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Innovations and transformations.

George W. Bush's speech at the Citadel in September 1999 introduced his position on defense operations and policies. He said, "Even the highest morale is eventually undermined by back-to-back deployments, poor pay, shortages of spare parts and equipment, and rapidly declining readiness."

In Dick Chaney's Republican National Convention speech in August 2000, he said, "Rarely has so much been demanded of our armed forces and so little given to them in return. And I can promise them now, help is on the way."

These and other statements prompted all US military branches to take action. When Donald Rumsfeld testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in June 2001, he expressed his recognition of the magnitude of the problem, by saying, "We have under invested in dealing with future risks. We have failed to invest adequately in the advanced military technologies we will need to meet the emerging threats of the new century." Placed in the forefront of addressing advanced military technologies needed for the emerging new century, the Air Force aims higher than ever before. Starting with initiatives formed in the Spares Campaign, then Depot Maintenance and Reengineering Transformation (DMRT), the Air Force now brings those efforts together in the Directorate of Innovation and Transformation. (1)

In December 2002, the Air Force requested a group of senior retired military officials and industry experts (Red Team) to evaluate the Spares Campaign and DMRT progress, provide an assessment of the initiative implementation plans, identify gaps, develop specific recommendations to enhance successful implementation, and maximize the return on investment. The vast array of initiatives and progress to date impressed the Red Team. However, they identified risks involved with such a wide assortment of initiatives being executed in a decentralized fashion. The Red Team recommended combining a number of transformation efforts into a single entity.

Secretary of the Air Force, Directorate of Public Affairs Press Release No 0225034, 25 February 2003, introduced a new directorate. Under the Deputy Chief of Staff, Installations and Logistics, the Directorate of Innovation and Transformation was created. Grover Dunn, former Deputy Director of Maintenance, will serve as director.

Innovation and Transformation consolidates the Air Force logistics communities, logistics transformation, and enabling technology transformation and reengineering efforts into a single directorate. The directorate will facilitate a more coordinated and integrated move toward Air Force transformation. It will develop and implement Air Force policy and planning for all installations and logistics transformation. Innovation and Transformation will provide leadership and drive change management throughout the design, implementation, and sustainment phases of logistics transformation. The directorate will have two divisions: the Innovation and Transformation Division and Information Technology Division

The Innovation and Transformation Division will plan and develop Air Force installation and logistics transformation concepts for implementation and execution. It also will integrate maintenance, financial management, information technology, planning, spares command and control, and purchasing and supply chain management initiatives for improved warfighter parts supportability and reduced ownership costs.

The Information Technology Division will provide management and oversight of installations and logistics information systems. The division leads the Air Force effort to fully integrate and exploit service and joint information systems. It is the focal point for forecasting, programming, and executing resources for logistics information systems.

Currently, the Innovation and Information team is focusing its efforts on consolidating some initiatives into a more enterprise approach, cutting across functional and organizational boundaries and closing out or transitioning completed Spares Campaign and DMRT initiatives. A change team has been developed to drive a deeper level of program understanding and also develop a risk-mitigation program supporting the Air Force throughout this transformation. Transformation within the Air Force requires extensive cooperation across the entire organization. These efforts will dramatically change the way the Air Force conducts business in the future.

Creating the Directorate of Innovation and Transformation represents a new commitment level within the Air Force, taking bold steps to improve current processes and leverage technology to provide better warfighter support. It also represents a transformation approach transcending functional and organizational boundaries, and addressing processes and systems used throughout the Air Force.

For more information on initiatives, upcoming events, and the latest implementation milestones, please log onto the Spares Campaign Web site,


(1.) For more information on the Spares Campaign and DMRT, please see the Air Force Journal of Logistics, Vol XXV, No 4, Winter 2001, and Vol XXVI, No 3.

Mr Dunn is Director, Innovations and Transformations, Air Force Installations and Logistics.
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Title Annotation:Inside Logistics: exploring the heart of logistics
Author:Dunn, Grover
Publication:Air Force Journal of Logistics
Date:Jun 22, 2003
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