WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) --
Air Force Materiel Command held its 2021 Agile Patriot professional development conference, Jan. 10-13, providing both mid-tier military and civilian Airmen with the tools and training to be successful leaders in the future. Airmen attended virtually via Microsoft Teams.
Lt. Gen. Carl Schaefer, AFMC deputy commander, and Chief Master Sgt. David Flosi, AFMC command chief, kicked off the conference with positive words and excitement for all Airmen attending the conference.
“Thank you for all you do for the Air Force. Thank you for serving our nation, and thank you for spending time investing in yourself through this conference this week,” Schaefer said. “This conference is an outgrowth of the AFMC We Need Initiative. You are the innovators, and our nation is counting on you to build the AFMC We Need for the next 20 years.”
This year’s Agile Patriot conference featured a wide range of speakers ranging from the Department of Defense, Air Force and Space Force.
Among the main speakers was Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., who shared his vision on accelerating change for the future. Patricia Young, AFMC executive director, spoke about civilian Airmen and their contributions to the Air Force, while leaders from all of the AFMC centers took time to talk about the center missions and how they impact the success of the overall enterprise.
Brown discussed his Accelerate Change or Lose concept, the Action Orders that drives the idea and how the work of AFMC Airmen directly relates to the ability of the service to meet current and future warfighter needs.
“This week’s conference is not all about speed,” Brown said. “It is about all the components that enable acceleration to equip our leaders and our warfighters with the right tools to drive change faster.”
Brown went on to say that everything AFMC does impacts the day-to-day missions of the Air Force.
“AFMC carries a huge shared responsibility with each one of the action orders,” Brown said. “Your mission impacts everything we do across the Air Force; you create, operate, maintain and sustain everything from aircraft to nuclear weapons. When I think about Airmen that are making a difference, I really think about the 89,000 in AFMC and the impact you have on our Air Force.”
Each day of the conference was tailored to a different topic. These topics were AFMC Identity, Giving Context, Building and Valuing a Coalition, and Fostering Innovation.
“Being in this conference is an opportunity to jumpstart on building new networks and new connections,” Young said. “That is what it takes to be successful. You need to continue to work on building a coalition.”
Young, who spoke about the role of civilian Airmen at AFMC, discussed how imperative they are in the role of the warfighter since civilians make-up a large portion of AFMC. She challenged Airmen to embrace change and challenges, because one never knows what may be asked of them in the future or what opportunity may arise.
Col. Patrick Miller, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, spoke on leadership in a virtual environment. He talked about how the ability of AFMC Airmen to succeed while operating virtually directly relates to the legacy of innovation throughout Air Force history.
“Our Air Force has always been about innovation,” Miller said. “Leading now requires a personal focus to be able to sit back, pay attention and be present. That is imperative in this virtual environment; as we set conditions, we want to make sure we are creating a system that is conducive to autonomy that emphasizes trust and empowers our teammates to focus on the mission.”
The conference concluded with an AFMC leadership panel, where senior leaders addressed those questions most relevant to the attendees based on what they had learned throughout the week.
“Share what you’ve learned here, and continue to ask questions. Embrace change,” Young said. “Do not be afraid to try new things, to reach out, to be the one to speak up or to find a mentor. You are our future, and you are the future of the Air Force. It is our vested interest to make you as successful as possible. Don’t hesitate to take on new opportunities and to continue your development.”
Schaefer concluded the event by encouraging all attendees to take time to think about what they learned and how it applies to what they do today and will do in the future to meet the mission needs for the enterprise.
“We need each and every one of you to do our mission,” Schaefer said. “You are all patriots. I appreciate your service to our country. I cannot wait to see all that you are going to do to continue to carry our Air Force to the next level.”