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AFOTEC Summit defines Commander’s top priorities; supports CSAF’s accelerate change

  • Published
  • By By Katherine C. Gandara, AFOTEC Public Affairs
  • Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center

The Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center held its bi-annual Commanders’ Summit at its headquarters at Kirtland AFB, N.M., Nov. 15 – 17, 2022.

“This event provides the AFOTEC Commander the forum to clearly define and communicate his priorities for his tenure to the leadership team,” said James Eck, AFOTEC Director of Strategic Plans and Requirements.

AFOTEC’s Commander Brig. Gen. Michael “Trey” Rawls identified three top priorities for AFOTEC that support the Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown’s strategic approach to accelerate change in order to remain the most dominant and respected Air Force in the world. Those priorities are:

  1. Supporting the development and maturity of the synthetic test and training environment.
  2. Efficient management and sharing of data.
  3. Improving processes to assess cyber vulnerabilities.

In addition to the commander’s top priorities, the summit identified eight action items:

  1. Proceed Until Apprehended. Don’t let bureaucracy slow you down…go fast. During the 2020 Air Force Association virtual Air, Space and Cyber Conference, the CSAF talked about how leaders must clearly communicate their intent while empowering Airmen with the confidence to lead and make decisions. Acknowledge that there may be times Airmen won’t have right or clear guidance, but they need to have the wherewithal to figure out what to do on their own.
  2. Talent Management Options for the Commander. Provide courses of action to the commander for developing the right tools to motivate and retain a high-quality workforce.
  3. AFFORGEN Strategy for AFOTEC. Develop an AFOTEC plan of action supporting the Air Force Force Generation (AFFORGEN) model of sustainable readiness.
  4. Deliberate Messaging Campaign. What you say matters. Develop and implement a coordinated, proactive outreach strategy identifying and publicizing AFOTECs best practices and success stories in a compelling and consistent manner.
  5. AFOTEC Mission Video. Develop a visual story about AFOTEC’s mission and role in supporting the Warfighter.
  6. Commander’s Delegation Memos. Push decision authority to lowest level on anything that does not have to have the AFOTEC Commander’s signature.
  7. Data Management and Tri-Center Collaboration. Continue to position AFOTEC, the Air Force Test Center, and the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center to pursue synchronized collection of data by using test events to achieve test objectives in a collaborative fashion with a one team, one plan, and one test approach.
  8. Cyber Initiative. Drive cyber assessments earlier in the acquisition lifecycle in order to influence system requirements and early design decisions across all technologies and the electromagnetic spectrum.

In addition to key leadership from AFOTEC’s headquarters and detachments attending the event, key spouses gathered with Scotta Rawls, spouse of the AFOTEC Commander, and Jamie Griste, spouse of AFOTEC’s Command Chief Christopher Griste, to discuss how to best support AFOTEC’s military families. This included a virtual roundtable with Sharene Brown, spouse of the CSAF, on her Five and Thrive initiative, which increases focus and attention on the top five quality of life challenges military families face.

“All spouses in attendance agreed this effort was extremely worthwhile and will enhance the mission of AFOTEC and the Air Force in our goal to “Recruit the Airman but Retain the Family,” said Mrs. Rawls.

AFOTEC has held commander’s summits for more than 16 years. The event has evolved through the years, but each event continues to focus on enhancing leadership awareness, challenging the AFOTEC team’s thinking, and driving collaboration and discussion across leadership at all levels.

“These are team building events that focus on addressing the most challenging issues that AFOTEC faces as we execute our operational test mission,” said Karl Gillium, AFOTEC Deputy Director of Strategic Plans and Requirements. Gillium has participated in more than two dozen summits.

“AFOTEC continues to align with the Chief of Staff’s Accelerate Change directive,” said Rawls. “We are committed to improving how we operate and conduct test in a rapidly changing environment. However, we can’t get there without being willing to embrace challenges, see opportunities in problems, recast solutions, and take risks.”