initiative and has held previous sessions at Vandenberg, however, this session concentrated on three core areas: booster processing, range operations and range safety. 

Three teams of approximately 25 personnel each met to identify the current state of the 30th Space Wing processes. The teams identified seams and redundancies, impacts of multiple campaigns, and discussed potential areas of opportunities in their core area. 

"We have a mandate to make our launch operations more efficient," said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Haymond, 30th Launch Group commander. "With AFSO21, we have a framework to make improvements while attacking the most wasteful parts of the process, which should please everyone. 

"The initial phase we just completed yielded much low-hanging fruit; I would encourage all of us to work hard to maintain the momentum of this last week and make these essential improvements." 

Dr. Ronald C. Ritter, the special assistant for AFSO21, also visited Vandenberg and shared his expertise. 

Dr. Ritter is responsible for developing and coordinating the Air Force's AFSO21 transformational efforts. These activities include program design, management of the AFSO21 central team, development of core supporting initiatives in change management, training material, knowledge and performance tracking. He also plays a direct role as senior advisor and continual process improvement mentor to senior Air Force leaders. 

According to Dr. Ritter and his colleagues there are five dimensions of AFSO21 - productivity of people, aircraft equipment, response time, safety and energy efficiency. 

"AFSO21 is not a new concept to the Air Force; it is not temporary, but a continuous effort" Dr. Ritter said. "Since there was an Air Force and as long as there is one, Airmen will be making decisions on how to do it better, faster and stronger."
The AFSO21 initiative is the need for the Air Force to continuously try to improve, while still keeping a smooth transition with the technological advances and the current day-to-day processes. 

"The 30th Space Wing's first priority is to continue supporting launch, range and expeditionary missions," said Col. Jack Weinstein, 30th Space Wing commander.   "AFSO21 is an invaluable training opportunity that gives the wing insight to organize and lean out steps, while maintaining the success of current and future missions.