Today, U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Johnny Isakson, (R-GA) and U.S. Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA-08) reacted to the news of the proposed re-organization of Air Force Materiel Command, the parent command of the Warner-Robins Air Logistics Center (ALC).
According to the Air Force, the restructure of Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) -- the Air Force's largest employer of civilians -- will focus on standardizing processes, streamlining decision-making and aligning missions to allow the command to operate more effectively and efficiently. The realignment is in line with the Defense Department's requirement to make $450 billion in spending cuts over the next decade. The command will preserve workforce and mission capabilities by consolidating management functions around AFMC's core missions. The re-organization will result in a reduction of 193 civilian positions at the Warner-Robins AFB. Some of these positions are currently unfilled. An additional 150 positions will be eliminated elsewhere at Robins Air Force Base, again, with some of these positions currently unfilled. Based on other initiatives un-related to the AFMC re-organization, the total reduction at Robins Air Force Base will be around 600 personnel. The base leadership has given assurances that it will work to achieve these reductions through retirements and voluntary separations.
The proposed re-organization leaves unresolved one issue central to the Air Force's ability to sustain weapon systems, and that is the responsibilities and reporting chain for what is known as the "Aerospace Sustainment Directorates" (ASD) at each of the ALCs. These organizations are the sustainment "brain trust" and are the quarterbacks of the sustainment team. The Air Force has discussed the possibility of re-aligning these organizations away from the sustainment command which will likely introduce inefficiencies into the sustainment process.
"I support the need to find and create efficiencies across the Department of Defense and the Air Force", said Sen. Chambliss, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "The planned reductions at Robins AFB and the other affected installations are modest and we should be thankful they are not worse. The missions of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center and Robins Force Base are strong and will remain strong into the future. The base has expanded by 1400 personnel over the last five years. With respect to the ASD issue, the Air Force has admitted they have no business case for proposing this change and have not analyzed how it will help Life Cycle Management or how it may affect their ability to sustain weapon systems. For this reason, I cannot support any re-alignment of the personnel or missions associated with the Aerospace Sustainment Directorates."
"The Air Force is responding to the reductions that must take place throughout our federal government," said Sen. Isakson. "While this action by the Air Force does lead to a reduction of civilian positions, there will be no loss of active duty personnel at Robins. While any loss of civilian jobs is concerning, the relatively small reduction is a testament to the importance of Robins Air Force Base to the mission of the Air Force."
"The hardworking people at Robins Air Force Base go to work every day so that our war fighters have the tools they need to defend our freedom," said Rep. Scott. "I am working in the House Armed Services Committee with Air Force officials to emphasize the importance of Robins to our national security and expand our missions. While the recently announced adjustments are not ideal, we are fortunate to have General McMahon at the helm. I have great confidence that he will handle this adjustment in the least disruptive manner possible. I would also like to commend the Twenty-First Century Partnership and our local leaders for their continued dedication to Robins AFB."