Cuts mean stay in your lane
By Lt. Col. Jeffery M. Cox, 30th Weather Squadron commander
/ Published November 04, 2006
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
The Air Force is going through another major transformation and is significantly reducing the number of active duty forces. As we draw down the force, we need to examine our missions and do less with less, not the same or more with less.
I know what you're thinking: we've all heard that before. Somehow we continue to do everything we've always done and find a way to meet new mission requirements with fewer people and smaller budgets.
From the Chief of Staff of the Air Force down to our wing commanders, we're continually reminded not to do more with less. Our senior leaders are attempting to right size the force for our current and future missions. That means we all need to do our own jobs to the best of our abilities. We need to be good stewards of all our resources, manpower, time, and budget.
If your organization is "right-sized," then you barely have enough personnel, time and money to meet your mission requirements. There are no additional resources to do someone else's job.
If you have extra personnel and money, which I doubt, then you should bring that information to your leadership's attention and offer it up as something to cut.
More likely, you're either right-sized or under-sized, so prioritize the duties to accomplish your mission. To be successful you should focus on your job, not someone else's. This is not to say you should let others fail by not helping them out, but stay in your lane and accomplish your part of the mission.
Each part of our overall mission is important, whether it's guarding the base, forecasting the weather, processing a satellite or controlling the range. Every one of us is an expert in our own area. I wouldn't want someone from the military personnel flight flying a helicopter or one of my forecasters giving me an immunization. The Air Force has invested a lot to train each of us to do our own jobs. And together we can accomplish almost anything.
In facing a future of doing less with less, one way to accomplish this feat is through innovation. I am constantly telling my squadron to, "think smart and be lazy." Not lazy in the literal sense, but lazy in accomplishing your task in the most efficient way possible. Find an easier way to accomplish the mission and meet requirements. Challenge the old ways of doing business, find a better way and let your bosses know that you think there's a way to improve ops while decreasing the cost.
Remember, we have one of the best home station missions in the Air Force--launching satellites and testing the intercontinental ballistic missile force. With each successful launch or test, we are doing our part to keep the U.S. Air Force, the premier air and space force the world has ever known.
I am proud to be part of this mission and you should be too.