Air Force Departmental Publishing Office
Published January 03, 2018
What we do.
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The Air Force Departmental Publishing Office, under the Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, provides Air Force administrative publishing services for customers worldwide. Publishing services includes managing a centralized electronic and physical repository for storage and dissemination of digitized as well as printed publications and forms for Headquarters Air Force, Major Commands, Field Operating Agencies and Direct Reporting Units, including base and wing-level organizations. AFDPO is the Headquarters Air Force publications and forms manager that supports the HAF staff with departmental products. AFDPO manages and executes operations that design forms and format draft publications using XML tags and enterprise tools into official Air Force publications and forms.
AFDPO provides first tier customer service help desk support to customers on all issues related to e-Publishing. AFDPO further assists offices of primary responsibility with creating and developing publications and forms; provides classroom and on-line training for customers Air Force wide. Training is provided for form designer software (Adobe LiveCycle), HAF publication change management, Air Force Information Management Publishing Tool, and Warehouse Management System.
How we do it.
AFDPO manages a family of systems/services that enable the publication and form owners to develop, manage and deliver products to customers. AFDPO maintains and manages the e-Publishing web site (www.e-publishing.af.mil) which is the repository for official Air Force publications and forms. The e-Pubs web site is a public website which hosts unclassified products and lists titles of classified and restricted access products. The site provides details for accessing classified and restricted products.
The Air Force Information Management Publishing Tool (https://wmsweb.afncr.af.mil/afimpt/) enables owners to create (using templates), edit, upload and manage products through their life cycle. AFIMPT serves products to the Warehouse Management System (https://wmsweb.afncr.af.mil/wms/) and the e-Publishing website. The WMS provides access for CAC verified customers to order or download restricted and physical products.
Why is this important to the Air Force?
The e-Publishing website provides access to current policy and guidance for all Air Force, MAJCOMs, FOAs, DRUs, combatant command or MAJCOM equivalent customers that are vital for operations and mission accomplishment. Air Force publications issue Air Force policy, guidance, and procedures that serve to inform and to assign responsibilities. Air Force forms provide an expanded capability to standardize and manage the collection, storage, retrieval, and display of data. Ultimately, the website provides the customers access to accurate and current electronic products that are foundational to mission accomplishment.
What has the Air Force done?
The Air Force has transitioned from all paper-based products in the 1980s, to pubs on floppies in the 1990s, to internet served pubs in the 2000s which introduced the era of the e-Publishing program. E-Publishing encompasses online developing, formatting, posting, accessing, viewing and downloading electronic products and ordering printed media. Today’s publishing program utilizes multiple systems/services to facilitate functional owner’s development and delivery of products to customers world-wide.
The current tools allow owners to:
Track products through the publishing process in real time
Real-time updates of product details published directly to the e-Publishing website
Easily pull information and generate custom reports for leadership
Rescind publications with one click
Subscribe to products and receive email notifications when they change
AFDPO completed the transition from IBM Lotus to Adobe Forms, an industry standard PDF format, and converted the Air Force inventory of over 3K forms. Always customer oriented, AFDPO realized the need for an Adobe forms training program and set-up an on-site Adobe form training program for all Air Force forms managers and designers.
The accuracy and currency of the e-Publishing website is paramount. The website updates are made transparent to the end user through an automated connection to an Air Force internal electronic information system. In 2017, the website was revamped to the Defense Media Agency’s latest content management system. The upgrade allowed expanded search capability within series, making access quicker for users. The look and feel of the site was also updated without losing any of the previous functionality and improving on-time product delivery to the Airmen.
AFDPO identified an opportunity for reducing physical publishing products distribution cost by eliminating redundancies and consolidating logistic operations for Air Force and the Army. These efficiencies created reduced cycle time, operational costs, mailing costs, improved business practices and aligned Air Force distribution practices with joint services initiatives to enhance customer support and mission requirements.
What’s next / where are we going?
The Air Force Departmental Publishing Office is researching new and innovative ways of capturing official policy and guidance and delivering it to Airmen. AFDPO continues to aim high keeping the future of publishing brighter than ever. An initiative to seek out and implement a cradle-to-grave process has begun. The intended outcome is to have an innovative and robust content management system that improves upon the current publishing processes which will ultimately allow publishing on demand with real-time updates. This effort will include providing a new presentation layer for delivering publications and forms to customers. Focus is on streamlining the development/update process and cross utilization of content to reduce repetitiveness and deliver consolidated/searchable/relevant AF publications.