WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --
Digital activities across the Air Force Materiel Command are transitioning to a new, formal strategy-driven operational focus following the release of the 2023 AFMC Strategic Plan earlier this month.
“We’re maturing from a voluntary, ‘coalition of the willing’ mindset to execution-focused, organizational digital activities grounded in the newly-published strategic guidance,” said Kyle Hurst, chief, Department of the Air Force Digital Transformation Office. “The 2023 AFMC Strategic Plan is focused on Digital Materiel Management. To support the focus, our team will be working to establish a series of enduring initiatives to drive digital methods across the entire lifecycle of our warfighting systems and installation and mission support capabilities.”
Digital Materiel Management (DMM) is the process of integrating and employing digital methodologies across the entire lifecycle, from invention to retirement, across all warfighting capabilities.
“Digital Materiel Management is the disruptive enabler the command needs to accelerate our delivery of war-winning capabilities. Using modern tools, data-driven decision making, and automated processes, we can accelerate the development and deployment of improved weapons systems,” said Hurst. “The People’s Republic of China is outpacing our ability to develop and deploy systems at an alarming rate. Digital Materiel Management activities are an essential component in accelerating our acquisition efforts to meet our near-peer challenges.”
The new AFMC digital focus builds on the AFMC Digital Campaign which launched in 2020 to promote enterprise digital activities, resources, and formal governance that included both Air and Space acquisition communities. The Campaign launched the Digital Guide website to share enterprise insights and helped establish the baseline for advancing the DAF’s digital future.
Whereas the AFMC Digital Campaign was primarily driven by a group of volunteers who ‘kick-started’ a digital culture shift across the command, DMM efforts are formalized through strategic guidance and will be owned and implemented by functional teams, center leaders, program offices and projects across the broader acquisition and sustainment enterprise. This effort aligns with Department of the Air Force Digital Acquisition priorities and the digital goals and objectives from Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration.
“Notable offices essential to this priority include the Department of the Air Force Digital Transformation Office, Open Architecture Management Office, Air Force-Product Lifecycle Management Office, and each AFMC Center, functional community, and Program Executive Office portfolio. Every AFMC Center, functional community, and program will need to embrace this digital strategy,” said Hurst.
Initial work for the new digital plan will focus on developing a longer-term, command-level roadmap for Digital Acquisition and Digital Materiel Management across the enterprise. Resource planning will focus on budgetary needs for platform and enterprise tools; training, culture, and policy changes; investments to secure and structure digital data; and formal PEO engagement to establish program accountability.
Longer term, the digital plan focus will shift to development and deployment of enterprise-level, cloud-hosted tool environments; open architectures; Model-Based Systems Engineering frameworks; standard data formats and more.
“While there are many efforts that are ongoing, there is a specific need in the near-term to develop a coherent, time-driven, roadmap that can be used to align these parallel efforts. We will continue to reach out to digital-doers at the grass-roots level to facilitate synergies and capitalize on coordination efficiencies,” said Hurst.
To learn more about the new AFMC digital focus, visit https://www.afmc.af.mil/About-Us/Digital/. To engage with the Department of the Air Force Digital Transformation Office, visit https://dafdto.com/.
The Digital Guide is accessible at https://usaf.dps.mil/teams/afmcde/SitePages/Home.aspx (CAC Required) or https://wss.apan.org/af/aflcmc/. It will be updated as program changes are implemented.