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New pamphlet explains transformation

WASHINGTON -- Transformation is on the mind of every Air Force leader, but for many airmen, understanding the Air Force's plan for transformation proves difficult.

The Air Force hopes a new 20-page booklet called "The Edge" will explain the concept of transformation to the service's uniformed airmen and civilian employees, a Pentagon official said.

"One of the things we wanted to do was tie together all the aspects of the ‘Transformation Flight Plan’ into a logical definition that everyone could understand," said Maj. Gen. Ron J. Bath, director of strategic planning. "We wanted to put together something that conveys Air Force Chief of Staff General John P. Jumper and Secretary of the Air Force Dr. James G. Roche's message, and conveys that the Air Force has always been transformational just by its cultural nature."

The Transformation Flight Plan is the Air Force's roadmap for transformation, as mandated by the September 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review.

"The Edge is an encapsulation of that plan," Bath said. "Readers will be able to grasp that the Air Force is squarely behind transformational concepts and that we have identified our definition of transformation and what the three pillars of transformation are."

The Edge explains and gives examples of the three pillars: organizations, new technologies and operational concepts.

According to a preface explaining organizational adaptations that contribute to transformation, "The process of transformation begins and ends with our people by allowing us to tailor our organizations to enhance concepts of operations to evolving technology.”

The Edge states that current force development efforts and the creation of the directorate of homeland security are both examples indicative of the organizational adaptations.

New technological objectives such as directed-energy weapons and greater stealth technology are given as examples of transformational technological advances.

Operational concepts such as global response, global mobility and global strike are also contributors. The Edge states it is the merger of CONOPS along with technological advances and newly tailored organizations that will yield a near order of magnitude increase in combat effectiveness.

“We are shifting from threat-based planning to capabilities-based planning with specific emphasis on joint relationships,” Bath said.

Approximately 2,000 copies of The Edge have been distributed to all Air Force major commands, agencies and offices, but the document is not just for airmen, the general said.

"The Edge also has a target audience of our service brethren in the Army and Navy, so that when they develop their next plans for transformation we can merge toward joint transformation as part of a team," Bath said.

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