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Space launch enterprise fully engaged in AFSO21 journey

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 45th Space Wing moved closer to increased efficiency in the areas of Eastern Range safety and scheduling this week when teams briefed Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Susan Helms about Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century (AFSO21) cost-cutting measures.

"Both teams developed very in-depth action plans to implement our future state for both Range scheduling and systems safety," said Larry Hornback, 45th SW director of executive programs.

Howard Schindzielorz, 45th SW Safety Office, is on the team that briefed the general about Range safety initiatives. "Our intent with this AFSO21 initiative is to increase efficiency, while maintaining the same high levels of safety," he said.

Maj. Rob Light, 1st Range Operations Squadron, is on the team that identified Range scheduling actions. He said they used three major steps. First, they illustrated the current state of the Range scheduling process and identified areas for improvement. Second, they drafted an ideal state and discussed where "reality" would need to be injected into the process. Finally, they created a future state model of where the Range scheduling process should be in five years, while prioritizing the areas for improvement and assigning action officers.

"This was an extraordinary team effort that accomplished a great deal in a limited amount of time," said Major Light. According to Mr. Hornback, the major takeaway proposals briefed for the general included:

- Achieving greater utilization of the Range Automated Tasking System and making the system transparent to Range users;
- Better defining roles and responsibilities in the wing's anomaly resolution process and appointing a wing integrator for anomaly resolution;
- Better use of technology to conduct factory witnessing of ordnance installation and conduct witnessing based on criteria that acknowledges program maturity; 
and 
- Redefining how procedures are reviewed and how the wing conducts local witnessing. 

"Key to AFSO21 is understanding that we're not conducting drills to eliminate jobs," General Helms explained. "We're looking for efficiencies to reduce costs so we can free up resources to help the Air Force with its priorities of recapitalizing and modernizing our air and space systems."

General Helms will provide an update on the wing's AFSO21 progress to Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne Tuesday. After that, a team from Patrick AFB will go to Los Angeles AFB to help value stream map booster acquisition and begin to plan for the integration of the wing's efforts with those of Vandenberg AFB and the Space and Missile Systems Center. Ultimately, those efforts will culminate with the major players from the military space launch community getting together to design the future state of launch operations.

"I'm highly encouraged by the great preliminary work our AFSO21 teams have done," said General Helms. "Secretary Wynne challenged us to improve the launch process and we're going to deliver."