New AFLCMC commander shares thoughts, ideas at all-call

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The new Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commander spoke to the Hanscom workforce about his vision for the center, priorities and focus areas, during an all-call at the Aero Club hangar here June 8.

“The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center should be known as the best acquisition center in DOD,” Lt. Gen. Robert D. McMurry said, although he clarified the wording of the vision is still a draft. “I want people to recognize us; I want us to be the provider of choice; I want OSD to say to other services, ‘To learn how to do it right, go to AFLCMC.’”

He said right now he believes the center is known for delivering good products, but not with the necessary speed. How the system is organized forces personnel to do work in a certain way which leads to low-risk, high-probability-of-mission-success systems, but it takes a lot of time.

“We’re going to have to do some different things,” McMurry said. “We have to figure out how - and that’s no small problem.”

The general said there’s a statement from a video done by the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence that he loves. Paraphrasing it, he said, “Excellence is not the goal, that’s the starting point – the foundation on which we build what we do.”

He added that he’s a believer in incremental improvement, getting better every day, but said there must be measurable proof.

There are currently 1,503 programs within the center, with about 100 requiring OSD-level review and interaction. He said he is going to look at processes of the others to see if there is more control program managers should have.

McMurry highlighted strategic resource management as a current priority, saying that risk-tiering was done on all the center portfolios. He recently told the press that the center needed more personnel, between 4,000 and 8,000, to keep up with workload. However, he said even if the center could get the positions approved, it would be a huge challenge to process.

The general said he was going to work with the program executive officers to look at processing and workload assignments. He also mentioned the challenge of how to organize for a multi-domain environment.

In addition, he spoke about functional excellence. How does the center provide competent, trained people to the right program at the right time? Or if a program manager is struggling with a problem, there’s someone who can help so the program stays on schedule?

“The key is, when we put you in an environment, you’re prepared to do that work and do it well at the standard that we want,” McMurry said.

Cross-cutting areas, such as the cyber campaign plan and its seven lines of attack were among other focuses the general mentioned. He said cyber preparedness is not a solved problem, but something that’s going to take a long time, but he sees it getting to the point where “every Airman is a cyber warrior.”

Other focus areas include Air Superiority 2030, by maintaining capability in multiple domains, and multi-domain control and control, by figuring out how to bring effects to a threat or target.

McMurry highlighted successes from the 66th Air Base Group and the Battle Management and Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks Directorates. He also recognized winners of Air Force, Air Force Materiel Command, AFLCMC-level and other significant awards.

“What you do matters,” the general told the workforce. “Every day I get to come to work and work with law-abiding, dependable professionals wanting to do something good for their country. There’s not many jobs better than that.”