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AFICA captures $1 billion in savings, cost avoidance

AFICA commander Brig. Gen. Cameron Holt and several members of his team discuss contracting strategies. Using a Cost Savings Tracker, AFICA recently captured more than $1 billion in budgetary savings and cost avoidance. (Courtesy photo)

AFICA commander Brig. Gen. Cameron Holt and several members of his team discuss contracting strategies. Using a Cost Savings Tracker, AFICA recently captured more than $1 billion in budgetary savings and cost avoidance. (Courtesy photo)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – The Air Force Installation and Contracting Agency recently captured more than $1 billion in budgetary savings and cost avoidance.

AFICA used a Cost Savings Tracker, strategic partnerships and acquisition innovation to align with Air Force Materiel Command’s Strategic Plan.

“Many of the strategic sourcing efforts reported in the Cost Savings Tracker show just how AFICA is acting as a good steward of taxpayer dollars and as a cooperative partner with local, state and federal governments,” said Renee Richardson, AFICA executive director.

“AFICA is maximizing warfighter capability by ‘getting the best bang for each buck’ when acquiring goods and services in support of Air Force daily missions and contingency operations,” she added. “By establishing deliberate, controlled and formal processes for making better business decisions, AFICA enables the Operational Contracting and Acquisition workforce to apply good business practices (such as analyzing and applying business intelligence during their decision-making processes) while thinking ‘outside the box.’”

With the harsh budgetary climate the Air Force has faced in recent years, the status quo is no longer acceptable to fulfill the mission, said Brig. Gen. Cameron Holt, AFICA commander.

“We’re promoting a culture of ‘disruptive thinking,’ where our workforce is encouraged to question the status quo by exploring alternative and innovative solutions that result in acquiring better goods and services for our warfighters,” the general said.

Two examples of this thinking are taking place at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, and Eielson AFB, Alaska.

The 366th Contracting Squadron at Mountain Home pursued $155,000 in energy-efficient contracts for the 366th Fighter Wing to include LED street lights and window tinting. Another initiative included switching dining facility to-go containers to a reusable product with a five-year life span, saving the wing $14,000 annually.

“The idea is to go from just budget execution to what we call ‘strategic cost management,’ where we’re actually trying to control costs and not just spending money as fast as you can,” said Roger Westermeyer, director of enterprise sourcing support at AFICA.

The 354th Civil Engineer and 354th Contracting Squadrons at Eielson partnered with the Alaska Department of Transportation to stripe 46 miles of highway at three interior Alaska military installations.

An intergovernmental support agreement was established that not only built better intergovernmental and business relations, but fulfilled mission requirements in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.

“This situation is a great example of ‘one government working together for the best interest of the American taxpayer,’ ” Richardson said. “Annual costs not only have been reduced by approximately 46 percent, but the effort focuses on taking care of our Airmen and surrounding communities. With this IGSA, a standardized continuity of work was established, helping to ensure the safety of all those traveling on that roadway.”

AFICA is one of six primary subordinate units of the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, which is one of six specialized centers assigned to AFMC.

The mission set of AFICA, which stood up Oct. 1, 2013, is categorized into four areas: major command support; mission execution; enterprise sourcing; and expeditionary operations.