C3: By Airmen for Airmen

  • Published
  • By Col. Maureen Smith
  • 81st Training Group
More than 70 years ago, Keesler Field began operations as a training base for the Army Air Corps. Over the last 70 years we have proudly produced more than one million Airmen who have served their country with pride and honor, providing the Air Force with necessary skills to ensure that we remain the best Air Force in the world. This mission was accomplished through many different economic environments, to include healthy and scarce governmental budgets. What we never compromised was the quality of our product: we have always provided the Air Force, its sister services, and our international allies with quality Airmen possessing the technological knowledge to carry out coalition missions throughout our history.

Today's budget challenge should not stop us from completing our missions. The men and women of Keesler are extremely capable people, who individually provide so much to the next generation of Airmen, and as a team cannot be beaten. Think of our accomplishments in the last year; an excellent rating in the consolidated unit inspection, winning the commander-in-chief Installation Excellence Award--the best installation in the Air Force, and leading the command in the cost conscious culture .

I like to explain C3 as applying common sense to improving our processes while lowering the cost of the operations. As you, the men and women of Keesler have already proved, you get it. You have impressively taken the base from almost last place to first place in the command in our C3 endeavor. What does this mean? You are a first-class team who is dedicated to continue our heritage of excellence and mission completion even in the days of lower budgets. We have been here before, but this time is different, you have been empowered to provide money and efficiency-saving ideas to the command. They are actively seeking your input so we many continue the training mission without any interruption.

As one can see, we have been successful in many venues, not only in training (which has my heart), but also in support and medical. We are knocking it out of the park, with initiatives that are saving anywhere from $14 million for a new training system, developing a program to reduce printer cost by installing multi-functional devices for communication requirements, to $18 for paperwork to academically reclassify Airmen. We are recouping money every day to ensure we can continue to support the ongoing missions of the base. There are many avenues to provide your creative ideas on more effective and efficient operations.

Our C3 program is being run by Airmen, for Airmen. We can all make a difference in the cost of performing our mission. I encourage you to take a look at the processes you are involved in or participate. You, at the ground level are the ones who make a difference in how we do business. Let your voice be heard by proposing C3 initiatives within your units. Your commander will welcome the input and the Air Force needs your help to continue to meet mission goals while in a resource constrained environment. We need your creative ideas and we encourage your participation in this new and exciting program of grass roots process and program improvement.