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Lessons learned program to improve deployments

2/15/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials have established a program to help solve problems and improve things for new people rotating into the area of responsibility.

The CENTAF Office of Lessons Learned, established in October 2004, has increased its staff and now has two specialists working to fix problems, said Maj. Steven Haynes of the Lessons Learned Office.

"Our mission is to identify improvement opportunities that will help the warfighters complete their mission successfully and efficiently. At the same time we track Air Expeditionary Force issues through resolution, and get this information to those who need to know," he said.

"We encourage personnel to search the Web sites and look at reports on past air expeditionary force rotations, humanitarian support, and other operations that have occurred during operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom," Major Haynes said.

"We need to document the good practices, and the not so good practices," said Maj. Jason Long, who also works in the Lessons Learned Office. "The problems many people face today, if not resolved, will more than likely be the problems their replacements will encounter during the next rotation."

Lessons learned can help produce after action reports for each AEF.

"These reports are submitted by expeditionary squadrons, groups and wings. Senior officials at the local level review all inputs and submissions. This process gives local command the ability to fix local issues while forwarding those deemed of higher-level interest," Major Long said.

He said problems that cannot be solved by the major command are pushed up to the Headquarters Air Force level to be presented to the Air Force senior leadership through the Air Force lesson issue resolution process. The overall goal is to get information to those at Air Force and the Department of Defense who need it to make timely and accurate decisions.

Any Airman can submit a deployment-related observation via the AEF 5 and 6 Individual Observation link at https://lessonslearned.langley.af.mil. For more information, contact the Lessons Learned specialist for AEF 5 and 6 at DSN 436-4005/4025.

(Courtesy of U.S. CENTAF Public Affairs)

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