Air Force Materiel Command: Aerospace revolutionaries

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Meredith Mingledorff
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, the Air Force Materiel Command commander, showcased AFMC’s revolutionary capabilities in her address at the Air Force Association’s Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition Sept. 15.

The general highlighted AFMC’s involvement in all five of the Air Force’s primary missions: air and space superiority; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; rapid global mobility; global strike; and, command and control.

AFMC’s involvement across every mission translates into its ability to respond rapidly, effectively, and with adaptability because the major command’s flexibility directly impacts the total force’s operational and strategic agility, she said.

The command’s focus is on agile combat support. Combining AFMC’s cost-saving abilities with the organization’s innovation is how the command is harnessing the coming aerospace revolution, the general said.

Weapons systems discovered at Air Force Research Laboratory, developed through the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, and tested at the Air Force Test Center must be easily adaptable, high quality, and cost efficient for the command to meet its goals.

“Our job is to deliver war-winning capabilities across all three domains: air, space, and cyber,” Pawlikowski said. “Our vision is delivering the world's greatest Air Force, the most trusted and agile provider of innovative and cost-effective war-winning capabilities.”

The four-star emphasized the importance of the command’s cost effectiveness in ensuring the Air Force is financially able to operate current weapons systems well into the future. She credited AFMC’s Airmen for current innovations, citing six specific examples by name, organization and mission.

“Gen. Welsh calls AFMC the cost-conscience of the Air Force,” Pawlikowski said. “We need the value of numbers and quality when it comes to our weapons systems, which means lower cost solutions that allow us to be able to distribute in a wider span of the globe, and adapt those systems quickly.”

The general was asked by an audience member what impact a continuing resolution would have on AFMC operations.

“A yearlong continuing resolution is very, very challenging to us,” Pawlikowski said. “First, I would have to balance the force, and, second, I would be affecting readiness.”

As an example, she discussed the Air Force Sustainment Center that operates in the working capital fund, stating that receiving less funding than anticipated would leave life-cycle managers without the financial ability to bring airplanes into depot for critical maintenance. This would essentially ground the weapons systems for safety.

In addition, engineering changes to current systems and military construction projects would be delayed, affecting new weapons systems like the F-35 and KC-46 from integrating into service on previously projected schedules, she said.

When asked what her research and development priorities were, she named the game-changers in technology: speed, ability to reduce manpower, lasers and additive manufacturing.

“Additive manufacturing has the capability to change the calculous of how we maintain weapon systems,” she said.

“The importance is our ability to shift, our ability to be agile,” Pawlikowski said. “We are truly focused on agile combat support.”