TINKER AFB, Okla. -- The Air Force Sustainment Center was officially activated during a ceremony July 10. In the same ceremony, the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center was re-designated a complex and became part of the AFSC.
Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, officiated as command of the center was handed to Lt. Gen. Bruce Litchfield, who was also promoted from major general to lieutenant general in the ceremony.
As the Air Force's focal point for sustainment of all Air Force weapon systems, the center is part of an AFMC construct that consolidates the command's number of centers from 12 to five.
The center activation and re-designation was announced in November 2011 and is a major part of AFMC's response to a congressional challenge to find efficiencies and save tax dollars. By consolidating overhead, the command will improve the way it accomplishes its mission, ultimately providing better support to the war fighter. The restructure will standardize processes and save about $109 million annually.
"AFSC and its people will continue to be critical to AFMC achieving its mission of providing warfighter support," Wolfenbarger said. "The work done across all AFSC locations is important not only to the AFMC mission, but to the greater Air Force mission as well."
Under the leadership of General Litchfield, the center will consolidate oversight of the command's sustainment mission now carried out within air logistics centers at Tinker, Robins AFB, Ga., and Hill AFB, along with the Air Force Global Logistics Support Center at Scott AFB, Ill. The three logistics centers will be re-designated as air logistics complexes. The missions at each location will continue at their respective bases, but without command staffs, thus eliminating layers of management overhead.
While saluting the rich heritage of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, Litchfield said activation of the Air Force Sustainment Center unveils a new horizon "rich with opportunities and expectations."
"How we support combat airpower is what really counts," said the general. "Mission capable and ready weapons systems are what is required to fight and win our nation's wars. And that is what AFSC will deliver. Our Air Force also needs us to be more efficient and we will do that too."
Litchfield acknowledged the work required to prepare for today's activation and expressed his appreciation for how leadership and planning teams across the enterprise worked together.
"Because of the planning effort, I am confident that we are in better shape to manage our mission under the new sustainment center than we were 30 minutes ago."
Summarizing that mission, the general simply said: "We generate airpower."
Establishment of the AFSC at Tinker and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, along with the re-designation of the Air Force Test Center at Edwards, AFB, Calif., are the first major steps of a transition phase during which center frameworks will be built and units will be assigned, leading up to initial operational capability on Oct. 1. Full operational capability is planned for mid-2013.
The sustainment, life cycle management and test centers will be joined by the present Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson and the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at Kirtland AFB, N.M., to complete AFMC's five-center line-up.