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AFSO21 and IDEA programs

Vandenberg's AFSO 21 and IDEA office logo

Vandenberg's AFSO 21 and IDEA office logo

The Buck Stops Here For Great Ideas and $$$!

We must continually assess the efficiency of our processes and think of new and innovative ways of conducting how we do business at every level. With time our most valuable resource, as well as limited budgets and manpower, we should identify areas where we are conducting unnecessary actions that do not contribute to the product produced or mission conducted. But we can make ourselves more efficient and effective and this is where AFSO21 can help!

Ever thought, there's got to be a better way? AFSO21 can help us look at our processes and help us see wasted steps and problem areas that we were blinded to before. Ask yourselves; why do I do it this way and can it be done better? I challenge everyone of you, both military and civilian regardless of rank, to examine what you do with that critical eye!Bottomline: We need to save time, money and resources.

I want your great ideas! Run your idea by your supervisor and through your chain of command. Don't accept the old answer of "that's the way we've always done it!" Even if it's directed by an AFI or other document, there may be areas we can improve upon. Our AFSO21 office can assist and provide tools and methods to help identify root causes of problems as well as assisting with support to submit changes to higher level instructions. Never in the history of the Air Force has there been an opportunity like this one. Our Airmen both military and civilian CAN make a difference! If you can't get anyone to listen to you and as a last resort call the AFSO21 office. They will listen and will give you a straight answer one way or the other! Listen to what they have to say and take every opportunity to learn more about AFSO21 and how it can help you. Now go out and be innovative!

I need your help!
Col. Buck


Virtually no facet of the USAF has been untouched by budget cuts, rising costs, aging equipment, skyrocketing energy costs, personnel cuts, and increased ops tempo driven by the War on Terror. Business as usual won't work anymore! And, AFSO21 is both a process and a mind set to help us deal with these challenges.
AFSO21 is all about Combat Capability. Our core missions and how we support and execute those missions are central to every AFSO21 event. We need to look at each of our missions from start to finish identifying each and every step (end to end). We need to evaluate each step as adding value to the result we want and if the step doesn't add value, we need to kill that step. This methodical approach to analyzing our processes will shine a spotlight on what's a burden to our troops. It's important to understand that we're building AFSO21 as a unique Air Force model to learn how to evaluate and improve our work processes. This unique approach uses portions of "Lean thinking," 6-Sigma, 6S, as well as other process improvement tools. The point is that we are building a program that is flexible enough to apply across many areas in our Air force. We are building a tool kit with a variety of tools in it.

Everything we do is a process that involves our time and efforts. Nothing upsets most of us more than to waste our time performing tasks that are unnecessary for what we are trying to achieve. These tasks not only take our time, but cost money as well. It is especially frustrating when we recognize such tasks take time and resources that could be best used on our warfighting mission.

That's why we have embarked upon a dedicated effort called Air Force Smart Operations for the 2 1st Century (AFSO 21), designed to maximize value and minimize waste. This effort is built on a strong foundation to ensure there is a lasting impact:

     -- Leadership at every level, from the SECAF and CSAF, all the way down to wing leaders, is committed to supporting you in AFSO21 efforts.
     -- We are not starting from scratch. We are applying six years of history and lessons learned using AFSO21 principles (learned from within Air Force Materiel Command) to help ensure success. 

If you have questions, or would like further training or assistance with process improvements, please contact your Wing AFSO21 representatives below.

Dave Marston, 30 SW/CVO
Chief, 30 SW AFSO21 Office, 605-7316 


The Innovative Development through Employee Awareness (IDEA) program encourages innovative, creative thinking by both military and Department of Defense civilian personnel. The program is designed to recognize and reward individuals whose suggestions improve the efficiency, economy, and effectiveness of Air Force, Department of Defense, and federal government operations. Submitters of an approved idea can be rewarded with a monetary or non-monetary award.

Monetary awards are calculated on first year savings only and can be as high as $10,000 for each approved idea that results in validated tangible savings, and $200 for approved ideas resulting in intangible benefits. The AF IDEA Program encourages creative thinking and rewards individuals whose ideas improve the efficiency, economy, and effectiveness of AF, DoD, and federal government operations. Ideas are submitted and evaluated through the IDEA Program Data System, which is a web based application designed to provide Air Force users 24/7 access from any military desk-top computer.

Jody Oden, 30 FSS/FSMM, 605-6465
Wing IDEA Program Representative 


The Vandenberg Air Force Base Energy Conservation Program is designed to help the Vandenberg community reach established energy and water reduction goals. These energy and water conservation efforts help us to be better stewards of the environment and to help the United States achieve its goal of energy independence.

Energy and water conservation is a team effort. Every member of the Vandenberg community must do their part to conserve our vital resources.

The specific goals set for Vandenberg Air Force Base are to (as a minimum):
Reduce Energy Consumption by 3% per year
Reduce Water Consumption by 2% per year
Utilize Renewable Energy source, reaching 25% by 2025.

Link to 30th SW Energy Management Website.

Related link: Air Force IDEA Program Data System