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Improve Strategic Basing

Steve Shea quoteGoal Leader: Steve Shea, AFIMSC Installation Support Directorate Mission Activity Integration Division chief

Goal Description: Strategic basing decisions are multifaceted and relate to the stationing or basing of weapon systems, squadrons, capabilities and forces for both Air and Space Forces. AFIMSC is uniquely positioned to provide an objective enterprise-wide look to help Air Force decision-makers understand the value of various candidate locations. This goal seeks to optimize the entire process by leveraging authoritative data and AFIMSC expertise.

LOE 1 Goal 3 Objectives:

  • G3.A — Conduct 10 Enterprise Wide Looks NLT 30 Sep

    PROGRESS TO DATE: We performed, or are currently working, nine EWLs in fiscal year 2021.
  • G3.B — Conduct 10 pre-site surveys NLT 30 Sep

    PROGRESS TO DATE: We supported ten site surveys in FY21
  • G3.C — Codify AFIMSC Support in AFI 10-503 (Complete)
  • G3.D — FOC ATLAS within SIPR

    PROGRESS TO DATE: We established SIPR VAULT account creation process and are awaiting SIPR IT hardware.
  • G3.E — Populate 6 critical data fields in basing tracker for MAJCOM BARs

    PROGRESS TO DATE: This goal is complete. We are transitioning the basing tracker to Air Force Strategic Basing Division (SAF/IEIB) knowledge management environment for enterprise visibility.

What can you tell us about your objectives?
In order to improve the information that supports strategic basing decision making, we are working in five areas:

  •  Building on the suite of tools that aggregates more than 200 operational and base operating support data elements from every active duty installation which enables visualization and analysis of options.
  •  Training major commands and detachments on the tools they have access to and those we can provide and encourage their use.
  •  Using our tools to improve the validity of time and cost estimates for the beddown of forces.
  •  Developing and building relationships with the acquisition community to ensure early collaboration.
  •  Developing a database to understand the validity of the data and information provided in the strategic basing process.

We have developed multiple dashboards for planners to use that dramatically expedite the ability to understand the opportunities or gaps in capabilities that exist at Air Force installations to meet new mission requirements. Our objective is to have these dashboards used widely and effectively to expedite and streamline the early planning processes, and we have made great progress on this objective.

In addition to providing support for early analysis, our team is building automation tools to streamline and add transparency to the site survey process. We are able to take the data sources and compare that with the basing requirements and determine preliminary infrastructure requirements that inform the site survey process.

What positive impact has that progress had on Airmen, commanders and/or the mission so far? 
When the AFIMSC Installation Support Directorate’s basing and beddown branch provides assistance at the beginning of the process, there are several benefits for the mission, including: 

  • a better defined criteria/requirement with the pre-analysis;
  • a centralized data source which creates consistency and ensures a standard, repeatable and deliberate process regardless of action;
  • a goal to improve cost estimating and pre-populated data; and
  • a standardized report template across the Air Force.

Why is Improving Strategic Basing Decisions important to AFIMSC?
AFIMSC is uniquely positioned to provide an objective enterprise-wide look at what can be emotional decisions for wings and MAJCOMs. From our vantage point, we can help the Secretariat understand the value of various candidate locations without being influenced by any bias. By employing the in-house expertise of the AFCEC team, we can help in the planning process, which should enable better cost estimates and more accurate beddown requirements.

How does your goal support AFMC, Air Force and National Defense Priorities?
Basing decisions result in a significant resource investment in (or possibly divestment) in the Air Force. They also directly impact the ability of the Air Force to meet mission requirements effectively and efficiently. They are fundamental to strategy and are of great enduring importance to the Air Force.

How are you measuring success?
We are initially measuring success quantitatively, because we lack access to data that can objectively tell us how accurate past cost estimates and construction timelines were. In the future, we’ll have a database of historical information to determine how accurately the enterprise identified requirements, estimated the cost of construction and predicted the time it takes to complete the beddown process. The historical information will also identify leading indicators of success or risk for in-progress efforts.

This is very important because poor time and cost estimates result in “broken glass” in various operation and maintenance and military construction programs and negatively impact acquisition; thus ultimately negatively impacting the ability to Fly, Fight and Win.

What are your next steps?  
We’re working with the Air Force Strategic Basing Division and Air Force MAJCOMs on standardized products, such as reports and templates, for Air Force basing actions.

Is there anything you would like to add?
I mentioned above we provide the capability to integrate and analyze large volumes of data. The primary tool that our team uses is called Advanced Technology for Lightning Analysis and Study (ATLAS).

This tool pulls together data from authoritative data sources and helps us understand the capacity of installations to support future specified mission sets. This tool blends business and location intelligence software to help planners visualize and analyze vast quantities of data and distill that data into useful information so that planners can make decisions on where to potentially beddown various missions. ATLAS is still in development and is an excellent example of where automation of data and analysis allows for a significantly smaller centralized staff to make decisions in a fraction of the time and cost from processes that existed prior to the stand up of AFIMSC.

(Current as of July 26, 2021)