One year later: AFMC continues to advance Strategic Plan Lines of Effort

  • Published
  • By Marisa Alia-Novobilski
  • Air Force Materiel Command

The Air Force Materiel Command continues to make progress on the lines of effort identified in its 2023 Strategic Plan as it develops, delivers, supports and sustains the war-winning platforms and capabilities our warfighters need to succeed.

“Our Air Force relies on AFMC Airmen to deliver capabilities and maintain our installations across the enterprise. The strategic plan ensures we are leveraging all the tools and talent at our disposal to do this effectively,” said Gen. Duke Z. Richardson, AFMC Commander. “We continue to focus on enterprise solutions, digital materiel management, and collaboration with every MAJCOM for every weapon system as we look ahead and align our efforts to deliver on the blueprint for the Air Force of the future.”

The AFMC Strategic Plan, released early 2023, identifies four key lines of effort supported by cross-cutting attributes of speed, strength, endurance, balance, flexibility and coordination. The lines of effort are:

  • Deliver Integrated Capabilities - Drive the integration of research, development, test, sustainment, support, and infrastructure to maximize readiness and lethality for each individual capability, and across all capabilities.
  • Strengthen Our Team - Advance the professional and personal development, retention, resilience, and innovation of our workforce so every AFMC Airman and Guardian can achieve their full potential.
  • Revolutionize Our Processes - Implement enterprise solutions, Digital Materiel Management, and other methods to revolutionize critical processes in support of the mission and warfighter.
  • Amplify Warfighting Culture - Connect every AFMC Airman and Guardian to the mission and focus the materiel enterprise on delivering capabilities and services in support of operational execution and deterrence.

Each line of effort directly supports AFMC’s ability to enable Department of the Air Force priorities as it supports the warfighter through innovation, delivery of enterprise solutions, and ensuring every individual reaches their full potential.

“As I’ve said in the past, in the machine of our nation’s defense, we are the powerhouse,” said Richardson. “We need to continue to find ways to be more effective and quickly leverage every available tool to create systems and processes to keep us competitive with our pacing challenge.”

Throughout 2023, AFMC teams marked several successes aligned to each Line of Effort in the plan. Below are just a few of the actions taken during the past year to ensure the command is optimized for the future.

Line of Effort One - Deliver Integrated Capabilities:

  • Re-optimizing for Great Power Competition:  AFMC teams, with the Department of the Air Force, began efforts to bolster and integrate the work of every Center within the command toward delivery of the force design capabilities needed to deter, or fight and win if necessary.
  • New Software Directorate Created: A single software engineering collaboration organization was established within the Air Force Sustainment Center to integrate the command’s software ecosystem capabilities to Air Force priorities and rapidly address the growth in volume and complexity of software-enabled weapon systems.  The stand-up of the directorate eliminates duplication of efforts and aims to provide real-time solutions faster and more efficiently to meet the needs of the warfighter.
  • Wargames and Exercise Participation:  AFMC personnel participated in multiple wargames and enterprise exercises, collaborating with hundreds of operators and subject matter experts from across the Unified Combatant Commands, Defense Agencies, National Laboratories, and other component services to assess the command’s ability to deliver capabilities to sustain the legacy force and deliver future needs. Training exercises helped test the command’s logistics enterprise to ensure sustainment readiness and the ability to support conflict deterrence and power projection against pacing challenges.
  • Aviation Support Equipment Management Flight Established:  A cross-major command collaboration led to the establishment of a new Aviation Support Equipment Management Flight in the 440th Supply Chain Operation Squadron, 735th Supply Chain Operations Group, Langley AFB, Virginia, which will embed with supply teams to lead enterprise management activities. The Initial Operational Capability is projected for Sept. 30, 2025 when 69% of the manning is in place and trained. The maintenance-focused flight will reach full operational capability by Sept. 30, 2026. Current efforts include foundational work to populate equipment maintenance documentation and health status to provide decision-level data to teams. The goal is to detail process guides, identify policy gaps, and address constraints and inefficiencies in activities.
  • Spark Tanks Ignite Innovation:  Spark Tank competitions ignited the innovative spirit inherent in AFMC Airmen who proposed hundreds of solutions to improve the mission across the command and the Department of the Air Force. Two AFMC innovations were selected as Department of the Air Force Spark Tank finalists, with impactful potential in flightline resupply and cyber assessment. An innovative digital design optimization idea won the AFMC-level competition, with the potential to reduce waste by identifying issues early in the acquisition process.

Line of Effort Two - Strengthen Our Team:

  • Digital Innovation & Integration Center of Excellence Establishment:  A new Digital Innovation and Integration Center of Excellence was established in conjunction with the Air Force Institute of Technology to help accelerate integrated capability delivery through Digital Materiel Management across the materiel lifecycle and functional disciplines through education, research, consulting and best practices. DIICE will generate digital solutions centered on model-based systems integration efforts that result in improved execution of weapon acquisitions and support.
  • Improved Personnel Processes:  AFMC improved accessions and retention across the command in 2023. The organization overcame time-constraining barriers to bringing new civilian hires on board faster by allowing earlier reporting while official transcripts are processing. The command also reduced hiring timelines by 54%, optimizing processes to bring new talent to the team faster.
  • Civilian Sponsorship Program Revitalization:  AFMC revitalized the command Civilian Sponsorship Program to support new employees through job transitions and help build unit resilience, with the goal of enabling employees to be effective in their new roles faster.
  • Spouse Support Program Created:  A new AFMC Civilian Spouse Placement Program provides another avenue for employment opportunities for those spouses subject to a Permanent Change of Station, helping those who are eligible and qualified to attain employment at new locations.

Line of Effort Three - Revolutionize Our Processes:

  • Digital White Paper Published:  The release of the AFMC white paper, "Digital Materiel Management: An Accelerated Future State," established a shared vision on a new approach to accelerating the acquisition life cycle through models, data and collaborative infrastructure. This digital-first approach, which emphasizes close collaboration between government, academia and industry, aims to ensure the U.S. can surpass adversaries in fielding, sustainment, and modernization.
  • Digital Acceleration Task Force Established:  A new Digital Acceleration Task Force will drive the implementation of Digital Materiel Management across the enterprise while accelerating the Department of the Air Force’s digital transformation efforts. The DATF is working closely with the Digital Transformation Office, other services, and industry partners to develop collaborative digital environments, establish industry consortia, create a digital playbook, and secure and structure life cycle data.
  • Digital Materiel Management Industry Association Consortium Created:  AFMC spearheaded efforts to establish a new Industry Association Consortium to unite experts from the Department of the Air Force, Army, defense industry and academia to collaborate on Digital Materiel Management and Digital Transformation solutions. The IAC will enable a cooperative framework across the engineering, program management, contracting, logistics, financial management, and test and evaluation fields.
  • Lean Processes Executed:  AFMC implemented several lean processes, led by the Financial Management Directorate, to create a comprehensive, command-informed approach to the current Air Force publication waiver process. This led to the evaluation and waiver of more than 400 moderate and low-risk compliance items across 15 financial management series publications, saving manhours and helping to reduce bureaucracy-laden capability delivery timelines.

Line of Effort Four - Amplify Warfighting Culture:

  • Blueprint to Bombers Keynote:  Richardson’s keynote address during the Air Force Association’s 2023 Air, Space and Cyber Conference, used the B-21 Bomber program to highlight AFMC Airmen impacts on each aspect of the capability delivery process. In his speech, Richardson outlined how the B-21 program exemplifies AFMC’s commitment to delivering integrated capabilities, covering all aspects of the life cycle, from research and development, through acquisition and testing, to long-term sustainment and support.
  • Workforce Threat-Informed:  Ongoing efforts are helping to create a fully threat-informed workforce across the command. Multiple current intelligence briefs at all classification levels were developed and distributed command-wide in 2023 to generate greater awareness of the adversary threat and ensure the workforce understands the criticality of what they do to combat these in their daily work.

Throughout 2024, AFMC will continue to work actions aligned to each Line of Effort as it remains committed to ensuring the Department of the Air Force remains ready and able to meet current and future threat needs. Cross-department and defense industry collaboration will remain critical to success as AFMC continues to focus on horizontal integration of capabilities and enterprise solutions.

“Our Nation and our Air Force rely on AFMC to deliver war-winning capabilities, project power to deter our adversaries, provide sustained support, build infrastructure, and develop technological solutions for our warfighter needs,” said Richardson. “The Strategic Plan will continue to guide our success, powered by the outstanding Airmen and Civilians across the command. Together, we are one AFMC, powering the world’s greatest Air Force.”