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As part of a recurring effort to immerse Air Force Sustainment Center leadership in the local work force mission and communities around the base, Lt. Gen. Gene Kirkland, AFSC commander, Kevin Stamey, AFSC executive director, and other center leadership visited Hill Air Force Base Dec. 8-14 as part of a “move the flag” visit.
Throughout the week, Kirkland and his command team conducted their headquarters business from the base while making a deliberate effort to meet with Hill AFB’s military and civilian Airmen, as well as with civic leaders in the local communities around the installation.
This was the second time this year move the flag occurred at Hill AFB. Previous visits occurred at Hill AFB and Robins AFB, Georgia, at the beginning of the year.
Kirkland said move the flag is more than just a base visit for him and his staff who have few opportunities to travel together.
Rather, it’s a symbolic relocation of the center headquarters from Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, and allows them to connect with the operations, the missions, the workforces, and communities across the three main bases that make up the Sustainment Center.
“By spending ‘quantity time’ for an entire week at Hill or Robins, it allows us to be exposed to more units, more people, and more community leaders across the Sustainment Center,” Kirkland said. “Move the flag gives us the benefit of a deeper experience at a location…its units, its people and its daily rhythms help shape our leadership approach.”
Stamey, AFSC’s top civilian leader, said the weeklong visits provide him an opportunity to build relationships with the sustainment center’s other civilian leaders, and dialogue about important issues affecting the air base wings and air logistics complexes.
“One of the reasons I like these visits is I get to build relationships with people in ways that can’t be done over the phone, by email, or in a video teleconference. There is lot of good dialogue when you get people in the same room,” Stamey said.
During this visit, Kirkland and Stamey spent more than half of their time visiting different organizations, and received a number of immersion briefings about ongoing operations and initiatives. The message they worked to consistently communicate with the units they visited: Art of the Possible is how we do business in AFSC.
“We have an imperative to generate readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy and Art of the Possible is how we do that in AFSC,” Kirkland said. “It builds confidence to see how widely and how deeply AoP has been employed across the center, both for legacy workloads and emerging workloads like the 5th generation work performed here at the Ogden ALC.”
Applying AoP principles is about identifying and eliminating constraints from center’s processes while delivering readiness to the warfighter for less cost, Stamey said.
“We ask everybody to look at that …figure out how to do our job more efficiently, because ultimately that cost gets passed back to the customer,” he said.
Kirkland noted while AoP is a natural fit for industrial practices, he’s also been impressed by the leaders who have demonstrated its applicability to administrative processes, and who have been able to improve and deliver better customer service with it.
In addition, Kirkland emphasized the Voluntary Protection Program throughout the week, and explained that he’s counting on supervisors, in partnership with union teammates, to implement and sustain VPP as the center’s safety program. He also spent time encouraging Airmen to remain committed to the Air Force’s core values and wingman culture.
While meeting with men and women performing the mission throughout their visit, Kirkland and Stamey made a special trip to the Airman Recreation Center to speak and mingle with junior Airmen, and had an opportunity to recognize eight civilian Airmen for 40 years of federal service.
“It is always inspiring to talk directly with Airmen, both civilian and military, who make the mission happen,” Kirkland said.
Outside of conducting business and meeting with Airmen, Kirkland visited with civic leaders in the communities around the base to thank them for their support of Hill AFB, its workforce and its families, and discussed shared opportunities between the base and community.
“All three AFSC installations are blessed with tremendous community support and that is nowhere more true than here at Hill Air Force Base,” Kirkland said.
Kirkland said what’s common at all three AFSC installations is “…a workforce that is world-class, comprised of great Americans who believe in the Air Force mission and demonstrate it daily.”
“What’s also common to Center’s three installations is air base wing support to important operational wings. At Hill, that would be the 388th Fighter Wing and the Air Force Reserve’s 419th Fighter Wing. We have the same dynamic at Tinker and Robins,” he added.
Stamey passed along his admiration for Hill AFB’s innovation.
“One of the things that I’ve always admired about the workforce at Hill is their innovative mindset,” Stamey said. “They’re always pushing the envelope, and they always seem to be knee deep in the middle of something new …leading the way for the Air Force.”
Kirkland expressed his thanks to the men and women of Hill AFB for their hard work.
“I am impressed by the civilian and military leadership that I am blessed to work with and I have an extreme level of trust in them to execute their missions and take care of their people,” Kirkland said. “As individuals and as teams, our work deserves our best efforts, and the men and women at Hill deliver on that daily basis.
“The work being performed across our depots and through the air base wings is vital to our Air Force’s ability to fly, fight and win,” he said.
Kirkland said the goal is to do a move the flag every eight to nine months at each location. The next one will be held at Robins AFB in February.
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