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Air Force convenes AFSO 21 summit

WASHINGTON D.C. -- The secretary of the Air Force, chief of staff and the heads of all Air Force major commands gathered here Aug. 22 to increase the capability of the individual warfighter through Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st century, commonly known as AFSO 21.

AFSO 21 is a dedicated effort to maximize value and minimize waste in Air Force operations that may entail anything from reducing the steps in a process to moving equipment to the end-user.

In the course of a rigorous summit, the senior leaders highlighted ongoing AFSO 21initiatives, targeted required support for key programs, and prioritized savings that have been gained from efficiencies implemented to date. Tough budget issues were aired in frank discussions, and leaders shared the details of successful initiatives.

"The Air Force is off to a great start," said Secretary Michael W. Wynne. "Our Airmen have stepped up to the challenge and are taking AFSO 21seriously. The results speak for themselves." As fiscal constraints are a reality, "it is essential we make AFSO 21 activities part of our culture to remain viable in 2020."

"Whether there is budget pressure or not, AFSO 21 is the right thing to do," said Gen T. Michael Moseley, the Air Force chief of staff. "We must look for system-wide hidden cost saving efficiencies and eliminate unnecessary work and barriers so Airmen can accomplish their most critical work."

"Process improvement will never be complete," the general said. "Even good processes can be made better, and that innovation in day-to-day processes will strengthen Air Force combat capability."

Dr. Ronald C. "Ron" Ritter, special assistant for AFSO 21to the secretary of the Air Force, highlighted the importance of collaboration within the service.

"Sometimes we find that our personnel are successfully solving problems at the base level, but those accomplishments are not well communicated throughout the Air Force," Dr. Ritter said. "Today we shared our successful initiatives across all commands so everyone can benefit from improvements identified by our Airmen."

"The management opportunities and skills we learn through AFSO 21processes are invaluable to our organization," Secretary Wynne said. "Even the world's finest Air Force can improve, and it's critical to the protection of our nation that we continue to do so."