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4th MRS: Setting standards for smooth operation

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Master Sgt. Darrell Myers, 4th Manpower Requirements Squadron NCO in charge of B flight, explains process flow in the squadron’s training room on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Jan. 23, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dave Smith)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Master Sgt. Darrell Myers, 4th Manpower Requirements Squadron NCO in charge of B flight, explains process flow in the squadron’s training room on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Jan. 23, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dave Smith)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Though it is not well known, the 4th Manpower Requirements Squadron on Peterson Air Force Base impacts what and how things are done in all career fields throughout the Air Force.

The 4th MRS is one of three Air Force Manpower Analysis Agency squadrons and is a tenant unit on Peterson AFB. The particular mission of the squadron is to quantify total force manpower requirements for the Air Force. Additionally they conduct short-notice, high visibility, special manpower studies as directed by AFMAA Headquarters.

In simpler terms, the squadron makes sure everyone has the human capital needed to accomplish their mission, said Lt. Col. Meghan Szwarc, 4th MRS commander.

“Our job is to build statistical equations that define Future Years Defense Program requirements for an enterprise that is defendable at the Air Force and Office of the Secretary of Defense levels,” added Brian Kucharski, 4th MRS technical advisor.

To develop manpower standards, the manpower analysts from the squadron consider what tasks and responsibilities are carried out within a particular career field.

“We right-size a career field so they have the appropriate manning to do their job,” said Master Sgt. Darrell Myers, 4th MRS NCO in charge of bravo flight.

Determining standards and manning requirements involves a precise process, Myers said. It is a methodical approach including familiarization visits and developing a draft copy of process oriented descriptions that will become standard work documents for a career field. Typically one subject matter expert from each Air Force major command and Headquarters Air Force functional managers are included to determine how job functions are performed.

For each career field being studied, Myers said a two week workshop is conducted, one week dealing with the current state of the field and one as it will become. Following the workshop is an implementation period and then finally, the standard work document is created.

From beginning to end, determining manpower standards takes several months, more or less depending upon the career field and other factors.

“I don’t think people know how much analysis goes into building a standard,” Szwarc said.

The squadron can have between 25-30 separate studies taking place at any one time, she said. Currently they are working on 29 studies and they are not limited to the Air Force. Szwarc’s team also conducts studies for entities like U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Northern Command.

The MRS team can also provide advice, outside of determining manpower needs, about making processes run more smoothly.

“People don’t realize we can do process improvement (consultations),” said Kucharski. “We can show them how to do things better with the resources they have.”

Szwarc said the squadron can provide various types of analysis to help optimize work functions.

“Our job is not to cut authorizations, but to help find efficiencies in a career field to help them most efficiently execute their mission,” Myers said.

Through analysis and working on details behind the scenes, the 4th MRS helps assure that the Air Force keeps running smoothly and Airmen can ably complete their mission.

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui