BY MARK SCHLACHTENHAUFEN
The Edmond Sun
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE — The U.S. Air Force officially activated the Air Force Sustainment Center here Tuesday morning. The purpose of the restructuring throughout the Air Force’s logistics centers is to provide greater military capabilities, improve readiness and operate effectively in the current fiscal environment, a commander said.
Last year, Air Force Materiel Command announced it would consolidate 12 centers in a plan to streamline operations, reduce its work force and save about $109 million a year.
During Tuesday’s ceremony Tinker was designated as headquarters of the Air Force Sustainment Center (AFSC). Tinker will provide oversight of air logistics centers at Tinker, Robins Air Force Base in Georgia and Hill Air Force Base in Utah, along with the Global Logistics Support Center at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.
The centers sustain weapon system readiness to generate airpower for America anytime, anywhere, said freshly promoted Lt. Gen. Bruce Litchfield. Litchfield, who has served as commander of Tinker’s massive repair depot, will lead the base’s new AFSC. It provides war-winning capabilities to the warfighter through world-class depot maintenance, supply chain management and installation support, Litchfield said.
Litchfield, who was promoted during Tuesday morning’s ceremony marking the activation of the AFSC to command, said the center is committed to quick response to problems that will arise.
“Because of the planning efforts I’m confident that we’re in better shape to manage our mission under the new Sustainment Center than we were 30 minutes ago,” Litchfield said.
AFSC headquarters at Tinker will provide execution and consolidation oversight of maintenance, supply chain activities and installation support, according to information from the Air Force.
Center command will be responsible for a work force of more than 32,000 military and civilian personnel and Air Force contractors. It will oversee installation support to more than 75,000 personnel working in 141 associate units at the three AFSC bases. They support more than 125,000 military retirees and their families.
Litchfield said the work force is more than up to the challenge.
“We are not put in these positions to discuss, to try,” he said. “We’re here to get results.”
The economic impact of the AFSC bases on their surrounding communities includes more than 70,000 jobs with a total payroll of $4.4 billion along with $2.2 billion in locally awarded contracts, according to the Air Force. As a result, a projected 106,000 jobs will be created in the local economies.
Following Tuesday’s AFSC activation at Tinker, current maintenance wings will begin their transition to air logistics complexes. Tinker’s 76th Maintenance Wing transitioned Tuesday. A wing at Hill AFB, Utah, will transition July 12. A wing at Robins AFB, Ga., will transition July 17. Tinker’s 448th Supply Chain Management Wing and a Scott AFB wing will activate July 11.
Litchfield said operational capability is to begin in October.
Tinker is home of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, which repairs, maintains and provides chain management on a variety of bomber, refueling and reconnaissance aircraft, among others.
The Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex will repair and maintain a variety of bombers and refueling aircraft in addition to overseeing supply chain management. It is responsible for depot-level repair, modifications, overhaul and functional flight checks of the B-1, B-52, KC-135, E-3 and the Navy’s E-6 aircraft. Engines maintained include a substantial inventory including the older Pratt & Whitney TF33 and state-of-the-art F119 engines.
USAF Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger praised the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center for its contributions to the Air Force and the nation.
BY MARK SCHLACHTENHAUFEN
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