Upgraded process improves WPAFB permanent change of station process

The Military Personnel Flight at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base recently upgraded the permanent change of station process through a step-by-step approach that improved the overall process to make it more efficient.

Tommie Strickland, 88th Air Base Wing Military Personnel Flight process manager, said that during fiscal 2018 almost 65 percent of active-duty members PCSing did not receive authenticated orders 60 days prior to their projected departure.

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“Tech. Sgt. Gregory Linker noticed a lot of waste in the process and things that could be improved to be made more efficient,” said Strickland.

According to Linker, section chief, Career Development, the process for processing PCS orders was not standard for everyone in the office.

“Although our technicians were working very hard, they were just doing orders as they came along and not prioritizing,” said Linker. “Orders weren’t being tracked the same way across the board, and some things slipped through the cracks.”

Linker evaluated the process and MPF leadership made it a priority to identify the causes in order to develop long-lasting solutions.

“The results were huge and very impactful,” said Strickland.

With a standard way to process orders throughout the office, a tracking mechanism in place and other notable improvements, Wright-Patterson went from being the 16th-ranked MPF among all large Air Force bases to being the third-ranked out of 36 in on-time PCS orders authentication.

“Tech. Sgt. Linker took a very common sense, but also analytical, approach to improving this process with lots of easy to understand Lean techniques,” said Strickland.

With new standards in place, the success rate of active-duty members receiving their PCS authenticated orders 60 days prior to departure rose from 35 percent to 62 percent.

“Amazingly, we are projecting a success rate of 80 percent for the next quarter,” said Strickland. “Bringing the percentage up from 35 percent, that’s nearly a 50 percent improvement.”

Linker led his team in making some common-sense changes that were all lean principles, which in turn have made a vast difference in the entire process, said Strickland.

“As the wing process manager, I’d like people to know that his leadership listened to his great ideas and empowered Tech. Sgt. Linker to try them out in the office,” said Strickland.

According to Linker, the conduit to attaining this positive process was his outbound assignments supervisor, Staff Sgt. Krystallynne Brobst, who was the driving force in implementing his ideas to help the process become more successful.

Linker said these MPF improvements won’t only impact Wright-Patterson active-duty members but other Air Force bases as well.

“It’s important to get these orders processed in a timely fashion, not only for the active-duty member and their current base but for the receiving base as well,” said Linker.

Ultimately, Strickland wants to encourage leadership to empower their people to not only feel as if they can offer great ideas but for leadership to also be willing to try the ideas out.

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