Brief History of the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center

The Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, with headquarters at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, is one of six specialized centers assigned to Air Force Materiel Command. AFIMSC serves as the single intermediate-level headquarters responsible for providing installation and mission support capabilities to all Air Force and Space Force installations, major commands and direct reporting units. AFIMSC executes an annual budget of approximately $10 billion to deliver globally integrated management, resourcing and combat support programs and services in these major mission areas: Airmen and family services, base communications, chaplain, civil engineering, contracting, financial management, logistics readiness, public affairs and security forces. 

AFIMSC activated April 6, 2015, reached Initial Operating Capability on Oct. 1, 2015, and a year later achieved Full Operating Capability in October 2016. 

AFIMSC comprises its headquarters, 10 detachments, which are collocated with active-duty Air Force major commands, U.S. Space Command and the Air Force District of Washington, and four Primary Subordinate Units. Those PSUs are the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, Air Force Installation Contracting Center, Air Force Security Forces Center and Air Force Services Center. 

The Air Force Secretary and Chief of Staff established the concept of AFIMSC in February 2014 as part of the Future Air Force Initiative. The initiative was the result of a 2013 Secretary of Defense decision to implement a new package of efficiency reforms, including reducing major headquarters across the Department of Defense. 

In June 2014, Air Staff, major commands and direct reporting units finalized the list of capabilities that would be retained by those functions and the more than 150 installation and mission support, or I&MS, capabilities that would transfer to AFIMSC. In August 2014, AFIMSC-Provisional activated at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, and a staff of 65 assembled to organize the unit, develop its concept of operations and create Program Action Directive 14-04 to define AFIMSC’s mission and capabilities.

The Air Force aligned the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, Air Force Financial Management Center of Expertise, Air Force Financial Services Center, Air Force Installation Contracting Center (then an agency), Air Force Security Forces Center and Air Force Services Center (then an activity) to Air Force Materiel Command and attached them to AFIMSC(P) on Oct. 1, 2014. The units were redesignated as PSUs at that time.

In January 2015, AFIMSC(P) began a series of Business Process Reengineering, or BPR, events to determine the most effective and efficient methods to deliver transferred capabilities. Later in January, the Air Force, following its deliberate basing process, selected Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, as the location for Headquarters AFIMSC.

The provisional staff completed and submitted for approval PAD 14-04 in early 2015 and the Secretary and Chief of Staff signed the PAD on Feb. 25. That was followed by the activation of AFIMSC on April 6 and a stand-up ceremony May 5 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Members of the provisional team began to transition back to home station and to JBSA-Lackland to begin forming the eventual 350-person headquarters staff. BPR events continued in San Antonio and other locations as the beddown of the headquarters took place over the summer of 2015. By the end of September, the center had conducted 34 BPR events across multiple I&MS functional areas using 664 participants from HAF, MAJCOMs, AFIMSC and base-level organizations. The outcomes included 284 redesigned processes and 532 improvement recommendations for the capabilities AFIMSC would execute.

AFIMSC reached Initial Operating Capability on Oct. 1, 2015. At IOC, 340 of 350 personnel were in place at the headquarters with a total beddown cost of $1.2 million. In its early days of operation, the AFIMSC team provided a positive impact to the Air Force I&MS mission by being able to execute programs with an enterprise-wide view, standardize myriad processes and benchmark best practices. The unit also experienced the expected growing pains of centralizing under one command the I&MS missions that had been accomplished by HAF, nine MAJCOMS and two DRUs.

In its initial year of operation, AFIMSC worked with customers and stakeholders to refine processes and establish clear roles for the future. While it will take some time for those processes to fully mature and become codified in updated policy, guidance and Air Force Instructions, the unit made steady progress and achieved Full Operating Capability in October 2016.

Following FOC, the AFIMSC team transitioned to its stabilize phase, known as AFIMSC 2.0, during which the unit will further refine the effectiveness of the new organization and processes to integrate common activities across the enterprise, while realigning the unit internally to deliver capabilities at the right echelon. The initial 2.0 study and test implementation process is scheduled to run through September 2017 with full implementation expected during fiscal 2018. The third phase of unit development, planned to begin in the fall of 2018, is the right-size phase, during which the team will drive further efficiencies and transformation in accordance with AFIMSC’s 2020 concept of operations.

AFIMSC 2.0 included integrating the Air Force Financial Management Center of Expertise and Air Force Financial Services Center in to AFIMSC's Resources Directorate bring the number of PSUs to four. 

Unit Milestones

Feb. 18, 2014: Established. Air Force Secretary and Chief of Staff approve establishing AFIMSC as part of Future Air Force Organization initiative

June 26, 2014: Capabilities Defined. MAJCOM/DRU vice commanders and HAF 2-digits finalize list of capabilities retained and those transferring to AFIMSC HQ and Dets

Aug. 8, 2014: AFIMSC (Provisional) Activates. AFMC activates AFIMSC (P) at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, under command of Maj. Gen. Theresa Carter 

Aug. 25, 2014: AFIMSC(P) Staff Arrival. Provisional staff of 65 reports to Andrews to begin tasks needed to stand up AFIMSC

Oct. 1, 2014: PSUs Realign. Six former FOAs realign to AFMC and attach to AFIMSC(P) as Primary Subordinate Units

Jan. 5, 2015: BPR Events Begin. AFIMSC(P) starts Business Process Reengineering of HQ processes to determine most effective and efficient method of delivery

Jan. 21, 2015: Joint Base San Antonio selected as location for HQ AFIMSC

Feb. 25, 2015: Air Force Secretary and Chief of Staff sign PAD 14-04

April 6, 2015: AFIMSC Activates

May 5, 2015: Stand-Up Ceremony. Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger, AFMC commander, officiates AFIMSC activation ceremony

Oct. 1, 2015: Initial Operating Capability

Oct. 1, 2016: Full Operating Capability

June 1, 2019: The Air Force Installation Contracting Agency and Air Force Services Activity are renamed as centers in accordance with our founding document, PAD 14-04. All primary subordinate units are now named centers. 

(Current as of June 2019)