Reaching our goals for 2008

  • Published
  • By Col. Greg Touhill
  • 81st Training Wing Commander
The senior leadership team met off-site at the end of last month to review where we've been and where we're going and I'd like to share with you our goals for 2008. 

The men and women of Keesler did a marvelous job during 2007 and our list of things we are doing well on was a page and half long. It would have been a lot longer had we allotted more time to our discussion! We also discussed things we need to do better. It too was a thoughtful list that covered a page and from it we determined our focus areas for the coming year. 

No. 1 is making sure we're taking care of our Air Force family members. The time-honored tradition of Airmen taking care of Airmen was in full force over the last year, and we expect more of the same in 2008. Our heightened operational tempo, as well as deployed assignments, can create a great deal of stress and anxiety for our Airmen and their families. If you feel you're in trouble, call for reinforcements. Whether they come in the form of friends, supervisors, commanders, chaplains, family advocates or life skills providers, we're ready to help each other in times of need. There's nothing wrong with asking -- it's what Airmen do for each other. 

Here at Keesler AFB, a critical part of taking care of our Air Force family is our No. 2 goal: implementing the A-76 competitive sourcing initiative in a timely, professional, and compassionate manner. Your command leadership team recognizes that many members of our work force have suffered through years of A-76 studies, analyses, and unknowns. Enough already! I can't stop A-76, but I can work with you to do it right and do our best for our people. I aim to take care of our people by getting this done right, making sure our folks are kept abreast of all key activities, and ensuring everyone is treated with dignity and respect. I am committed to partnering with the HQ AETC staff, our unions, and the vendor to ensure the smoothest transition and security for our mission and its great work force. You'll see more information on VSIP/VERA, transition timelines, and other key activities through a series of town hall meetings to keep you in-the-loop and in-the-know. 

Our No. 3 goal during 2008 is Customer-Oriented and Professional Operations. Frankly, we are inconsistent in how we deliver our operations to each other and our external customers. Some folks are exemplary and deliver on-time, outstanding products in a professional and customer-focused manner. Others are still working to get there. Each one of us is in the customer service business in one way or another. Let's always be looking for ways to help each other, by serving others with a smile, using feedback as a constructive tool, and seeking better ways of doing business. During 2008, the entire wing will focus on serving our customers well, to be professional in all we do, and to meet and exceed Air Force standards for all our operations. 

Our No. 4 goal is to streamline our deployment process into a smooth-flowing, timely, and efficient operation. Last year, on any given week, you could find an average of 145 personnel deployed worldwide from Team Keesler in support of the nation's highest priority -- winning the global war on terrorism. Leaving your family behind and going into harm's way is stressful enough for our deployed personnel. We need to find ways to streamline deployment processing, train and properly equip our Airmen, and make deployment an easier and less time-consuming experience for our people. 

Our fifth goal is to continue with on-time, high quality, and safe reconstruction. Right now all over Keesler there are a number of construction projects going on simultaneously. 

With additional bodies and traffic working at a frantic pace, we need to keep our eyes open while on the job. There's nothing wrong with wanting to get a job done in a timely manner, but when you're in a rush there's always the potential for mistakes and for people to get hurt. Last year, we were able to meet all our deadlines, as well as protect our workers from harm. Let's continue this record of on-time, quality and safe construction into 2008. 

Our 6th goal is to incorporate smart operations everywhere and the Air Force wants us to find a way to save at least $279,000 from our budget. I think we can succeed at it if we work together. Let's work together to slash wasted time, materials, and efforts from every operation. Keep smart operations in mind as you go about your daily business. Don't just look at "how" we can do our jobs better -- also ask: "why" are we're doing it this way? When you insert "why" into the equation, the relevance and productivity of a task comes into consideration. You might be surprised with the results. Smarter operations will be a key to our success in 2008. Let's save that $279,000 by marching unnecessary work out the door -- forever. 

These are the top goals and challenges for 2008---but there are many more in each shop, office, and work center. Your excellent performance in 2007 is a mere prologue to the potential for success that lies ahead. I look forward to working with you to achieve them.