Manpower, services agencies consolidate with personnel
by Debbie Gildea
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs
7/18/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- During a formal ceremony held here today, Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services Lt. Gen. Darrell D. Jones inactivated the Air Force Manpower and Air Force Services agencies, designating them as directorates of the Air Force Personnel Center.
The ceremony, formal recognition of the June 1 tri-agency consolidation, prominently featured the symbolic furling and unfurling of the AFPC flag as well, said ceremony project officer Capt. Lesley Lilly.
"Although AFPC was not inactivated, it was important to illustrate that the center did not simply absorb manpower and services," said Lilly. "The symbolic gesture illustrated that this is the consolidation of three unique organizations whose common denominator is the service they provided - and will continue to provide - to Air Force personnel. From here, an entirely new unit exists to serve Airmen."
The decision to consolidate, announced in November, was one of several efficiency efforts initiated by the Air Force secretary and chief of staff. Although there a fewer members now than the three-agency total prior to consolidation, this will enable the center to provide a full range of products and services for human resource management more efficiently with lower overhead cost, she explained.
"We'll be able to efficiently, effectively serve Airmen in part because we have merged common mission functions where it makes sense," said Maj. Gen. A.J. Stewart, AFPC commander. "But that is just one small piece of the process. We've been working the plans for this merger since well before the November announcement, and once we enter full operational capability next summer, we will be structurally and functionally transformed."
While the need to operate more efficiently was the impetus of the consolidation decision, meeting Airmen's needs will continue to be a driving factor as AFPC works toward FOC, Stewart said.
"We are all about serving Air Force personnel, and we will continue to provide Airmen with the stellar service they have come to expect," he said. "Airmen must focus on mission accomplishment, and to ensure they are able to do that without distraction, we must focus on caring for Airmen. We feed them, provide recreation, assess functions to determine manning needs, manage their records, assign them where they are needed and where they will best be able to grow and flourish, and we develop them into leaders."
In spite of growing anticipation, however, solemn introspection was evident today as ceremony participants reflected on and honored agency histories and contributions to the service.
Commanded by Stewart, AFPC was initially a field extension of the Air Force Director of Personnel, established in 1963. Functional changes over the past 50 years included becoming a separate agency in 1965, merging with the manpower function in 1978 and merging with the civilian personnel center in 1995. The center managed all civilian force integration activities, from accessions to retirements and every career function between, as well as active duty military assignments and deployments, promotions, separations, records, retirements, benefits and more.
Directed by Col. Kent White, AFMA has enjoyed a long, evolving relationship with the personnel center. Grafted to the center in 1978, manpower was originally the Air Force Management Engineering Agency. Separated from AFPC in 1986, the unit became a separate operating agency reporting directly to Air Force headquarters. A 1995 merger with the Air Force Quality Institute resulted in the Air Force Center for Quality and Management Innovation, which became the Air Force Manpower and Innovation Agency in 1999. Mission refinement and refocus resulted in the 2003 change to the Air Force Manpower Agency, which included five squadrons and two flights devoted to developing clear, data-driven manpower requirements for Air Force organizations.
Directed by Col. Thomas Joyce, AFSVA is the most recently formed agency of the three, but has roots that reach back to the Revolutionary War. Services originated as a consolidation of the morale, welfare and recreation and services programs. MWR included such functions as library services, troop canteens and sports, while services focused on billeting and food facilities rooted in the supply and civil engineer fields. In 1991 Morale, Welfare and Recreation was established as a center and later designated as a field operating agency. Services was incorporated in 1992, and the organization was renamed the Morale, Welfare, Recreation and Services Agency. In 1994 it assumed its most recent moniker - the Air Force Services Agency - reflecting its mission of service for Airmen.
Acknowledging the significance and sense of sadness inherent in such a ceremony, Stewart rallied the troops when he reminded them of the trail they would blaze.
"The magnitude of today's ceremony cannot be overstated. We are not just witnessing history. We are making history. The men and women of this new agency are pioneers in the transformation of defense systems," said Stewart. "The Air Force, the Department of Defense and the nation watch to see the outcome of this effort. We have pledged to selflessly serve with innovation. We have pledged to become more efficient with innovation and technology and to be good stewards of our precious resources. We have promised the people of this nation that we will care judiciously for our Airmen - their sons and daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. We will not let them down, and the efficient, fit fighting units of tomorrow will be our legacy."
For more information about Air Force personnel issues, visit the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil.
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