Mission Monday: Acquisition Program Management

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  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – It’s Mission Monday. Lynn Bauer is an acquisition program manager and section chief with the Air Force Installation Contracting Center’s 771st Enterprise Sourcing Squadron. 

Bauer and her team deliver strategic acquisition solutions at the enterprise level. 

We asked Bauer, who was born and raised in Kalāheo, Kaua`i, Hawai`I, to tell us about herself and her work in support of the Department of the Air Force. 

What do you love about your job?  
The sense of accomplishment in leading a multi-functional team through difficult acquisition strategies, pulling together and delivering smart enterprise acquisition solutions. There’s no better feeling than turning a problem situation into a win-win-win for the team, for our customers and for Air Force and Department of Defense acquisitioning!  

I also get a lot of satisfaction in leading and exhorting our program managers and their respective teams and watching them succeed at their jobs at the 771st.  This is what I was trained to do, and I love going home at the end of each workday knowing that I performed my best for my team, for the Air Force and for our taxpayers.

When it comes to your job, what keeps you motivated?  
Maybe it’s a little “old-school,” but I was always taught to leave things better than how you found them.  I believe in working smarter, not harder (not that I shy away from hard work) and I value continuous improvement.  I take pride in knowing that I make a difference – not only in my job, but in the lives of the people with whom I work.  As professional as they already are, if I can lead my teams to be even an ounce better than when they first inducted to our squadron or raise them to be fellow leaders for the Air Force, then I am making our Airmen better, my squadron better and I am serving my purpose well.  

Why are you and your team important to the Air Force/Space Force enterprise/your customers?  
Enterprise sourcing requires a unique skill and thought process. It’s more than just letting a contract; it’s analyzing how the government spends and finding a way to do it better. It’s about better buying power, obtaining the best return on investment for our mission partners, being more accountable with taxpayer dollars and ensuring the Air Force has the availability of funds for higher priorities. My team in the 771st is made up of experts that have acquired that skill set to execute AFICC’s and the Air Force’s mission, and the 771st ESS serves as the premier provider of innovative strategic acquisition solutions for the Air Force and the Department of Defense.  

Describe a project/event you and your team worked on recently that gave you a great sense of accomplishment:  
Our Enterprise Land Mobile Radio Infrastructure and Sustainment Strategic Acquisition Program was at a stand-still, and I was assigned to take over leading the team and getting the program back on track.  In just under 12 months, I led the multi-functional and geo-dispersed team through development and approval of the Acquisition Strategy Panel/Acquisition Plan, approval of the justification and analysis for the sole sourced acquisition, release of the formal solicitation, technical review, negotiations, business/contract clearances and finally to contract award. This program was a huge win for Air Force Category Management as it met six of the recommendations from the Category Intelligence Report and consolidated five separate Air Force major command contracts into a single contract, resulting in an over 40,000-hour reduction in manpower required to manage separate contracts. Additionally, the recently awarded contract secured over $307 million in cost savings and cost avoidance over the next 10 years, while standardizing the levels of service for the ELMR infrastructure across the Department of the Air Force both domestically and overseas.  

This contract also requires the contractor to provide a detailed inventory across all installations, maintain government-led configuration management and enhanced cyber resiliency for the communications network. The ELMR contract award is a major win for the Air Force, but our work hasn’t stopped there – we are now trailblazing the strategic sourcing mission to the Department of Defense enterprise, by working to add a U.S. Army component in Europe to our core infrastructure and expand the same services and cost savings to our sister service.

How does what you do support AFIMSC’s strategic priorities? 
If there’s ever a time when accountability matters, it is now. World events challenge the very core of our nation’s defense and security, and it is critical that the jobs we pledged to do contribute to that effort.  The enterprise strategic acquisitions work done by the 771st, like the ELMR contract award, directly supports AFIMSC’s 2023 Strategic Plan Line of Effort 1 – Increase Lethality and Readiness by optimizing the Air Force infrastructure and increasing installation security.  
Our work on acquisitions like ELMR helps to ensure that we maintain the security and reliability of our communications networks, a critical component for logistical, readiness training and deployed and operational mission support for our security and first responders.   

Is there anything else you’d like to add which might help people understand the importance of what you do for the Department of the Air Force?  
Being married to a retired U.S. Navy search and rescue aircrewman/chief petty officer and having worked for the Navy in the ballistic missile defense arena and now being employed by the Air Force, I am very passionate about advancing our warfighters and keeping them safe. I want to make a difference for them!