JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- U.S. Air Force Gen. Ken Wilsbach, Pacific Air Forces commander, immediately approved seven action orders to eliminate bureaucracy, forwarded eight more to the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force for their consideration, added eight more that he endorsed for future refinement and rejected only one proposal during the PACAF Fall Commander’s Conference, Sept. 28.
The focus of the effort for the PACAF commander was to enable nine wings and three Numbered Air Forces to accelerate change within the Indo-PACAF region.
Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Chief of Staff of the Air Force, released four action orders Dec. 4 to accelerate change across the Air Force. Action Order B empowers Airmen at all levels to streamline decision-making, eliminate redundancies, limit bureaucratic layers and find solutions to becoming a more effective force.
According to Brown, the Air Force “must change its decision processes in order to make analytically-informed and timely decisions… to enable the U.S. Air Force to outpace key competitors’ decision cycles.”
Wing and NAF commanders submitted proposed changes for Wilsbach’s approval to cut out the bureaucracy within their organizations to become more mission ready and capable.
“What we are doing here is ensuring our Airmen are able to be more ready, innovative and lethal without needing to jump through hoops,” Wilsbach said. “When we have organizations that can get after the mission without being tied up—especially within the Indo-Pacific—we become so much more capable of delivering airpower.”
During their presentation, commanders asked COMPACAF to consider eliminating bureaucracy related to: Agile Combat Employment, Arctic Training Requirements, Communications Support, Official Passports, Document Routing, Housing Issues, Hot-Pit Refueling, Exceptional Family Member Program Processing and Permanent Change of Station Voucher Processing.
“This productivity doesn’t end here today,” Wilsbach said. “I’d rather get rid of bureaucracy and put the authority in the hands of commanders and Airmen to do things we’ve asked you to do and not be bogged down by red tape. I’ve challenged commanders to accept risk where it is prudent and logical to do so to achieve mission success, and don’t be afraid to fail if you are going to learn from it.”
Wilsbach clarified that his approval is not just for the presenting organization. He encouraged other commanders to adopt what their counterparts are doing.
“Let’s keep going on this,” Wilsbach said. “This is really just the beginning because there is so much more bureaucracy that we can cut through and reapply to people’s time and resources. I want every Airman, Guardian and family member in the command who sees things that can be improved to bring it up for a look.
“It’s my firm belief that if we reduce bureaucracy, we will find the space for innovation and in turn take better care of Airmen, Guardians and their families,” the general said.