AFSO21: Waiting time is wasted time

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tori Schultz
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
"Waiting time is wasted time," said Col. Scott DeThomas, 6th Air Mobility Wing commander, in regards to Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century.

In the 1950's U.S. Air Force Col. John R. Boyd created the Observe, Orient, Decide, Act loop. The OODA loop describes the decision making process to alleviate wasted resources and AFSO21 further breaks down the process into eight steps.

"The OODA loop is the foundation of the eight step process, and is woven into each step. This idea makes it easier to replicate the problem-solving method in every work center," said Master Sgt. Steven Martin, 6th Air Mobility Wing NCO in charge of AFSO21 training.

MacDill Air Force Base reduced aerospace ground equipment inspections by 30 percent using AFSO21. The solution was placing tools and parts at the point of use to get rid of non-value added time.

"The AFSO21 tools, when properly implemented, will help personnel perform their duties in a more effective and efficient way," said Martin. "In addition, AFSO21 helps to determine what tasks are truly important so that non-value-added tasks can be eliminated."

AFSO21 teams train personnel on three different skill levels: yellow belt, green belt and black belt. Personnel begin training at yellow and work up to green, before ending at black.

MacDill currently has the only team that trains the yellow belt class. Maxwell AFB, Ala. Is the only base that teaches black belt training.

Approximately 600 MacDill personnel have been trained thus far. The AFSO21 team's goal is to have 20 percent of MacDill green belt trained by the end of 2013.

"In a time when Airmen are being asked to do more with less, AFSO21 educates Airmen so that they can do less with less and still accomplish the mission." said Martin.