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John R. Quetsch memorial lecture. (Workshop Report).

Pack, Cari

The American Society of Military Comptrollers (ASMC) instituted this lecture series in honor of John R. (Jack) Quetsch, and it is authorized by Mrs. Quetsch. During his distinguished career, Mr. Quetsch was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), National President of ASMC, and Chief Financial Officer of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union. He was a gracious mentor and a friend to many, and he was respected by all. The ASMC and the Pentagon Federal Credit Union are honored to present this lecture series in his name. The lecture offers an insightful demonstration on the topic of the individual's choice.

General Lance Lord, Commander, Air Force Space Command, was the speaker. He is responsible for space and missile systems, global network, combat readiness of inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and more than 39,000 space professionals. His lecture was both effective and informative, punctuated with numerous anecdotes.

General Lord addressed the need for real communication. With the availability of bandwidth on demand, we live in an interconnected world. Despite that fact, do we really communicate? What does it take? A framework--we have to separate data from information. How do you build frameworks? For one thing, using opportunities like the ASMC Professional Development Institute, where you can build that framework as well as obtain and maintain professional certification.

To demonstrate effective communication, General Lord stated that one thing he could say, as a commander, that everyone would hear within the next 20 seconds was: "Tomorrow is a day off." There would be an enthusiastic response, and everyone would obey. Even though we can't always offer a benefit, we have to capture the enthusiasm. The essence of the human interactive process is communication.

You have to translate framework into the language of the people you serve. For example, an American businessman asked a Japanese businessman what he thought was the international language of business, expecting the answer to be "English." The Japanese businessman s response was that the language was "whatever my customers are talking."

We need to translate the language into something the warfighters can understand, to develop the framework and put it into the kind of language that allows us to work together. Translate transformation: things will be changing. The Quadrennial Defense Review tried to define what transformation meant: new ways of doing business, new concepts of operations, new technologies, and new contexts.

We can't transform how important these jobs are, but we've sure transformed how they're done. In Afghanistan, during the attack on Nazur-Sharif airport, we had combat controllers, Special Forces, 19- to 21-year-old professionals riding horses and linked with cell phones to global satellites talking to folks in planes. The logistics support took bombs, bullets, saddles, Vaseline, and maybe some Red Man tobacco. We still have B-52 airplanes that are 40 to 50 years old, but in Afghanistan we had the first cavalry charge of the 21st century.

General Lord took command of the Air Force Space Command on April 19, 2002. He focused on three things with his crew--weather; overhead connectivity, and intelligence/reconnaissance. He has to train, organize, and equip those forces with the resources given to him, transforming them to a mission-ready status capable of being utilized. The command has to be skilled in air, land, and sea business. This capability serves all uniformed services, not just the Air Force, so it has major command responsibilities.

The second part of General Lord's position is to take on the day-to-day jobs that transform U.S. Space Command and ensure unified space for Army, Navy, and Air Force capability. The command provides ICBM support to U.S. strategic forces and trains the folks both to deploy the satellites and to translate what comes from the satellites to aid the warfighters.

General Lord's third job is to make his boss the most successful guy in Washington in order to get the resources needed by the Air Force to execute the responsibilities for space.

Our technical intelligence and battlefield characterization are hooked to missile defense. We will continue to modernize and transform the business. We must have an attitude for success, have the framework and the language, and then take action. We have to take opportunities, get together as a team, and work together to influence the future.

It takes experts to understand the environment we're in. We have the transformation; now we have to get together to communicate. We'll help each other develop the bona fides and integrated responses and to maintain the world's most respected forces and capabilities. It's not technologies or buildings--it's the people.

General Lord asked for questions, and a few are included here.

Q: As far as outsourcing goes, how does that help in accomplishing our mission to serve the military?

A: The Space Command is highly outsourced with contracts, and we're always looking at smarter, more efficient ways of doing business. Potential outsourcing wasn't all that easy. It can be a key to accomplishing the goals, but it is not the only answer.

Q: To revisit the issue of weapons in space: Our mission is space control. We have to be able to look at space, use it to our advantage, and deny our enemies the opportunity to use it against us. We will protect the environment reactively if necessary; how do we know we're doing the right thing?

A: It could be 10 to 15 years of emergence before others may have the capability to use technologies against us.

Q: "Leaping-ahead technology"--how likely is it that we can leap ahead?

A: That kind of depends on the area. What we saw in Afghanistan were not necessarily leaps, but answers to the problems. Our future military operations will require worry about anti-access; it may take joint operations and work differently.

Q: What do you, as a senior officer, seek and need from your financial manager?

A: I want someone who knows the difference between inputs and outputs. He has to learn how to whine for dollars--make that beg. He also has to learn about cash flow and bottom line. Fiscal responsibility--if we know where the money is, we know where the organization is going. Dr. Zakheim is moving us toward systems that will give us real-time answers as to where we are.

Q: The war on terrorism is a new battlefield. How do you see us balancing A76, need for 30,000 more folks, etc?

A: The Secretary of Defense still is exploring whether we need more people or whether we can be more efficient as an organization. Owner-user understanding of what's going on will contribute to that effort. Everyone needs to understand his role in the solutions.

Q: Will the Space Command transform into a separate space force?

A: There was a time once, but I don't think so. It might happen in the first lieutenant's career, but not in mine. I don't want a separate environment and a separate chain of command; things could change in 50 to 75 years, but I don't see a fifth Service as a viable opportunity.

General Lord concluded with the following: You can react, or you can try to shape and influence the future. If you don't have a dream, you can't have a dream come true. Don't aim too low. If you aim for the moon and miss, you're still in the stars.

The address concluded with the presentation of a $1,000 check to the Hospice of Metro Denver.

Reported by Carl Pock

Cari Pock is a staff accountant with the Accounting Procedures Branch, Defense Finance and Accounting Service-Kansas City. Her DFAS experience includes 2 years as a centrally managed career intern, 2 years with the Annual Financial Statements (CFO) team, and the most recent 2 years in Procedures. She has served her ASMC chapter as newsletter editor for 3 years and currently is the treasurer of the Kansas City Chapter.
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Title Annotation:lecture by Air Force Space Command commander General Lance Lord
Publication:Armed Forces Comptroller
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2002
Words:1311
Previous Article:DFAS Service Day.
Next Article:Executive writing. (Workshop Report).
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