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Continuous Process Improvement takes center stage as a wing focus

Leadership from throughout the 302nd Airlift Wing discuss the way head for 2018 at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Jan. 8. The meeting’s focus was further implementation of the Continuous Process Improvement method, which aims to empower the Reserve wing’s Airmen through taking ownership of their workplaces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Frank Casciotta)

Leaders from throughout the 302nd Airlift Wing discuss the way ahead for 2018 at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Jan. 8. The meeting focused on further implementing Continuous Process Improvement tools beginning at the squadron and Airman level. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Frank Casciotta)


Leaders from all units of the Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Airlift Wing met at the U. S. Air Force Academy Jan. 8 to discuss the way ahead for 2018 and the center stage focus was implementing a work method across the wing called Continuous Process Improvement.           

Last year, leaders including chiefs, first sergeants senior ARTs and commanders from all of the Peterson-based Reserve Wing units took part in a strategic alignment event establishing the wing’s mission, vision and priorities.


Now with the mission, vision and priorities, or MVP in place, Continuous Process Improvement is the focus. CPI is an ongoing effort to discover and eliminate the root causes of problems in work processes enabling first-level Airmen to implement small-step improvements, rather than waiting to implement a one-time, large-scale improvement.


“We want 302nd AW Airmen to understand they can make a difference in the wing accomplishing our priorities, by looking for things that don’t seem to be running smoothly, then working together and coming up with the best solution for getting the job done,” said Maj. Pamela Potter, the 302nd Airlift Wing Continuous Process Improvement program manager, who facilitated the strategic planning meeting. “CPI sounds complicated, but it’s really just a cooperative way of thinking to break work into a set of processes.  And then, asking what are we doing that is not optimum, why is it that way and how can we make it better?  What’s really exciting is when people innovate a new way of doing something that can be shared with other Wings or across the Air Force.”


The CPI goal is to implement new ways to maximize the wing’s resources and increase efficiency relating to people, time and money, which falls directly in line with the wing commander’s goal this year.


“We’ll continue to work towards the priorities identified in our first strategic alignment process,” said Col. James DeVere, the 302nd AW commander. “As we perform our mission keeping the set priorities in mind, we will continue work towards mission excellence while streamlining processes and gaining efficiencies from Airmen’s input at all levels contributing to our continuous improvement process.”


Reservists at the 302nd AW can expect to see more of the latter part of DeVere’s statement as the Reserve wing moves to streamline its processes using CPI.


Using tools from the CPI method, the 302nd Logistics Readiness Squadron reduced the time it takes to assemble gear for deployers.


“Organization is key,” said Maj. Tracy Maestas, the 302nd Logistics Readiness Squadron director of operations. “You can’t work efficiently without organization. Since implementing the change, there is a one-way-in, one-way-out kind of flow now.”


Instead of taking 30 to 45 minutes using a supply expert to track down the equipment, it now takes approximately 10 minutes for a member to assemble their own equipment, said Maestas.


Those who want to know more about how to make improvements like the 302nd LRS can email Maj. Pamela Potter for CPI facilitator training.


The 302nd Airlift Wing Mission, Vision and Priorities are:

Mission: Mile High Wing Delivering Global Power

Vision: Mission-ready Citizen Airmen Inspired to Peak Performance Defending our Nation and Freedom


         o Proficient Airmen = Mission Excellence

         o Cultivate, Motivate, and Empower Airmen to Lead

         o Maximize Airmen’s Time through Prioritization and Efficient Training

         o Instill Process Improvement, Innovation, and ensure Accountability

         o Plan and Align Resources to Mitigate Risk


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