New system streamlines Air Force sustainment funding

  • Published
  • By John Scaggs
  • Air Force Materiel Command Public Affairs
In an unprecedented move that will radically simplify and streamline the Air Force sustainment funding system, Air Force Materiel Command will become the Air Force executive agent for programming, budgeting and execution for many of the Air Force's sustainment needs beginning Oct. 1. 

Money previously allocated to each major command to cover sustainment costs, such as fuel, replacement parts and scheduled maintenance, eventually will be funneled into one central pot. AFMC will manage that pot from an enterprise perspective for the rest of the Air Force. 

To handle this responsibility, AFMC has established a Centralized Asset Management, or CAM, program office at its headquarters here.

CAM is based on four pillars:

1) centralized sustainment funding;
2) enterprise requirements determination;
3) performance-based logistics (capability versus end items); and
4) integrated wholesale supply and depot maintenance operations. 

The CAM organization will oversee the following expense elements: 

-- Depot-purchased equipment maintenance, such as aircraft, missile and engine overhauls
-- Depot-level reparables. These are component parts wherein it's more cost effective to repair rather than replace them. Examples are radar systems or electronic warfare pods.

-- Contractor logistics support

-- Technical orders
-- Sustaining engineering

-- Aviation fuel

-- Flying hour consumables -- parts that break during operational use and are thrown away rather than repaired. Examples are bolts, brackets or fan blades.

-- Support equipment, such as night vision goggles

Over the past few months, AFMC personnel have been establishing CAM's baseline processes. Their efforts will pay off over time, according to Gen. Bruce Carlson, AFMC commander.

"While there is still a lot of work to do, I believe the plans we've developed, with help from the Air Staff and other major commands, have prepared us for success," General Carlson said. "As we begin to see the fruits of our labor, it will be important to also embrace and institutionalize those changes that we have put into place." 

The CAM program office will use a spiral approach to shift responsibilities to AFMC. During Spiral 1, which encompasses fiscal 2007, the program office will receive $5.5 billion previously allocated among the other Air Force major commands. It will assume execution responsibility for contractor logistics support, technical orders, sustaining engineering and aviation fuel. 

During Spiral 2, which encompasses fiscal 2008, AFMC also will program, budget and execute these four areas. 

Additionally in fiscal 2008, AFMC will assume programming, budgeting and execution responsibility for the remaining expense elements: depot-purchased equipment maintenance, depot-level reparables, flying hour consumables and support equipment. 

During Spiral 3, which encompasses fiscal 2009 and 2010, the CAM program office will complete the integration of supply and depot maintenance working capital funds that began in fiscal 2007. This will eliminate thousands of non-value added transactions. 

Additionally in Spiral 3, AFMC will provide total system support for weapon systems via performance-based logistics arrangements which will greatly improve support to customers. 

CAM represents a name change to the Future Financials Initiative. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley endorsed Future Financials in December 2005. This initiative helps the Air Force implement innovative financial and requirements processes. These processes will improve support for commanders and expeditionary operations by using an enterprise approach, while also eliminating non value-added activities by centralizing and re-engineering how the Air Force funds its logistics activities. 

"The program's name changed from Future Financials to CAM in July to reflect the broader, yet focused, role this initiative will have on Air Force sustainment resources," said Lt. Col. Chris McCammant, CAM program manager. 

Here is how CAM will work. An Air Force lead command for a system will identify programmatic inputs and requirements to AFMC for program objective memorandum submission. For example, Air Combat Command is the lead command for fighters and bombers and would submit usage changes to AFMC for the F-22. 

At that point, AFMC will program, budget and subsequently execute the funds authorized to support Air Force requirements. By centrally managing execution of these funds from an enterprise perspective, AFMC will provide the best mix of support across the Air Force with the funding available to meet air and space expeditionary force commitments at deployed locations as well as at home station. 

"It's important to remember that while CAM represents a major change to the Air Force sustainment system, it alone cannot fix the funding issues the Air Force currently faces," Colonel McCammant said. "Managing sustainment from the Air Force perspective is a smart way to do business and should enable the Air Force to apply limited funds where the money is needed most."