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General speaks on Air Force Smart Operations

Lt. Gen. Donald Wetekam (left), Deputy Chief of Staff for Installations and Logistics, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., answers a question posed to him during a breakfast held at the Hillcrest Dining facility while (left to right) Maj. Gen. Kevin Sullivan, Ogden Air Logistics Center commander, Senior Airman Gevoyd Little III, 775th Civil Engineer Squadron and Staff Sgt. William White, 775 CES listen. Photo by Alex R. Lloyd

Lt. Gen. Donald Wetekam (left), Deputy Chief of Staff for Installations and Logistics, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., answers a question posed to him during a breakfast held at the Hillcrest Dining facility while (left to right) Maj. Gen. Kevin Sullivan, Ogden Air Logistics Center commander, Senior Airman Gevoyd Little III, 775th Civil Engineer Squadron and Staff Sgt. William White, 775 CES listen. Photo by Alex R. Lloyd

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- On April 12 at Club Hill, Lt. Gen. Donald Wetekam, spoke to a large group of Team Hill members during the Logistics Officers Association Luncheon.

General Wetekam is Deputy Chief of Staff for Installations and Logistics, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He is responsible to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force for leadership, management and integration of Air Force civil engineering, security forces, logistics readiness, supply, transportation, and aircraft and missile maintenance.

"If you look at his portfolio of programs, he is responsible for about 40 percent of us that wear this uniform and that is a huge responsibility," said Maj. General Kevin Sullivan, Ogden Air Logistics Center commander.

In addition to his other duties, General Wetekam is also responsible for setting policy and preparing budget estimates that reflect enhancements to productivity, combat readiness and quality of life for Air Force people.

His main topic of discussion at the luncheon was the Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st century. The AFSO 21 initiative is a program designed to institute improvement and maximize value throughout the Air Force.

"As a huge AFSO 21 advocate, I can honestly say that Hill Air Force Base just gets it," General Wetekam said. "I am very proud of what all our Air Logistics Centers have done, but the Ogden ALC has gone further faster than any other center out there."

General Wetekam said he thinks that the AFSO 21 initiative is catching on and already making great improvements to the Air Force. He said Hill AFB serves as a great example of its effectiveness.

"I see a lot of signs that it is catching on and people are beginning to understand the power of a lean theory to all of our operations," he said. "I appreciate the work that you have done and continue to do to light the way for our Air force in regards to AFSO 21. It's hard to ignore the example you have set here."

General Wetekam said that the Air Logistics Center across the Air Force and the entire Air Force as a whole, are better than they have ever been.

"The ALCs are equal today to the very best maintenance repair and overhaul centers in the world," he said. "That has happened in a period of about seven years. At the end of the day, I think we are a much better Air Force today then we have ever been."

General Wetekam entered the Air Force in June 1973 after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. A career logistics officer, the general has commanded three maintenance squadrons, a logistics group and a logistics center. He has served staff tours at both major command and Air Staff levels. He will retire July 1, 2007.