Air Force FMS lead discusses vision for the enterprise

  • Published
  • By Jonathan Tharp
  • Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE (AFLCMC) – Entering 2022, Brig. Gen. Luke Cropsey, director of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate (AFSAC), reflects on his vision for the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) enterprise. Despite another year impacted by COVID, FMS continues to grow with a total portfolio value of $230.2 billion consisting of 3,409 active FMS cases and $104.6 billion work-in-progress.

“One of the things that excites me the most about the Air Force FMS enterprise in 2022 is the digital revolution of Data Visualization and Analytics (DVA) and the Enterprise Case Portal (ECP),” exclaimed Cropsey. “Our team has made tremendous strides towards ubiquitous access and data transparency in FMS business systems, but we’ve only just scratched the surface.  The next few years will see a whole new level of insight as our digital capability picks up speed.”

This time last year, the AFSAC metrics team developed a new automated DVA capability using Tableau software that brings multiple FMS data sources into one live feed and visualizes the data for executive analysis and decision-making. The current DVA capability has expanded significantly across the AFMC FMS Enterprise to bring unprecedented data-driven decision-making capability to the Program Executive Officers and their FMS program offices.

At the same time, the AFSAC ECP team worked with a plethora of stakeholders across the enterprise to increase the usage of ECP in FMS and acquisition operations. ECP is the one-stop shop for all actions associated with an FMS case. Users can search a case ID, country code, or country name, and all FMS case files associated with the search term will appear. Both AFSAC employees and program office personnel use ECP to store and share files for FMS cases.

“A key strategic priority in 2022 is greater integration of FMS and acquisition operations,” added Cropsey. “SAF/AQ and AFSAC are working closely to align policy, resourcing, and strategy. Our goal is to replicate Department of the Air Force processes and reporting as closely as we can within the FMS enterprise so we achieve as much synergy as possible in training and cross-flowing personnel while at the same time minimizing the overhead for reporting requirements to satisfy new Deputy Secretary of Defense mandates for FMS programs.”

A Vision Three Years Ahead

Looking a few years into the future, Cropsey forecasts a proactively postured workforce meeting partner needs with speed and agility. Proactive is the key word. Much of the work being done across the enterprise is transitioning personnel from a reactive role to a proactive one by leveraging the insight from the digital transformation mentioned previously.

AFSAC leadership is also working closely with manpower teams on a human capital plan with onboarding, training, and tools to develop a growing, proactive workforce while also streamlining manpower package approval processes. Tools like DVA and ECP are being leveraged to better use data in building those manpower packages and developing the security cooperation workforce.

Advice for Airmen New to FMS

Cropsey also shared his advice on how to approach work for Airmen new to FMS. He recommends an “Align, Act, Adjust” approach. First, align your perspective on what needs to be accomplished by observing, asking questions, and having a trainable attitude. Second, act by rolling up your sleeves, taking the initiative, and owning your work. Third, adjust your actions by closing the feedback loop, reflecting on what you’ve learned, and seeking continuous improvement and growth both personally and professionally.

He also emphasized the importance of being proactive in new experiences. Over the last year, he explained how his family moved multiple times and overcame the challenge of rebuilding community in their new environment. Being proactive, not passive, was key for developing community in the middle of a new neighborhood during COVID. That same proactive mindset is also helpful for Airmen new to an FMS role as they learn the ropes and integrate with a new team and mission.

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