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AFSC bids farewell to top civilian

An image of Kevin Stamey, Air Force Sustainment Center executive director, at the Emerging Supervisor Development Program graduation.

Kevin Stamey, executive director of the Air Force Sustainment Center, was the guest speaker at the Emerging Supervisor Development Program held at the Tinker Event Center Sept. 11, 2019. Stamey handed out certificates to 70 graduates during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kelly White)

The top civilian in the Air Force Sustainment Center will soon leave his post for the nation’s capital.

Kevin Stamey, who has served as the executive director of the Air Force Sustainment Center for three years, is leaving the AFSC July 6 to become director of the Information Dominance Directorate in Washington, D.C.

“The opportunity to serve as the executive director for the AFSC was truly unexpected and humbling especially considering so many of previous directors were my mentors and people I greatly admired.  

“I’m grateful that I was given the chance to make a difference across an enterprise that has such a profound effect on the readiness of the U.S. Air Force,” said Stamey. “While I am excited about the job in D.C., it is a bittersweet moment to leave the 40,000 AFSC teammates.”

As with any leadership position there were challenges for Stamey, but the biggest was the unprecedented COVID-19 global pandemic.

He said leadership was faced with many tough decisions on how to make employee safety a priority while still completing a mission that was critical to national defense.

“I would first like to start with a salute to our workforce, who demonstrated great resilience and extraordinary patriotism in their response to COVID-19,” said Stamey. “Across our enterprise the workforce stepped up in ways that gave credit to what it means to be a public servant and why the organic industrial base is so important to our national defense in times of crisis.”

In addition, Stamey included a salute for Union partners who came alongside to respond to numerous issues no one has ever had to deal with. 

 “The fundamental reason the organic industrial base exists is to respond and surge in the times of a national crisis,” said Stamey. “That is exactly what the AFSC workforce did; they responded with amazing resiliency and demonstrated their commitment to stand in the gap whether it is a war-related surge or an invisible enemy like a coronavirus.”

In spite of the pandemic slowing things down, the work continued, but there are personal projects left unfinished that Stamey hopes his predecessor will see to fruition. Two of the biggest are food service options for the south campus of Tinker Air Force Base and Off-Base Innovation Centers bringing together academia, local government and industry to create collaborative space for advanced manufacturing and software development.

“My proudest accomplishment is probably the work I’ve done to collaborate with the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Baker-Hughes and Oklahoma civic leaders to create an external innovation center,” Stamey said. “It was an idea that has been four years in the making and we are very close to breaking ground.”

The innovation centers will be a collaborative space for advanced manufacturing and software development, and both centers are within six to nine months of becoming a reality.

“While I won’t see the fruit of this labor before I depart AFSC, it now has enough momentum and funding behind it that it will happen,” he said.

In Utah, Stamey launched a similar project through a partnership with the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative that resulted in a facility just outside the gate of Hill AFB, but the Tinker project is expected to surpass the USTAR facility’s capability.

“As you drive down I-235 in the coming months, you should start to see activity next to the existing Baker-Hughes facility,” he said. “I’m excited for both Tinker and Oklahoma.”