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AF workshop picks up where it left off

Scott Anderson, Air Force Space Command executive director, shares some of his experiences during the Air Force Services Acquisition Workshop April 18, 2018 in Colorado Springs, Colo. The renewed event was held April 17-20 and hosted by Air Force Space Command. The workshop was last held in 2010. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Dave Smith)

Scott Anderson, Air Force Space Command executive director, shares some of his experiences during the Air Force Services Acquisition Workshop April 18, 2018 in Colorado Springs, Colo. The renewed event was held April 17-20 and hosted by Air Force Space Command. The workshop was last held in 2010. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Dave Smith)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- With some familiar faces and some new, the Air Force Services Acquisition Workshop was renewed April 17-20 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The event was last held in 2010 and also hosted by Air Force Space Command in Colorado Springs.

“One interesting thing about the workshop is that it’s almost like we didn’t have a seven year break,” said Robert Clarke, Air Force Program Executive Office for Combat and Mission Support, deputy Air Force program executive officer. “It’s good to come back to where we left off.”

The workshop is, more than anything, a collaborative forum to share ideas about requisitions, contracting approaches and processes. There is a widespread desire among those in the field to make acquisition services more efficient in meeting the Air Force mission, Clarke said. In the Air Force alone, services acquisitions was responsible for about $30 billion in annual spending in fiscal year 2016.

Aside from space limitations there would have been even better attendance. However, Clarke was pleased with the turnout and the enthusiasm attendees showed. About 400 people from across the Department of Defense, attended the event.

“They have a thirst for what we can do to make services acquisitions better,” he said. “We have people from major commands, bases, weapons systems program executive offices, even up to Headquarters of the Air Force. There were generals down to enlisted members.”

Over the course of the workshop, audiences heard from many managers, directors and executives from the highest levels of Air Force acquisition services. It was a great opportunity not only to gain knowledge, but to rub shoulders with others in the same business, said Clarke. Building and rebuilding networks and collaborations are two of the bigger takeaways he hoped people got from attending.

“I am excited about people and their interest in the topics,” Clarke said. “They are asking great questions and not asking them passively. That’s the kind of interaction we want.”

He is also excited about seeing collaborations continue after the workshop. Clarke said if people continue talking back and forth when they return home, more problems will be solved faster because those who solved them will be connected with those facing them for the first time.

Clarke said the good response to the workshop is a strong indicator that they will be continued, but the location for the next event is not certain. One thing that is certain, he said, is that the quality of an event replies heavily upon the entities who co-host them and for its part ASPC gets rave reviews.

“Our co-host, Air Force Space Command, really did a great job,” Clarke said, “I can’t say enough about what they have done to co-host this workshop.”

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