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RAF Mildenhall stands up full-time AFSO21 office

U.S. Air Force graphic by Gary Rogers

U.S. Air Force graphic by Gary Rogers

RAF MILDENHALL, England -- Some people might question the logic of getting rid of his or her own position at work, but for Lt. Col. Larry Walker, 100th Air Refueling Wing, it's just smart business. 

The colonel used Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century to get rid of his old position as the director of staff for 100th ARW wing agencies and created an office that deals solely with AFSO21 issues for the wing. 

"Col. (Michael S.) Stough, (100th Air Refueling Wing commander) wanted to stand up a full-time AFSO21 office," Colonel Walker said. "After a couple months thinking about it, we decided a wing this size really did not need a director of staff. We decided we were going to look at the all the tasks a director of staff does and then look to eliminate things, or redeploy them, or improve them, with the ultimate goal of eliminating 100 percent of the tasks the director of staff did, then eliminating that office and redeploying those people to the AFSO21 office." 

Colonel Walker facilitated an event led by Col. Mike Callis, 100th ARW Vice Wing Commander, to identify, quantify and eliminate or transfer each of the DS's tasks. By the end of that week, Feb. 23, the DS office had been eliminated.

"During the event, we came up with 21 items that we eliminated immediately with an action plan with a further 21 items, all of which are on track, and all of which will administratively and realistically kill the DS office," Colonel Walker said. "In fact, as of (that) Friday, we declared the director of staff office dead and we stood up the AFSO21 office." 

The AFSO21 office serves as the chief advisor to the wing commander and oversees Smart Ops throughout the 100th ARW. 

The director of staff was responsible for administrative and task managements and reports, among other things. The wing agencies, comprised of about 17 offices like the legal office and the chapel, now report directly to either Col. Callis or Col. Stough,  depending on the agency.