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AU/ACSC/3181/AY06

AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE


AIR UNIVERSITY

BUILDING A BETTER AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE OFFICER

by
Jeffrey R. King, USAF

A Research Report Submitted to the Faculty


In Partial Fulfillment of the Graduation Requirements

Instructor: Major Kenton A. Ruthardt

Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama


April 2006

Unlimited Distribution A: Approved for Public Release

DISCLAIMER
The views expressed in this academic research paper are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy or position of the US government or the Department of Defense. In accordance with Air Force Instruction 51-303, it is not copyrighted, but is the property of the United States government.

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Contents
Page DISCLAIMER............................................................................................................................... ii
BACKGROUND ........................................................................................................................... 1
METHODOLOGY ....................................................................................................................... 3
The Operating Environment.................................................................................................... 3
The National Security Environment ..................................................................................... 3
The aircraft maintenance environment ................................................................................ 4
Implementation of the AEF................................................................................................... 5
Maintenance Officer Skill Set Requirements ......................................................................... 7
Maintenance Officer Education, Training, and Experience................................................. 9
Maintenance Officer Education............................................................................................ 9
Maintenance Officer Training. ........................................................................................... 10
Maintenance Officer Experience. ....................................................................................... 14
Training Initiatives and Innovations. ................................................................................. 16
ANALYSIS .................................................................................................................................. 20
Technical expertise .............................................................................................................. 23
Maintenance Management. ................................................................................................. 25
Change Management........................................................................................................... 25
RECOMMENDATIONS............................................................................................................ 29
CONCLUSION ........................................................................................................................... 35
Areas for Future Study. ....................................................................................................... 36
APPENDIX A: CLR RECOMMENDATIONS RELEVANT TO THIS PAPER ............... 38
APPENDIX B: AMOC COURSE TOPICS.............................................................................. 39
APPENDIX C: MOIC COURSE TOPICS.............................................................................. 40
APPENDIX D: AMMOS COURSE TOPICS ......................................................................... 41
APPENDIX E: UAFES SLMC AGENDA.............................................................................. 44
APPENDIX F: DESCRIPTION OF MAINTENANCE OFFICER CAREER
BROADENING OPPORTUNITIES......................................................................................... 45
APPENDIX G: 21A CFETP AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE OFFICER CERTIFICATION
TABLE ......................................................................................................................................... 46
APPENDIX H: DAU-OFFERED LEAN CBT COURSE DESCRIPTIONS ....................... 47
BIBLIOGRAPHY ....................................................................................................................... 48

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BACKGROUND
Officers can never act with confidence until they are masters of their profession. Gen Henry Knox Several changes have occurred in the maintenance operating environment and in aircraft maintenance officer training and development activities since the last known academic review in 2002.1 Chief among them are the reorganization of the wing structure into the Combat Wing Organization; creation of the 21AX Career Field Education and Training Plan (CFETP), the Maintenance Officer Intermediate Course (MOIC), and the Advanced Maintenance and Munitions Officers School (AMMOS); as well as the introduction of the 21A/M Developmental Team (DT). In addition, several changes in the national security environment, including the DoD basing structure and the type of wars we fight, continue to shape the maintenance environment. A mix of education, training, and experience through the assignment process facilitates maintenance officer development. This paper will discuss maintenance officer education and experience only as they relate to maintenance officer training, but the analysis and recommendations will focus on training alone. This paper will determine if the current training regimen adequately prepares maintenance officers to serve in the current and future operating environments and will assess if changes must be made to better prepare maintenance officers to meet the needs of the Expeditionary Air and Space Force. The importance of maintenance officer training is derived from the importance of aircraft maintenance itself. Since flying and fighting is at the heart of Air Force operations, the importance of maintaining our fleet should be evident. Even so, former Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CSAF) General Jumper sought to underscore and codify that importance when he stated, I believe the two hardest things we do in our Air Force are flying and fixing our weapons

systems.2 Furthermore, he contended that maintenance officers should have a PhD in maintenance, and went on to state that aircraft maintenance is an Air Force core competency.3 While aircraft maintenance is not among the Air Forces doctrinal core competencies, it spans all five of the Agile Combat Support (ACS) Core Competencys Master Processes: Readying the Force, Preparing the Battlespace, Positioning the Force, Employing the Force, Sustaining the Force., and Redeploying the Force.4 Moreover, the Air Forces core competency of Developing Airmen compels a recurring review of maintenance officer training to ensure its viability. The Chief of Staff Logistics Review (CLR) published by Rand in 2005 also affirmed the need for a complete and holistic review of maintenance officer training and development processes. The CLR was initiated in response to indicators of declining readiness, heightened operations tempo, and evolving force employment concepts.5 After a thorough review of winglevel maintenance, the CLR listed several recommendations for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of wing-level operations.6 Those relevant to this paper, listed in Appendix A, are summarized in a sentence: Improve maintenance officer training, especially in the area of maintenance management, to advance fleet health and readiness.
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The most recent academic review of maintenance officer training discovered was: Lt Col Charles L. Webb, Why a PhD in MX? (Research paper, Air War College, 2002). 2 Gen John P. Jumper, Chiefs Sight Picture: Combat Wing Organization, undated. 3 Ibid. 4 Air Force Doctrine Document (AFDD) 2-4, Combat Support, 23 March 2005, 2. 5 Kristen F. Lynch et al, The Air Force Chief of Staff Logistics Review, RAND Report MG-190 (Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2005), iii. 6 Ibid., xviii-xx.

METHODOLOGY

No study is possible on the battlefield. French Field Marshall Ferdinand Foch

The Operating Environment


At least three major factors affect the aircraft maintenance officers operating environment: the national security environment, the wing-level maintenance environment, and the implementation of the AEF. The National Security Environment While America has fought small wars since her founding, these were overshadowed by the great wars: WWI, WWII and the Cold War. In the post-Cold War era, fighting small wars and support for humanitarian operations have stepped to the forefront. Since our enemies cannot or will not face us in symmetric battle, they are choosing asymmetric tactics such as conducting insurgencies and using improvised explosive devises. The opening line of the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review characterizes the Global War on Terrorism as The Long War, indicating we will continue to conduct small, regional operations for the foreseeable future.7 Combined with post-Cold War rebasing, which reduced overseas bases by two-thirds, fighting small wars requires greater responsiveness and flexibility than in the past.8 The postCold War drawdown and conflicts erupting in areas without standing forces have increased the requirement to stand up bases on-the-fly in support of contingency operations. For example, 50+ airfields were built in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM alone.9 This ad hoc basing spreads manning and equipment thin, both in-garrison and at the deployed locations, and places a premium on well-trained forces.10

The aircraft maintenance environment The wing-level maintenance organizational structure, its people, and equipment shape the aircraft maintenance environment. Aircraft maintainers have served in four wing-level organizations over the last 30 years alone.11 The most recent reorganization reformed the Objective Wing Organization (OWO) into the Combat Wing Organization (CWO) in late-2002. A key element of this reorganization was to align sortie production and fleet management under a single authority, the Maintenance Group (MXG) Commander. Nearly all of the organizationallevel maintenance capabilities moved from flying squadrons into aircraft maintenance units (AMUs) in a single aircraft maintenance squadron (AMXS) under the MXG. The stated goals of the CWO are to increase combat readiness rates and increase core competency skill levels in response to a differing operating environment that has evolved into the [Expeditionary Air Force] concept.12 People are undeniably the key element in the aircraft maintenance equation, and changes in the size and nature of the force directly impact the maintenance environment. In 2005, aircraft maintenance personnel accounted for over 20% of the active duty force.13 The Air Forces planned drawdown of 141,708 active duty personnel (including 24,541 officers) through fiscal year 2011 will increase our engrained challenge of making the most of limited resources and place a greater emphasis on the skill of the remaining force.14 The nature of the officer corps has changed with the accession of the Generation X and Generation Y populations. Born in the 1960s to late-1970s, Gen Xers began entering active duty in the early to mid-1980s, and the GenYers, born roughly between the late-1970s to the late-1990s began entering active duty in the early 1990s.15,16 The characteristics shared between these two generations are markedly different than those of the Baby Boomers that shaped the Air Force as we know it today. As such, their needs, drives, technological prowess, and general 4

outlook on social systems must be considered in force development efforts. Members of Gen X and Gen Y are characterized as being more self-reliant and more reluctant to commit to relationships than their Baby Boom predecessors. Likewise, they are unimpressed by authority and have short attention spans, leading to a desire for flashy and interactive learning experiences.17,18 While these traits allude to a strong, creative, and independent officer corps, they also bring into question the effectiveness of training regimens that rely primarily on reading and lecture. The Air Forces weapons systems and support equipment are also key elements in the aircraft maintenance environment. The steadily increasing average age of our aircraft fleet continues to introduce challenges in greater proportions than ever before.19 More extensive failures result in longer downtimes for inspection and repair, translating into fewer aircraft available for supporting operations. Combating these problems requires innovation and leaders willing to look past the way weve always done it mentality. Likewise, getting the last pennys worth of investment in the operation and maintenance of this aging fleet requires exceptional maintenance management and process improvement skills. Implementation of the AEF The phrase Every Airman a Deployer has come to characterize the new normal state of operations in our Air Force. Under General Jumpers direction as CSAF, the number of personnel made available for deployments increased from less than 100,000 to more than 338,800 to reduce the strain on the Air Forces small pool of deployers.20 As a result, more maintenance officers deploy apart from their units into expeditionary combat support (ECS) positions, like squadron commanders (Sq/CC) and maintenance operations officers (MOO), than ever before. Maintenance officers in these ECS billets may find themselves supporting several weapons systems at once, including some with which they have little or no experience. 5

Likewise, they are finding themselves leading units comprised of personnel from several bases, major commands (MAJCOMs), and elements of the Total Force. In 2005, the 379 EAMX MOO supported six different airframes with personnel from 19 bases and four MAJCOMS. The 379 AEWs C-130 aircraft maintenance unit (AMU) was the largest in the world, with 24 aircraft of four varieties (C-130H1, H2, E, and J-models), and was made up of active duty and reserve technicians from six bases and three MAJCOMs. Standardizing forms documentation alone took the better part of a 4-month rotation, then came the massive swap-out of personnel as forces from the next AEF came on line, and the learning curve started over. Therefore, maintenance officers must be well-versed in Maintenance 101 to integrate effectively into one unit diverse weapons systems and personnel from many bases and MAJCOMs, each with their own methods for performing and documenting maintenance.21 Maintenance 101 refers to fundamental maintenance tenets like technical data usage and maintenance safety. The AMU is the Air Forces deployable combat maintenance unit. Under the Objective Wing, a major or lieutenant colonel, known as the Squadron Maintenance Officer, led maintenance personnel assigned to fighter squadrons, but the CWO now places a captain or senior first lieutenant in charge of the same organization. The implication is clear: Smaller numbers on the battlefield place a premium on leadership. Small-unit leaders must assume responsibilities once the purview of officers with higher rank.22 More than ever before, junior maintenance officers must be skilled leaders and strong maintenance managers. The Core Competency of Agile Combat Support (ACS) fits hand-in-glove with the AEF in creating a lighter, leaner, and more rapidly deployable force. AFDD 2-4 states, Every facet of our service must be focused on providing what ultimately is combat support, whether it is better educated warriors, better home-based support for members and their families, better methods to manage our personnel system, or more efficient processes to conduct business.23 For 6

maintainers, ACS demands more effective training and improved maintenance management.

Maintenance Officer Skill Set Requirements


This description of the aircraft maintenance operating environment renders certain skill sets that maintenance officers must master in the performance of their duties; specifically, leadership, maintenance management, and technical expertise. Since people are the common denominator in the maintenance calculus, leadership is the maintenance officers stock in trade. From the moment maintenance officers report into their first duty assignment, they can find themselves leading in excess of 100 maintenance technicians, armed with only the leadership training provided by their commissioning source. Maintenance officers are expected to lead often older and always more technically skilled personnel in maximizing support for unit goals. Coupled with leadership is the ability to manage maintenance. By putting a maintenance spin on definitions of management, the term maintenance management can be described as the means by which limited resources are controlled to maximize efficiency and effectiveness in performing a units activities. To be effective maintenance managers, maintenance officers must be well-versed in the applicable Air Force Instructions (AFI), as well as being skilled in statistical analysis and knowledgeable in both operations and maintenance scheduling processes. A solid understanding of Maintenance 101 is also a prerequisite. According to the old adage the only constant is change. However, positive change doesnt happen by accident, so change management is also a critical skill. Change management takes process improvement to the next level by considering the human, or leadership, elements involved. Maintenance management is built upon a degree of technical expertise. While maintenance officers are not technicians, they must understand what their technicians do and

how they do it to be able to effectively manage maintenance activities. Technical expertise allows maintenance officers to verify the quality and safety of maintenance practices and guarantee the quality of repairs. Technical expertise also forms a bridge with pilots and can help overcome the communication gap created when maintainers were moved out of the flying squadrons into the MXG as part of the CWO reorganization. Solid communication is vital to customer support. Maintenance officers must also be well-versed in the technical details of performing maintenance to represent their units at higher echelons, like in the daily wing commanders stand-up meeting, and effectively fight for limited resources in other squadron and MXG-level meetings. It is a fact of life that maintenance technicians evaluate each other with respect to technical and maintenance prowess, so it is natural for them to evaluate the effectiveness of maintenance officers, to at least some degree, by the same yardstick. So, technical expertise is a vital element of effective maintenance leadership, too. With respect to skill sets and standards of competence, one author contends they should reflect the high demands of combat and humanitarian operations with small logistical footprints.24 This means maintenance officers must continually be able to make the most of limited resources through a balance of solid leadership, exceptional maintenance management, and sound technical expertise. A critical review of current maintenance officer education, training, and development will determine if maintenance officers are adequately prepared to meet this challenge.

Maintenance Officer Education, Training, and Experience


Education costs money, but then so does ignorance. -- Sir Claus Moser Building a capable maintenance officer involves a blend of education, training, and experience. Education forms the general foundation of knowledge and skills prerequisite for service as a maintenance officer. Training provides specific knowledge and skills germane to the trade, as well as the practice required to hone those skills. Experience develops maturity of judgment and provides depth to training and education, as well as exposure to leadership role models both good and bad.25 Maintenance Officer Education. Education is a way to broaden an individuals experience base, which is limited to the things theyve done, places theyve been and things theyve seen.26 Officers are educated through undergraduate and advanced academic degrees (AAD), professional military education (PME), and professional reading. According to AFI 36-2105, Officer Classification, an undergraduate degree in management, engineering, industrial management, business management, logistics management, or physical sciences is preferred as a prerequisite to service as a maintenance officer.27 The Air Force offers several ways to attain an advanced academic degree. In addition to earning an AAD independently through a civilian institution, company grade officers can earn a masters degree through the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). Field grade officers can earn a masters degree by attending one of the degree-offering service schools, through the competitive Intermediate Developmental Education (IDE) and Senior Developmental (SDE) programs. Professional Military Education is required at various points throughout an officers career to develop expertise in leadership, military history, doctrine, and the conduct of war. Professional

reading adds both depth and breadth to the maintenance officers experience base. Maintenance Officer Training. Formal Maintenance Training. Mandatory basic and advanced maintenance courses form the basis of aircraft maintenance officer formal training. The Aircraft Maintenance Officers Course (AMOC) is the basic course. AMOC is a 10-week course required for all entry level maintenance officers and is normally completed within the first year of duty. The course topics are listed in Appendix B. The Maintenance Officer Intermediate Course (MOIC) is the advanced course. All maintenance officers beginning with the 1997 year group must complete MOIC prior to taking command. MOIC lasts 3 weeks and focuses on five key areas to include wholesale logistics, deployment planning and execution, aircraft/munitions maintenance management (including process improvement), and operations processes, programs, and interfaces. MOIC course topics are listed in Appendix C. There are other advanced training opportunities, but they are either limited in capacity, highly selective, or targeted at certain grades and/or positions. The Advanced Maintenance and Munitions Officers School (AMMOS), is the maintenance officers Air Force Weapons School equivalent. Twelve competitively selected officers in each of three annual course offerings complete an aggressive 14-week curriculum focused on readying the force, preparing the battlespace, positioning the force, employing and sustaining the force, and recovering the force. The AMMOS course topics are included in Appendix D. Designed for senior leaders, the two additional advanced courses are the Senior Leaders Maintenance Course (SLMC) and the Expeditionary Combat Support Executive Warrior Course (AMWC). SLMC is a 2 to 3-day course taught at the MAJCOM-level, covering topics such as aircraft status reporting, analysis, plans and scheduling, maintenance discipline, supply, financial management, and manning and retention from the senior officers perspective. As an example 10

USAFEs SLMC agenda is included in Appendix E. During General Jumpers tenure as CSAF, wing commanders and vice commanders, operations group commanders, MXG commanders, and mission support group commanders were required to attend within 6 months of assuming command. However, MXG/CCs are invited to SLMC primarily to provide practical expertise to the course, as it was designed to educate other senior leaders on the maintenance organization. So, SLMC is not commonly recognized as targeted training for MXG/CCs. AMWC targets officers with the potential to serve as deployed A-4s, providing extensive expeditionary training at the operational level of war and consists of three parts: a mentors bureau, a 1-week seminar, and a quick reference handbook.28 On-the-Job Training (OJT). Maintenance officer OJT began to take form during the early 1990s through locally-developed Maintenance/Logistics Officer Orientation Training Programs (MOOTP or LOOP), as directed by AFI 21-101, Aerospace Equipment Maintenance Management. Due to the lack of a standard training plan, these programs tended to vary from days to weeks in length. Moreover, as the level of emphasis on these courses varied between Logistics Group Commanders, so did the content, interest, and participation. Some MOOTPs and LOOPs were merely tours of the wings key agencies, while others involved spending more time in some of the units to get a feel for their activities. Many of these programs required officers to attend a week-long Field Training Detachment (FTD)-provided familiarization (FAMS) course, which offers an in-depth study of the systems of the wings assigned aircraft. In June 2004, aircraft maintenance officer OJT took a quantum leap forward with the release of the 21A Career Field Education and Training Plan (CFETP). Like enlisted CFETPs used effectively for years, the maintenance officer CFETP provides the framework and guidance necessary for planning, developing, managing, and conducting a career field training program, as well as documenting progression through the basic, senior, and master maintenance 11

officer certification levels.29 It involves a mix of training, education, and experience requirements for progression through those levels. The training portion includes 269 tasks, which vary from attending specific maintenance meetings, to performing maintenance tasks (like an aircraft wash), and demonstrating knowledge of guidance found in key AFIs. Like enlisted training, maintenance officer training is now managed by the MXG and squadron commanders through the monthly Status of Training meeting. MOOTP/LOOPs have all but gone to the wayside in favor of the more formalized CFETP program. In fact, the most recent version of AFI 21-101 no longer directs MXGs to provide the program. Technical expertise is a vital part of maintenance management, so it warrants some extra discussion. AMOC teaches general information about airframes, propulsion, munitions and each of the aircraft systems. While the AMOC curriculum effectively forges a standard knowledge base for maintenance officers, it is not sufficient for understanding and managing the diverse platforms encountered once at work back in their wings; nor is it intended to. Prior to the CFETP coming on line, junior maintenance officers typically gained technical expertise while assigned to maintenance flights, each focused on a particular system or function. However, they only have the opportunity to serve in a few of the many flights before moving to the flightline or a MOO job, so their learning was not complete. To compensate, the FTD-offered FAMS course instructs students down to the schematic level in each system of their assigned aircraft, and the CFETP directs hands-on training in many typical tasks across the maintenance organization. Air Mobility Command (AMC) offers even greater opportunities to enhance maintenance officer technical skills. Under AMCs Command Aircraft Systems Training (CAST) Program, maintenance officers must complete career development course (CDC)-like modules on assigned aircraft as part of the entry-level upgrade process. Likewise, officers are encouraged to complete the corresponding CAST module each time they change aircraft types to increase their 12

effectiveness. In addition, AMC offers maintenance officers the opportunity to attend the aircraft systems portion of flying training at the flying training unit (FTU) for each of AMCs aircraft types. These courses range from 3 to 5 weeks in length and offer maintenance officers a valuable opportunity to gain insight into the operators environment, while gaining technical expertise and developing relationships that enhance support in the field. Continuation Training (CT) and Career Broadening. According to doctrine, CT maintains and refines skills necessary to keep Airmen ready to perform the mission.30 There is a whole host of CT courses available to help maintenance officers keep the combat edge. AFIT and the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) provide the majority of these courses for officers Air Force-wide, and the MAJCOMs offer a few CT courses as well. AFIT courses, offered at a variety of locations, cover topics ranging from in-garrison and deployed logistics to maintenance management for entry-level through senior maintainers.31 DAU courses, offered on-line and at various locations, focus on acquisitions logistics and other topics like performance based logistics, configuration management, reliability and maintainability, and LEAN concepts.32 In addition to AFIT and DAU, several MAJCOMs offer CT courses. Air Combat

Command (ACC) offers a Combat Wing Maintenance Officers Course (CWMOC) and a Flightline Maintenance Officers Course (FLMOC). The 4-day CWMOC consists of a series of briefings covering personnel and manning issues, officer development, supply, analysis and maintenance performance indicators, enlisted maintenance training, scheduling, and the flying hour program. The 5-day FLMOC provides valuable information needed by maintenance officers to more effectively manage a flight line under a decentralized concept. The curriculum includes: leadership and organizational structure, aircraft scheduling and status reporting, disaster preparedness, aircraft maintenance processes, and supply concepts. AMCs Wing Maintenance Course (WMC) takes the topics taught in SLMC to the Sq/CC and MOO level. This course 13

addresses issues associated with the CWO, maintenance and supply fundamentals, maintenance performance evaluation, and fleet and resource management. Finally, USAFE offers a Squadron Commanders Maintenance Course (SCMC). This 2-day course is highly encouraged for all USAFE Sq/CCs regardless of career field, briefly touching on most of the topics covered in ACCs CWMO Course and AMCs WMC. Maintenance Resources. Several resources are available to maintenance officers to aid in the performance of their duties. Chief among them are the various 21-series maintenance AFIs, with AFI 21-101, Aerospace Equipment Maintenance Management, commonly recognized as The Maintenance Bible. It outlines the responsibilities of wing leadership and every major position, function, unit, and process in the MXG. Each MAJCOM and wing has a supplement to this AFI, and a CENTAF supplement is in draft. In support of wing-level maintenance, AMMOS developed Aircraft Maintenance Tactics, Techniques and Procedures. This 178-page book provides detailed information regarding major aircraft maintenance processes and functions. Finally, the Air Force Logistics Management Agency (AFLMA) published a Maintenance Metrics Handbook to provide maintenance leaders at both the wing and MAJCOM-level with a comprehensive guide to metrics associated with maintenance management.33 All of these products are available in electronic format to facilitate dissemination. Maintenance Officer Experience. The assignment process, aided by the 21XX Air Force Specialty Code Aircraft/Munitions Maintenance Officer (21A/M) Development Team (DT), develops maintenance officers by varying experiences and increasing levels of responsibility from one assignment to the next. Created in 2003, the core of the 21A/M DT is comprised of colonels from each MAJCOM to enhance field grade maintenance officer development by recommending career paths or 14

vectors. Recently, the 21A/M DT has taken on the added responsibility of selecting the pool of officers eligible to command maintenance squadrons and recommends officers for inresidence IDE and SDE.34 The 21A/M Assignment Team uses the 21A/M DTs vector when matching officers to jobs during the assignment process. Job progression within a maintenance officers tour of duty falls under the purview of the officers MXG/CC. In addition to the depth provided by progressive assignments within the career field, maintenance officers can add breadth to their experience base through several career broadening opportunities. Key among them are the Air Force Intern Program (AFIP), the Logistics Career Broadening Program (LCBP), and the Acquisitions and Logistics Experience Exchange Tour (ALEET). Additionally, a handful of maintenance officers can crossflow into munitions/missile maintenance and logistics readiness officer career fields each year. All career broadeners are competitively selected, and descriptions of each career broadening program are provided in Appendix F. The 21A Career Pyramid in Figure 1 serves as guidance for the DT and assignment managers as to the type and level of experience maintenance officers should gain at each point in their career.35 The Maintenance Officer Certification chart from the 21A CFETP (see Appendix G) provides a tabular representation of this information, and is broken down by education, training, and experience requirements for each level of certification.

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Figure 1: The 21A Career Pyramid

Training Initiatives and Innovations. Several budding initiatives and innovations in training and training management could have a profound impact on aircraft maintenance officer development in the future. The first initiative, AF/A4Ms 21A/M Credentialing Program, links certification levels to key duty positions and establishes experience requirements for those positions. The certifications have three dimensions: operational maintenance, depot maintenance and product support (acquisitions and sustainment). This initiative builds on the education, training, and experience levels outlined in the 21A CFETP and is beneficial in at least two ways. It encourages career-long professional development if officers aspire to hold certain positions, and it ensures officers in certain positions are qualified to perform the required duties.36 The next two initiatives enhance expertise by leveraging existing resources. The first of these involves using AMMOS graduates to teach advanced concepts within wing-level

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organizations, a long-standing expectation of all Air Force Weapons School graduates. Even though AMMOS grads receive instructor training as part of the AMMOS curriculum, they have yet to be used in this capacity in a widespread manner. The notable exceptions are the 552 MXG at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, and the 33 MXG at Eglin AFB, Florida. The 552 MXG has the more robust program of the two, where MXG leadership directed resident AMMOS grads to develop and teach a 15 module program to all assigned maintenance officers. In the 33 MXG, AMMOS grads lead a Maintenance Tactics portion of the weekly MXG Roll Calls, following the tradition of talking tactics during fighter squadron roll calls. In Defense Logistics for the 21st Century, General William Tuttle (US Army, retired) contends customer awareness is one of the most important abilities logistics (including maintenance) officers can develop. He goes on to say, the best way to acquire the customers perspective is to have experienced it.37 Such experience yields an acute appreciation of the customers needs, especially the value of timely delivery of support; it also gives the logisitician far more credibility in dealings with combat organization leaders.38 Recognizing these facts, the 33 MXG crafted an Ops/Maintenance Exchange Program to bridge the rift resulting from the CWO-driven realignment of on-equipment maintenance. During each exchange, maintenance officers tour every aspect of fighter squadron operations, culminating in an F-15 familiarization ride, when possible. As a result, key maintenance managers, no longer embedded in fighter squadrons, get an insiders view of their customers environment, needs and perceptions. Likewise, up to 10 pilots from each fighter squadron spend a day touring each of the maintenance squadrons and a another full day with their assigned AMU. Pilots get a detailed look at enlisted training, the maintenance scheduling process, and flightline operations from the maintainers perspective. The dialog shared and understanding gained truly improved the opsmaintenance relationship in the 33 FW.39 17

The last two innovations serve as force multipliers with respect to the time and money invested in training. Computer-based training (CBT) has increased rapidly in recent years and is well-integrated into enlisted maintenance training regimens. The use of CBT increases training opportunities and decreases student travel costs, as well as the need for a standing cadre of instructors. Most Air Force members have already experienced CBT through computer security and anti-terrorism training. Course content changes are made at one central location and are rapidly disseminated to the field. Moreover, students can take the training at times and locations that fit into demanding work schedules. The Acquisition Professional Development Program (APDP) has made extensive use of CBT, and is the benchmark for efforts in this area. Communities of Practice (CoP) have boomed in recent years in the civilian sector, and are just beginning to take hold within the Air Force. CoPs are normally on-line groups of people who share the same profession, situation, or vocation. These communities facilitate professional exchange, allow members to establish a bond of common experience, and enhance efficiency and effectiveness in operations by building a robust network for solving problems. The Armys Company Command CoP is the most celebrated example of a military CoP. Started as a .com website by a handful of company commanders, it was adopted by the US Army and has spurred the development of similar forums for other levels of Army leadership.40 In academic year 2006, ACSC created a research seminar for the sole purpose of creating a Squadron Commanders CoP. Later this year, each sitting Sq/CC and officers selected for command will receive an email inviting them to join the CoP, where they can contribute to forums in several topical areas relating to squadron command. Air War College has also begun work on a CoP for group commanders, and logistics readiness officers are already enjoying the benefits of their CoP.

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Donalad H. Rumsfeld, Quadrennial Defense Review (Washington, DC: Department of Defense, 6 February 2006), v. 8 Air & Space Expeditionary Course. <http://www.apc.maxwell.af.mil/launch.htm?aef> (5 December 2005). 9 Maj Gen Stephen Lorenz, US Air Force FY06 Budget Rollout (briefing, Pentagon, Washington DC, 6 February 2006), slide 4. 10 David George, Maintenance Organization: An Historical Perspective, Air Force Journal of Logistics 28, no .4 (Winter 2004): 34-39. 11 Capt James Upchurch, Loggies Opinions on the New Combat Wing Organization, The Exceptional Release (Winter/Spring 2004): 6. 12 Ibid, 7. 13 Christa DAndrea, Career Fields, Airman: The Book (2006): 58-59. 14 Lt Gen Roger Brady, Building the 21st Century Air Force (briefing, Pentagon, Washington DC, 4 April 2006), slide 8. 15 Wikipedia, s.v. Generation X, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_X (accessed 6 December 2005). 16 Wikipedia, s.v. Generation Y,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Y (accessed 6 December 2005). 17 Capt Alisen Iverson, Professional Military Education for Company Grade Officers, Air Force Journal of Logistics 25, no. 2 (Summer 2001): 60. 18 Leonard Wong, Generations Apart: Xers and Boomers in the Officers Corps, The Art of Military Leadership Course 1 Academic Year 2006 Coursebook. (Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Command and Staff College, August 2005), 153-156. 19 William P. Hallin, The Challenge of Sustaining Older Aircraft, Air Force Journal of Logistics 22 no. 2 (Summer 1988): 3. 20 Richard V. Reynolds, ASC/CC Call (briefing, Wright-Patterson AFB, AL, 25 June 2002), slide 25. 21 The author was the 379 EAMXS MOO during the timeframe described. 22 Williamson Murray and Robert H. Scales, The Iraq War (Cambridge: The Belknap Press, 2003), 249. 23 AFDD 1, Basic Air Force Doctrine, 17 November 2003, 82. 24 William G. T. Tuttle, Defense Logistics for the 21st Century (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2005), 295. 25 Col Dennis M. Drew, Educating Air Force Officers, (Maxwell AFB, AL: Air University archives, 1997), http://airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicals/apj/apj97/sum97/drew.html, accessed 20 December 2005. 26 Ibid. 27 AFI 36-2105, Officer Classification, 31 October 2004, 156. 28 Lisa. Hess, Expeditionary Leader Development, Air Force Journal of Logistics 27, no. 2 (Summer 2003): 40. 29 Career Field Education and Training Plan 21AX, Aircraft Maintenance Officer, June 2004, 1. 30 AFDD 2-4.3, Education and Training, 9 September 1998, 23. 31 Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), AFIT School of Systems and Logistics Course List, http://www.afit.edu/ls/courselist.cfm, accessed 10 December 2005. 32 Bill Kobren, Defense Acquisition University: Life Cycle Logistics for the 21st Century, The Exceptional Release (Spring 2005): 14. 33 Air Force Logistics Management Agency (AFLMA), Maintenance Metrics Handbook, AFLMA (2001). 34 Bruce D. Callender, Force Development Hits Its Stride, Air Force Magazine 88, no. 10, http://www.afa.org/magazine/Oct2005/1005forcedev.asp, accessed 7 December 2005. 35 Air Force Personnel Center, Officer Development: 2X (Core AFSC) Series, http://ask.afpc.randolph.af.mil/Docs/DPA/ForceMgmt/CPDs/21AMRCPDs(Fall%2005).ppt, accessed 25 November 2005. 36 AF/A4Q, 21A/M Credentialing Working Group (briefing, Pentagon, Washington DC, 2 December 2005), slide 3. 37 William G. T. Tuttle, Defense Logistics for the 21st Century. (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2005), 295. 38 Ibid. 39 Robert A. Sanford (33d Maintenance Group Deputy Commander), interviewed by author, 10 December 2005. 40 US Army, Companycommand.com website, http://companycommand.army.mil, accessed 5 December 2005.

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ANALYSIS The critical review of current maintenance officer education, training, and experience surfaced certain incongruities and shortfalls. To begin, each of the undergraduate degrees listed in AFI 36-2105 as prerequisites to assignment as a maintenance officer involve some degree of study in statistics, analysis, and problem solving, but each has a different slant on those tools, and none are guaranteed to complement the craft of maintenance management. Furthermore, the degrees listed are desirable, and not exclusively required for service as a maintenance officer. The result is the lack of a pure common educational denominator for maintenance officers, placing a greater emphasis on training. In spite of the many courses available to meet maintenance officer developmental needs, the training regimen is not optimized. First, maintenance officer continuation training is not standardized across the Air Force, as some valuable courses and programs are offered in only one or two MAJCOMS. Table 1 shows the positions in wing-level maintenance organizations targeted by MAJCOM-offered courses.

Duty Position Flt/CC AMU/OIC MOO Sq/CC

Table 1: MAJCOM-Offered Continuation Training Courses ACC AMC USAFE PACAF AFSOC AFMC AETC Flightline CWMO Wing SCMC Officers Course Mx Course Course X X X X X X X X

It is clear that the MAJCOMs providing maintenance officer continuation training have different priorities for key positions, while some offer none at all. Of those MAJCOMs who do not provide continuation training, only AFMC has made it a policy to send maintenance officers to ACC-sponsored courses rather than incurring the cost of hosting their own. The basic and 20

advanced maintenance courses (AMOC and MOIC) are not robust enough to preclude the need for additional training throughout a maintenance officers career, nor should they be when concept of career-long learning. While the MAJCOMs have developed courses that complement AMOC and MOIC by building specific skills in certain positions, those courses are neither mandatory nor offered Air Force-wide. Next, while MIOC is a robust course, it may be targeted at the wrong audience. MOIC was created, in part, to prepare company grade officers to serve as MOOs. Since most MOO positions are major billets, the junior captains attending MOIC may not require all of its content for their current jobs. While some senior captains may serve as MOOs due to field grade officer shortages, very few maintenance officers will be MOOs at the 6-year point when they attend MOIC. Moreover, most current MOOs are grandfathered from attending the course, and cannot gain from the training targeted for their job. Maintenance officers should receive training for the jobs they are in, not jobs they will hold several years in the future. Finally, CBT is an untapped resource for efficiently and effectively training maintenance officers. Currently, every maintenance officer training course is classroom-based, driving time away from the job and large O&M bills for travel. Any course content not requiring interaction with instructors could be built into CBT modules for maintenance officers to complete in the field. CBT is just the sort of flashy media that appeals to Gen X/Y officers. Classroom-based courses should be limited to those where interaction with the instructor and/or fellow students is vital to learning the course material. Learning maintenance management skills like statistical analysis and scheduling are examples of skill sets requiring face-to-face instruction, practice and real-time feedback. Arguably, one of the best aspects of attending off-station courses is interaction with other maintenance officers, where they share experiences and form networks. It is impossible to place a value on this collaboration, but professional forums like the Logistics 21

Officer Associations (LOA) annual convention, CoPs, and attending courses where interaction with the instructors is vital to learning provide such opportunities. In addition to problems with the continuity, focus, and delivery of current maintenance officer training, there are several gaps in the regimen. The first three relate to certain duty positions. Maintenance officers serving as flight commanders, AMU officers in charge (OIC), and their assistants; MOOs; and Sq/CCs do not receive any sort of standardized training across the MAJCOMs. Though several DAU or AFIT courses target officers in these positions, attendance is not required, and course content does not focus specifically on those positions. Flight commanders are the frontline maintenance managers and change agents in Maintenance Squadrons (including Equipment Maintenance Squadrons and Component Maintenance Squadrons). Yet, until the 6 to 7-year point when they attend MOIC, their only guaranteed training is AMOC and the 21A CFETP. Therefore, they can spend up to the first third of their careers, and arguably half of their total field-level maintenance time, without formal training in maintenance and change management. Additionally, standardized training for MOOs does not exist. Many sitting MOOs were grandfathered from attending MOIC, and by the time those who have attended become MOOs, their training will have been 2-4 years dated. ACCs CWMOC is a good initiative, but it consists of a weeks worth of briefings in various subject matters and functional areas, and does not offer any practical maintenance or change management training. Many maintenance officers will move to the MOO immediately after serving as a flight commander or AMU OIC and will be upto-date in current practices and policies. However, operations at the MOO-level begin to take on an operational (versus tactical) nature and require training and education to perform effectively at that level. Other maintenance officers will be transferred into a MOO job from depot, staff or career broadening tours, and will require some training in the current maintenance environment 22

to perform effectively in the position. The advanced training course in other career fields, like logistics readiness officers, communications officers, and space professionals, targets officers serving in positions filled by majors, like the aircraft maintenance MOO job. Those intensive courses last from 3-5 weeks, and some have pre-arrival reading requirements. They focus on the operational level of leading and managing in their respective career fields, and use the opportunity to hone key skill sets with instruction, practical exercises, evaluation, and feedback. For maintenance officers, the questions arise: Is MOIC targeting the right audience or should it become a course for MOOs? Likewise, if MOIC is currently on-target for company grade officers, does the Air Force need an additional MOO course? Finally, Sq/CCs can transfer in from other wings, or just as likely from depot, staff, IDE, or career broadening tours. Moreover, they may be career mobility air forces (MAF) maintainers, assigned to the combat air forces (CAF) for the first time, and vice versa. Like some MOOs, many Sq/CCs will require some training in the current maintenance environment and maintenance management practices. Furthermore, they too, will need some guidance on operating at this new level of maintenance leadership. The next three training gaps are related to maintenance officer skill sets; specifically, technical, maintenance management, and change management expertise. While change management, or process improvement in the simplest sense, is a truly part of maintenance management, it is important enough to warrant its own discussion. Technical expertise A maintenance officers first encounter with maintenance activities comes during AMOC where he or she learns each of the aircraft systems in general terms, then practice some aspects of maintaining aircraft by making trainer aircraft safe for maintenance and even changing some 23

parts using technical data. Once in the field, maintenance officers are required to perform a variety of tasks, like refueling an aircraft, as part of completing the 21A CFETP. However, completing the tasks outlined in the 21A CFETP is a one-time requirement and is not repeated each time a maintenance officer is assigned to a new weapon system. The FTD FAMS courses effectively build on the general systems information taught at AMOC, but attending a FAMS course is not required in the current training regimen. In fact, according to historical data on officer-level FAMS course offerings Air Force-wide, only about 90 officers attend FAMS courses each year.41 AMCs CAST program is an excellent vehicle for increasing maintenance officer technical expertise. It ensures officers closest to the maintenance activities learn the systems and operating characteristics of their assigned aircraft as part of upgrade training. Though completing CAST modules is optional as officers progress above the basic certification level, the CAST course books are available on-line, serving as excellent reference materials. Furthermore, the opportunity for AMC-assigned maintenance officers to attend pilot FTUs for systems training is a great way to increase technical expertise. However only a handful of the available slots have been used in the last several years.42 In summary, while AMOC offers excellent general education in aircraft systems, it does not create maintenance officers technically proficient on their assigned aircraft. Likewise, the 21A CFETP allows maintenance officers to perform some tasks to gain an understanding of the maintenance environment, but it is not enough to develop the expertise required to manage maintenance effectively. Furthermore, AMC offers some promising solutions to the problem, but its programs are not offered for all airframes Air Force-wide, specifically for fighters, bombers, and reconnaissance aircraft, or helicopters.

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Maintenance Management. Managing maintenance, along with leading people, is the reason maintenance officers exist. Nearly every maintenance activity is governed by a process, and most processes have a standard. With respect to performance, the truth is in the numbers assuming the data is good. From the earliest point in their careers, maintenance officers should be able to enter an organization, determine its key processes, identify the standard of performance for each, and affect change where required. While AMOC briefs the existence and importance of the maintenance performance indicators, it does not teach the skills required to manage performance, like statistical analysis and process improvement. In fact, MOIC is the first Air Force-directed course that teaches maintenance management to junior maintenance officers. While AFLMAs Maintenance Metrics Handbook and the AMMOS-developed TTPs are great maintenance management resources, but they are not widely publicized or used on a daily basis. In essence, those two documents should be placed next to AFI 21-101, within arms reach of every wing-level maintenance officer, and referred to routinely. Change Management In the early 1990s, Air Force senior leaders institutionalized Total Quality Management in the form of Quality Air Force (QAF). QAF tools and techniques were taught to the lowest level of maintenance manager, including goal setting as well as the use of metrics to manage resources at the unit level and processes at the shop level. Few will disagree that many took QAF too far, often spending more time setting goals and tracking metrics, than actually fixing or improving things. But when the Air Force abandoned QAF, it may have thrown the baby out with the bath water. With few exceptions, we have nearly abandoned formal goal setting and the majority of metrics tracked are those required by AFIs and higher headquarters. It is time to revitalize that form of maintenance management training. 25

That revitalization is beginning to take hold in the form of LEAN. LEAN, a wellestablished best business practice for process improvement, is part of the senior leaders lexicon. Furthermore, Secretary of the Air Force Wynne listed Fostering LEAN Processes Across the Total Air Force as one of seven Air Force goals.43 LEAN has already been successfully implemented in AFMCs depots, exemplified by the fact that three depots won a Gold and two Silver-level Shingo Prizes for Excellence in Manufacturing in 2005 after successfully implementing LEAN principles. The Shingo Prize recognizes organizations which promote world-class manufacturing strategies and practices to achieve world class results.44 Recognizing that LEAN is only sporadically implemented at the wing-level, where the rising O&M costs of our aging aircraft fleet demand ever-more efficient use of resources, Secretary Wynne directed commanders to take LEAN beyond the depots to the flightline.45 In response, the Air Staff has initiated the Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century (AFSO21) initiative. Like QAF was to TQM, AFSO21 is the Air Forces vehicle for institutionalizing LEAN management processes. The Air Force Portal is host to the AFSO21 CoP, which provides guidance, resources and contacts for LEAN information. Currently, DAU offers two CBT courses on LEAN and they are described in Appendix H.46 The last two training gaps are topic-specific: training for deployed operations and professional reading. WWI French Field Marshall Fouch held that, No study is possible on the battlefield, but few will argue the fact that the combat environment is one of the best schoolhouses. Arguably, maintenance officers gain years of experience during the span of just a few months in the fight. Learning curves in the deployed environment are steep because most rotations are only 4 months in duration, and the rapid pace of deployed operations demands it. Rather than deploying to well-established bases like Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, more and more 26

maintenance officers are being deployed to small, austere bases stood up to meet the contingency at hand. As such, there are fewer resources and numbers of senior, experienced maintenance officers at each base. So, junior maintenance officers must have a firm grasp of certain processes unique to the deployed environment, like air tasking order development and execution; the deployed chain of command, including CENTAF/A4 forward and rear; reachback with home units, MAJCOMs, system program offices (SPO), depots and the like; Centralized Intermediate Repair (CIRF) concepts; and deployed supply processes. Pilots are required to participate with joint and coalition partners in a Flag exercise during their AEF spin-up period to prepare for combat ops. The most common examples are Red Flag at Nellis AFB and Maple Flag at Cold Lake, Canada. However, no such pre-deployment training requirement exists for maintenance officers. Currently, professional reading is not a formal part of maintenance officer training and professional development. After serving 20 years of active duty and civil service in various positions with the Air University, a retired colonel penned, Air Force efforts to promote informal, personal, career-long professional development [through reading] have been very limited and largely ineffective.47 Professional journals, like The Air Force Journal of Logistics, the LOAs Exceptional Release magazine, and The Air and Space Power Journal, are welldistributed to wing-level organizations and archives are available on line. However, professional reading lists, like the CSAF Reading List and AFITs Logistics Reading List, are not widely publicized except during in-residence PME and while attending AFIT.48 Moreover, there is neither a strong push for professional reading, nor a means to reinforce the practice.49 If the adage leaders are readers holds true, then the professional reading should be formalized, encouraged, and reinforced.

27

41

Richard F. Flammond, (372d Training Squadron, Director of Operations), interviewed by author, 8 February 2006. 42 Cynthia Clark, (HQ Air Mobility Command Directorate of Logistics, Maintenance Training Manager), interviewed by author, 15 February 2006. 43 Michael W. Wynne, Secretary of the Air Force, Letter to Airmen, 3 November 2005. 44 A. K. Lopez, Shingo: Air Logistics Centers Garner Prize, Leading Edge Magazine, (Winter 2005): 10. 45 Michael W. Wynne, Secretary of the Air Force, Letter to Airmen, 6 December 2005. 46 Defense Acquisition University (DAU), DAU Virtual Campus Course List, https://learn.dau.mil/html/clc/Clc.jsp, accessed 20 November 2005. 47 Col Dennis M. Drew, Educating Air Force Officers, (Maxwell AFB, AL: Air University archives, 1997), http://airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicals/apj/apj97/sum97/drew.html, accessed 20 December 2005. 48 AFIT, Logistics Reading List, http://www.afit.edu/ls/readinglist.cfm, accessed 10 December 2005. 49 Col Dennis M. Drew, Educating Air Force Officers, (Maxwell AFB, AL: Air University archives, 1997), http://airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicals/apj/apj97/sum97/drew.html, accessed 20 December 2005.

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RECOMMENDATIONS
A smaller force structure combined with an accelerating pace of change requires some proactive thinking about leadership development. General Michael E. Ryan, CSAF, 1997-2001 The analysis of maintenance officer training highlights a number of things that can be done to improve the expertise of aircraft maintenance officers, but not all of them should be done. While training can be a force enabler, too much training can actually be counterproductive due to the time spent away from the job to complete it. For instance, the Air Force could create an Aircraft Maintenance Professional Development Program (AMPDP) like the acquisition corps APDP. An AMPDP would surely increase expertise in certain skill sets germane to the profession by offering certifications in areas such as change management (to include LEAN) and maintenance management. However, such a program could require a good deal of time to complete the courses required for certifications, and the desired level of expertise in those areas can be developed effectively through just a few one-time mandatory courses well-timed throughout a maintenance officers career. Likewise, it is essential that maintenance officer training incorporate the latest technologies in distance learning, like the CBT modules so richly developed for DAUs APDP. CBT is well-suited for todays Gen X and Gen Y maintenance officer, and the benefits of reduced operations and maintenance costs are too great to overlook. While CBT can be an effective means of increasing knowledge in specific areas, many agencies are realizing this and have developed CBT course of their own. In addition to the computer security and antiterrorism CBTs previously mentioned, maintenance officers are required to complete a NATO security CBT, a file management CBT, and the list goes on. So, CBT should not be seen as a panacea for improving maintenance officer training, as officers in the field can quickly become overwhelmed. Maintenance officer CBT courses should be developed with care to ensure only 29

those absolutely needed are added to the growing list of required CBT. Even in light of those things that should not be done (or overdone), the analysis of maintenance officer training drove several value-added recommendations. First, the Air Force should complete and implement AF/A4Ms 21A Credentialing Program as soon as possible to establish skill set prerequisites for key positions in the maintenance field units and staff agencies. It will guide individual officers, the 21A/M DT, and the 21A Assignment Team in ensuring officers get the right training, education, and experience at the right time in their careers as they progress to higher levels of leadership. Further, it will ensure only the most qualified officers fill key maintenance leadership and staff positions. Defining skill set requirements for key maintenance leadership and staff positions will also focus training efforts by ensuring courses exist to develop those skills. Moreover, courses or course material not directly traced to a required skill set could easily be identified for elimination. In essence, divest to reinvest. Two steps should be taken to increase maintenance management expertise. First, a block on maintenance management should be added to AMOC. Since maintenance management is the primary responsibility of wing-level maintenance officers, it should be taught along with other topics basic to service in the profession. This block should develop basic skills in statistical analysis and metrics management. Second, maintenance management courses should be standardized across the MAJCOMs, targeted to three levels of maintenance leadership: flight commanders, AMU OICs and assistants; MOOs; and Sq/CCs. Table 2 compares the current maintenance officer basic and advance training courses with the proposed maintenance officer training continuum.

30

Table 2: Notional Maintenance Officer Training Continuum

MOIC should be slimmed-down to last about 2 weeks and redesigned to cover just those topics needed by flight commanders, AMU OICs, and their assitants. It should target officers with 2-5 years of service in maintenance and focus on the tactical level of maintenance management and sortie generation by addressing topics like aircraft scheduling, statistical analysis and metrics management, and process improvement. Many of the topics currently taught in MOIC are salient for company grade maintenance officers and should be used as the foundation for the new MOIC. The new MOIC should taught at the MAJCOM-level to spread the training burden across the Air Force and allow the MAJCOMs to inject information unique to maintenance officers in their command. The MAJCOMs could also agree to centralize MOIC training between them to increase the efficiency of limited training resources. For example, MAJCOMs with a small number of flying wings, like AETC and AFMC, could send maintenance officers assigned to fighter units to ACCs MOIC, and maintenance officers assigned to heavy aircraft units to AMCs course. This would also allow maintenance officers to build networks and share experiences with other maintenance officers supporting similar airframes. A Maintenance Officers Advanced Course (MOAC) should be developed for sitting MOOs as the aircraft maintenance officers true advanced course. It should be an intense and rigorous course, like the advanced course for communications and logistics readiness officers, where maintenance management is taught with a squadron or operational perspective. Some 31

topics could include functions of air logistic centers and SPOs, synergizing the capabilities of assigned AMUs, enhanced maintenance/metrics management and change management skills, as well as mid- to long-term maintenance scheduling and flying hour program development. In addition, the MOO course should include elements of ACCs In-Garrison Commanders Course to ensure MOOs are prepared to serve as commanders when their Sq/CCs are out-of-pocket for extended periods, such as AEF deployments. If MOIC is taught at the MAJCOM level, as recommended above, then the current cadre of MOIC instructors at Sheppard AFB, Texas, would be made available to teach MOAC centrally for all Air Force maintenance officers. Finally, a 2-3 day Maintenance Sq/CC Course should be developed to prepare new maintenance Sq/CCs to serve at the higher level of maintenance leadership by slewing their focus from managing maintenance to managing maintenance resources and personnel. This course should be tagged on to the end of the Sq/CC Course currently taught at (and required by) all MAJCOMs for Sq/CCs prior to taking command. The Maintenance Sq/CC Course could be made optional for commanders of all other types of squadrons to enhance support for flying and maintenance operations. The training continuum proposed in Table 2 would ensure maintenance officers receive the same type of maintenance management training while in key positions, regardless of the MAJCOM in which they are assigned. In addition, it would preclude the need for stand-alone MAJCOM-offered courses like ACCs FLMOC and CWMOC, as well as AMCs Wing Maintenance Course. In addition, there are a few actions the Air Force should take to increase maintenance officer technical expertise. First, AMCs CAST program should be taken AF-wide to encompass all fixed-wing and helicopter aircraft types. Next, the FTD-offered FAMS course should be made a mandatory part of the 21A CFETP basic certification requirements, and for officers 32

assigned to an MDS for the first time in subsequent assignments. This would complement the self-paced CAST program by allowing maintenance officers the opportunity to interact with experienced instructor-technicians in learning aircraft systems. Finally, the FTU for each aircraft type should make a few seats available for AMU OICs and MOOs to attend the aircraft systems block of their assigned aicraft. While it is not practical to send every AMU OIC and MOO to an FTU, at least several each year would gain more enhanced technical expertise, as well as an appreciation for the operators perspective on system operations. While these steps would increase maintenance management effectiveness, they would not (and should not) develop technical skill levels comparable to maintenance technicians. A template for an Ops/Maintenance Exchange Program, like that of the 33 MXG, should be crafted and directed for implementation in every flying wing. The insight gained, networks formed, and communication shared by all participating officers will have a profound impact on the ops-maintenance relationship and mission success. Moreover, the Air Force should formalize the AMMOS graduates role as an instructor, by having them teach advanced AEFrelated concepts in their assigned wing, as is done in the 552 MXG. A pre-deployment CBT course should be developed and made mandatory for all deploying maintenance officers. It should include topics such as the deployed chain of command, reachback with key organizations, CIRF operations, and deployed supply processes. It could provide links to applicable regional combatant command instructions, guidance and websites, as well as links to information on the culture in various regions. Moreover, it should address the complexity of operations where people and aircraft from several bases, commands, and components of the Total Force are combined into the same organization. LEAN training should be made available and mandatory for wing-level maintenance officers as soon as possible. AF/A4M AFSO21 experts should determine if DAUs LEAN CBT 33

courses meet the need. If so, they should be integrated into the 21A CFETP. If not, a CBT module should be developed for field-level maintenance organizations. In addition, the AFSO21 CoP should serve as a repository for successful LEAN initiatives to enhance crosstell and spur Air Force-wide implementation of best practices. Professional reading offers great potential in developing the maintenance officer corps. Senior leaders, and other entities like the 21A/M DT, the AMMOS cadre, and AFIT, should use AFITs Logistics Reading List as a basis for developing an AF/A4 Logistics Reading list. It should be publicized Air Force-wide through the MXG Commanders Conference, LOAs website, during formal training, and other professional forums. Moreover, it should be codified into maintenance officer professional development through the 21A CFETP. Finally, an Aircraft Maintenance CoP should be developed to link professionals at all levels of maintenance leadership. CoPs are exceptional peer-mentoring aids and they build large brain trusts for solving day-to-day problems and enhancing operations. Areas could be dedicated in the CoP for each level of maintenance leadership, such as flight commander, AMU OIC, MOO, Sq/CC and MXG/CC, as well as for each aircraft type. A maintenance officer CoP could also include reading lists and links to various resources. Several organizations could effectively manage the CoP, including AFLMA, the AMMOS or AMOC schoolhouses, and LOA.

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CONCLUSION The level of importance placed on aircraft maintenance by senior leaders, along with problems discovered in the CLR, drove a fresh look at the maintenance officer training regimen. Moreover, changes in the national security and maintenance operating environments created the need to ensure maintenance officers have the skill sets required to perform effectively. In addition, recent changes in aircraft maintenance officer training and development activities call for a review of the maintenance officer training regimen to ensure it is complete and contiguous. The reorganization to the CWO, ever increasing O&M costs associated with our aging aircraft fleet, and the diversity of operations in expeditionary wings have increased the need for exceptional maintenance management and change management skills in maintenance officers. In addition, the value of solid technical expertise endures. The creation of MOIC, AMMOS and the 21A/M DT has brought about significant improvements in the maintenance officer training and development process, but shortfalls still exist. While many training opportunities are available for maintenance officers, they do not complement each other effectively. Continuation training is not standardized across the MAJCOMs, where training is available for those in some key maintenance leadership positions, but not others. Moreover, practical formal training for MOOs, who synergize the operations of several AMUs, and training for deployed operations needs improvement. Also of vital importance is the lack of LEAN, and other change management training at the wing level. Finally, CoPs are emerging as a vital force-multiplier in civilian professional circles, and they are beginning to take hold in the military, but one has yet to be created specifically for maintenance officers. The shortfalls in aircraft maintenance officer training combine to limit the potential for maintenance officers to serve most effectively in an environment encompassing an aging aircraft

fleet, an increase in operations and maintenance (O&M) costs coupled with leaner O&M budgets, and the rigors of deployed operations as part of an Expeditionary Aerospace Force. Some of these shortfalls can be remedied by implementing initiatives currently in development, and others by taking MAJCOM-specific programs Air Force-wide. In a few cases, courses may need to be redesigned or created to fill the gaps. In addition, the use of CBT can help get the most out of limited resources, like time and money, but it should be implemented with care to avoid overwhelming the force. In summary, it is difficult to find an informed person who does not believe America has the worlds finest Air Force, and it was unarguably built on the backs of the worlds finest corps of professional maintenance officers and enlisted technicians. That said, there is always room for improvement, especially as we attempt to keep pace with the future. Areas for Future Study. Research for this paper surfaced several areas for future study and consideration by senior maintenance leadership, but as they relate specifically to professional development rather than training, they do not fall within the scope of this paper. Two of those areas are especially worth mentioning. The first concerns the channeling , or stovepiping, of officers within maintenance and logistics readiness officer career fields with respect to the need for a broad experience base in staff and senior officer positions. The CWO moved the logistics-related fields of logistics plans, supply and transportation to the mission support group, effectively eliminating the opportunity for senior maintenance officers to gain experience in managing diverse logistics-related functions. The de-emphasizing of crossflow between maintenance and logistics further limits opportunities to develop a broad understanding of both functions at the junior officer level. In 1985, Lieutenant General Zettler, former AF/IL, addressed the logistics generalist versus specialist argument in his Industrial College of the Armed Forces research 36

paper. He surmised that the channeled experience of maintenance officers has a negative impact on developing senior leaders into executive-level generalists.50 The need for executive-level generalists exists today as senior maintenance officers serve as deployed A4s, in various AF/A4 positions, and on regional combatant command and joint staffs, where maintenance encompasses a just small subset of their scope of responsibility. In order to perform more effectively in these positions, maintenance officers must have a better understanding of logistics than a career in maintenance-specific assignments allows. The second area concerns stovepiping within the aircraft maintenance career field. Today, it is common for maintenance officers to spend an entire career solely associated with the CAF or MAF, or even with one aircraft type. Stovepiping in aircraft experience poses certain ramifications. First, maintenance officers with experience in only one type aircraft face steep learning curves when deployed into expeditionary positions that manage airframes with which they have no experience. In addition, the stovepiping of aircraft experience limits the knowledge and transference of best practices between MAJCOMs and even within wings of the same MAJCOM that only maintain one aircraft type. Senior maintenance leadership should reflect the ramifications of aircraft-type stovepiping and consider formalizing a process for varying experiences through the assignment system.
50

Michael E. Zettler, Air Force Logisticians: Generalists or Specialists (research Paper, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, March 1986), iv-v.

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APPENDIX A: CLR RECOMMENDATIONS RELEVANT TO THIS PAPER


Improve officer (logistics and rated) maintenance training. Standardize nonrepetitive maintenance/deployment training tasks. Encourage and facilitate the use of metrics to balance daily sortie production and long-term fleet health management at the wing level. Consider implementing additional maintenance and maintenance management policy improvements, and additional job performance aids, and further refine training and education opportunities. Proceed with Air Forcewide implementation of CLR sortie production/fleet health initiatives and consider alternatives to further enhance maintenance process execution. Develop Weapons Schooltype training for logistics officers.

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APPENDIX B: AMOC COURSE TOPICS


Block I - Orientation, Maintenance Terms, Practices, and Inspections 1. Orientation 2. Common Maintenance Practices and Terms 3. Inspector General, Publications and Technical Orders 4. Composite Tool Kit (CTK) Program 5. Inspections, Servicing, and Ground Handling 6. Written Measurement and Feedback Block II - Aircraft Systems I 1. Airframe 2. Hydraulics 3. Fuels 4. Engines 5. Egress 6. Written Measurement and Feedback Block III - Aircraft Systems II 1. Utility Systems 2. Electrical Systems 3. Communication and Navigation Systems 4. Written Measurement and Feedback Block IV - Munitions 1. Safety 2. Munitions 3. Armament 4. Nuclear Weapons Familiarization 5. Physical Security/Resource Protection 6. Air Force Occupational Safety and Health (AFOSH), Hazardous Communication (HAZCOM) and the Environment 7. Written Measurement and Feedback Block V - Logistics and Resources 1. Logistics Core 2. Supply Processes and Products 3. Depot Reparables and Resource Management 4. Deployment Planning 5. Enlisted/Civilian Force Career Development 6. Written Measurement and Feedback Block VI - Flight Line Operations 1. Flight Line Processes 2. Operations and Logistics Staff Agencies 3. Documentation and Total Force 4. Written Measurement and Feedback Block VII - Maintenance Plans, Operations and Contingencies 1. Sortie Generation and Contingency Response 2. Course Feedback, Graduation, and Outprocessing 76 Hours (2 hrs) (14.5 hrs) (14 hrs) (14 hrs) (30 hrs) (1.5 hrs) 80 Hours (29 hrs) (9.5 hrs) (10 hrs) (26 hrs) (4 hrs) (1.5 hrs) 72 Hours (23 hrs) (14 hrs) (33.5 hrs) (1.5 hrs) 72 Hours (9 hrs) (28 hrs) (9 hrs) (3 hrs) (8 hrs) (13.5 hrs) (1.5 hrs) 80 Hours (23 hrs) (18.5 hrs) (10 hrs) (19 hrs) (8 hrs) (1.5 hrs) 72 Hours (18.5 hrs) (17 hrs) (35 hrs) (1.5 hrs) 90 Hours (88.5 hrs) (3.5 hrs)

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APPENDIX C: MOIC COURSE TOPICS


62.5 Hrs (2 hrs) (1.5 hrs) (7 hrs) (5 hrs) (5 hrs) (1.5 hrs) (5 hrs) (11.5 hrs) (8.5 hrs) (14 hrs) (1.5 hrs) 55.5 Hours (3.5 hrs) (1.5 hrs) (5.5 hrs) (14.5 hrs) (27.5 hrs) (1.5 hrs) (1.5 hrs) (2 hrs)

Block I - Aircraft and Munitions Support 1. Orientation 2. Course Pre-Test 3. Maintenance Officer Responsibilities 4. Personnel Readiness 5. Training 6. Budget 7. Supply/Acquisition Process 8. Air Force Material Command 9. Munitions 10. Process Improvement 11. Block I Written Measurement and Feedback Block 2 - Aircraft and Munitions Management 1. Forms 2. Quality Assurance 3. Analysis 4. Operations 5. Deployments 6. Block II Written Measurement and Feedback 7. Course Feedback and Graduation 8. Outprocessing Appointments

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APPENDIX D: AMMOS COURSE TOPICS

ADMIN & INTRODUCTION (1 Week) INT3000 - Maintenance Instructor Training READY THE FORCE (3 Weeks) RTF1000 - The Doctrinal Foundation U.S. National Security Strategy and the relationship to doctrine Basic aerospace doctrine and application for logisticians Tenets of focused logistics and service/joint logistics doctrine USAF Agile Combat Support concepts RTF2000 - The Organizational Framework Historical perspective on organizations and the current world order National security organization and hierarchy of command USAF command structure and its relationship to the national security structure COMAFFOR/A-Staff roles, responsibilities and organization JFACC/AOC roles, responsibilities and organization Service perspectives on air power AEF concepts and organization and presentation of USAF forces Logistics organization in the joint environment RTF3000 - The Air Force Component Capabilities and logistics considerations of USAF weapon systems Roles of the ANG, AFRES, civilians and contractors RTF4000 - Deliberate Planning Defense planning systems and the deliberate planning process Joint and Air Forces systems that facilitate the deliberate planning process War Reserve Materiel Operations Plans and TPFDDs JOPES ADP (GCCS and DCAPES) EAF planning considerations, including UTC development RTF5000 - Unit Readiness Maintenance manning concepts Aircraft fleet management for combat readiness Generation planning for an aviation unit Maintenance information systems Supply fundamentals for combat readiness Supply information systems Unit readiness management and the Integrated Deployment System (IDS) PREPARE THE BATTLESPACE (2 Weeks) PTB1000 - Crisis Response Planning Impact of the environment on CAP

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Organizational roles and responsibilities and USAF CAP systems Unit tasking prioritizations, including AEWs and untasked AEF units PTB2000 - Expeditionary Site Planning Quick Reaction site surveys Expeditionary site concepts and bare base support assets Logistics Capability Assessment Tool (LOGCAT) and assessing site information Time Phased Force Deployment Data and affects of site selection PTB3000 - Wing-Level Preparation and Deployment Execution Organizational roles and responsibilities Equipment and cargo preparation, documentation and tracking Personnel preparation, documentation and control Aircraft and personnel generation Deploying aircraft spares and preparing for reachback support Communications requirements Logistics footprint and transportation capabilities and limitations Mobility execution exercise POSITION THE FORCE (3 Weeks) PTF1000 - Reception Joint Reception, Integration, Staging, and Onward Movement USAF team participation in RSO&I Introduction to Contingency Response Group (CRG) Joint Infrastructure for Intratheater asset movement PTF2000 - Beddown Aircraft regeneration Individuals' roles in expeditionary environment Contracting and host-nation support USAF and Joint engineering capabilities, including PRIME BEEF and RED HORSE USAF and Joint services and mortuary affairs, including PRIME RIBS USAF and Joint medical capabilities, roles and issues Force protection during beddown and sustainment PTF3000 - Air Mobility Warfare Global air mobility support system Deployed communications and C4I En route logistics for air mobility assets AMC command relationships and tasking priorities Embassy support and foreign clearance issues EMPLOY AND SUSTAIN THE FORCE (2 Weeks) ETF1000 - Command and Control Air Operations Center and air component command and control Master air attack plan and air tasking order cycle

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Theater Battle Management Core System ETF2000 - Combat Sustainment Combat sortie production, surge capabilities and sustainment Logistics roles for sustainment Depot and regional repair and maintenance support, including CLSS Logistics asset reporting and SITREP ETF3000 - Combat Munitions Production
Air Force Combat Ammunition Planning & Production Course (TDY)
RECOVER THE FORCE (1 Week) RCV1000 - Redeployment Planning Lessons learned Joint and USAF processes for redeployment Scheduling and force tracking procedures TPFDD considerations for redeployment RCV2000 - Redeployment Execution Transition for regional and reachback support Relieve-in-place operations Multinational operational considerations Personnel support issues Cargo and equipment preparation and handling issues Environmental concerns Force protection for redeployment RCV3000 - Reconstitution Unit reconstitution of aircraft, equipment and personnel Reconstituting service-level assets CAPSTONE (2 Weeks) CAP1000 - Logistics Information Systems Information system integration and opportunities for improvement Automatic Identification Technology CAP2000 - Mission Employment Exercise On-site "pre-deployment" preparation and planning On-site deployment redeployment preparation and planning CAP3000 - Student Presentations and Graduation Paper defense Case study presentation

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APPENDIX E: UAFES SLMC AGENDA

Day 1 0745 - 0800 0800 - 0810 0810 - 0820 0820 - 0835 0835 - 0900 0900 - 1000 1000 - 1015 1015 - 1045 1045 - 1130 1130 - 1145 1145 - 1300 1300 - 1345 1345 - 1410 Registration & Refreshments Administrative Information HQ USAFE/A4 Welcome Historical Perspective USAFE Snap Shot Building Fleet Health BREAK COMUSAFE Speaks Air Force Munitions Cannibalization/Hangar Queen Mgmt Lunch Plans and Scheduling Using Analysis

Day 2 0800 - 0835 0835 - 0905 0905 - 0935 0935 - 1005 1005 - 1020 1020 - 1050 1050 - 1120 1120 - 1140 1140 - 1255 1255 - 1325 1325 - 1410 1410 - 1445 1445 - 1500 Maintenance Discipline Regional Supply Squadron (RSS) SORTS & ART DRRS Break Wing Commander's Stand-Up IG Trends Base Repair Cycle Lunch LEAN /AFSO 21 Safety/C-17 Guest Speaker BREAK Deployment and AEF Support Force Sustainment and Reachback Lessons Learned Closing Comments HQ USAFE/A4 Wrap-up/Admin Adjourn

1410 - 1440

Quality Assurance

1500 - 1550

1440 - 1455 1455 - 1535 1535 - 1605 1605 - 1615 1615 - 1620 1620

Break USAFE Flying Hour Program Cost Per Flying Hour/DPEM Wrap-up Administrative Information Adjourn

1550 - 1610 1610 - 1625 1625 - 1630 1630

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APPENDIX F: DESCRIPTION OF MAINTENANCE OFFICER CAREER BROADENING


OPPORTUNITIES

Air Force Intern Program (AFIP) Targeted at captains with 4-7 years of commissioned service, is the Air Forces premier career broadening opportunity. It is a 24-month program designed to develop young officers understanding of air and space power and to broaden their perspectives through personal observation of senior DoD leaders making strategy and policy decisions and academic graduatelevel courses in leadership and management held at a local Washington, D.C. university.51 Logistics Career Broadening Program (LCBP) Targeted at captains between 4-8 years of service, is a HQ USAF/IL sponsored two-year, AFMC training program that specializes in developing officers with experience in acquisition logistics and life-cycle sustainment support (wholesale logistics).52 Acquisitions and Logistics Experience Exchange Tour (ALEET) A HQ AFPC initiative designed to facilitate the crossflow of highly competitive officers, with 38 years of service, between the acquisition and operational logistics career fields. Typically, maintenance officers will be assigned to a weapons system program office at the Aeronautical Systems Center or the Air Armament Center.53
51 52

AFI 36-2025, Air Force Intern Program, 9 May 2003, 1.


AFI 36-2111, Air Force Logistics Career Broadening Program, 14 March 2005, 1.
53 Air Force Personnel Center, ALEET Talking Paper, Logistics Officer Assignments Homepage,
http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/logistic/OAT%20Homepage/ALEET.htm, accessed 10 December 2005.

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APPENDIX G: 21A CFETP AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE OFFICER CERTIFICATION


TABLE

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APPENDIX H: DAU-OFFERED LEAN CBT COURSE DESCRIPTIONS Introduction to LEAN Enterprise Concepts. Applying LEAN enterprise concepts is the key to success for many corporations around the world in the 21st century. This self-paced module, Introduction to LEAN Enterprise Concepts is comprised of eight lessons offered in order to establish greater awareness of LEAN enterprise concepts and techniques. Audience members who may benefit from this module include representatives of the defense industry, interested commercial partners, and individuals seeking an academic introduction to LEAN enterprise concepts. All participants are expected to have an undergraduate degree or equivalent career experience. LEAN Six Sigma LEAN-Six Sigma. A developing management concept that blends LEAN Manufacturing principles with 6 Sigma tools. This approach is gaining increasing use within commercial, defense industry and government facilities as the most effective way to reduce manufacturing cycle time, unit cost and improve product quality. The module will be of value to any personnel involved in production or preparing for production, to include those involved in the systems engineering process. The material is presented as a mix of theory and actual applications, from both defense and commercial industries. This module is a continuation of the 'Introduction to LEAN Enterprise Concepts' and 'Six Sigma' modules currently available on the DAU Continuous Learning Center.

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