Westover hosts AFRC process improvement event

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Shane M. Phipps
  • 439th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Representatives from across Air Force Reserve Command recently held a rapid improvement event, here, June 10 through 14.

The event aimed to pinpoint potential process improvements for current Logistics Readiness Officer (LRO), or 21R, training requirements. The overall project is an AFRC A4 human capital strategy, with the objective of creating an efficient, accessible, and standard method toward training, development and position management initiatives. This approach aligns with the commander of AFRC, Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee’s intent to, “prioritize strategic depth and accelerate readiness, develop resilient leaders, and reform the organization.”

“We’re at Westover to do a continuous process improvement event, specifically for 21R training,” said Lt. Col. Raymond Bradshaw, Air Force Reserve Command A4RF Branch Chief. “When you envision a way of doing things better, it’s extremely important to get buy-in from the field. So, to bring LROs from across the command, and have these discussions, it not only brings the best practices in the field but you get buy-in when making process improvement decisions. That’s extremely important.”  

The recent gathering at Westover is the first in a multi-pronged execution approach, leading to eventual command-wide improvements.

“The event at Westover was the first of three sub-project events for the overall 21R human capital strategy,” said Lt. Col. Rebecca Schultz, 58th Aerial Port Squadron commander. “Now that we’ve successfully completed the first initiative, we’re starting to make improvements to the career field. A lot of work has been put into this strategic approach and it was important for this first event at Westover to be successful. We owe much of that success to Steven Marchegiani who was instrumental in facilitating the initial phase of this project.”

In addition to officers working in logistics readiness and aerial port squadrons, one Mission Support Group commander was present to provide an added leadership perspective.

“As an MSG, we’re responsible for making sure our Airmen are ready to deploy and a big part of that is the LRO community,” said Col. Cynthia Wong, 514th Mission Support Group commander. “I was very interested in coming to Westover because they’re one of the wings that is leaning forward in the MSG community in terms of providing a policy for LRO rotations. I’m hoping to bring some best practices back to my LRS commander, who can implement at our wing and train our LROs in a shorter time frame.”

Intended to be a first step toward solutions, the discussions held at Westover enable future changes to existing training requirements.

“It currently takes longer to train an LRO than it does a pilot and there’s something wrong with that,” said Wong. “So, I was very glad to hear that the command is taking a look at things and trying to come up with solutions.”

Coordinating the event, Lt. Col. Bradshaw is charged with seeing that these discussions don’t fall on deaf ears and that reservist’s unique challenges are considered.

“Whether active duty, guard or reserve, we all have to find creative solutions to positively affect the health of our force, in ways that make sense,” said Bradshaw. “We have time constraints, which is our biggest challenge. It’s important for the reservists to have a seat at the table in these discussions and ensure everyone understands the limiting factors in trying to get someone trained at a reserve base.”

The event proved a successful move toward positive changes that will affect an entire career field of Air Force officers.

“This gives me a better understanding of the complexity of what’s involved with becoming an LRO and allows us to see if we can reduce that training timeline, while still conducting effective training,” said Wong. “It’s a good initiative to make a more efficient process, and ultimately produce a much better logistics officer who we can confidently send down range.”