Ashford University: MGT 330
Instructor: Eric Smithson
AIR FORCE MANAGEMENT The United States Air Force is the pinnacle of effective management in action. Through the five functions of management the Air Force has fostered an effective and efficient working environment. By using the functions Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Leading and Controlling, the Air Force has created an industry standard for management practices. This industry standard is set using forecasted planning and appropriate staffing of personnel and effective organizational structure that is led and controlled by the top and bottom end of the spear. Planning of the Air Force begins with its mission statement, “The mission of the United States Air Force is to fly, fight and win … in air, space and cyberspace” (USAF, 2014). This mission statement is driven by a vision of global vigilance, reach and power. That vision is equally driven by three strategies, to develop Airmen, technology for war fighting and integrating operations (USAF, 2014). It is these missions that drive the Air Force in its current direction. USAF (United States Air Force) head quarters determines the strategic, tactical and operational goals to pursue. The USAF is a prime example of the planning function, “…successful companies will seek to fulfill a well-established mission. Effective companies require a foundation and sense of purpose” (Reilly, M., Minnick, C., & Baack, D., 2011). The USAF has appropriately built a self-sustaining empire that in itself is divided into functional departments. The USAF uses division by MAJCOM (Major Command) to divide missions and key goals within the USAF. This way each MAJCOM is assigned a major segment of the Air Force mission to pursue. MAJCOMs break down into Wings, which break down further into Groups, which break down again further into Squadrons. In each Squadron there is a culmination of Flights, these flights make up different careers which achieve the Squadron’s desired mission. Then the mission goal trickles back up all the way to MAJCOM and above. Each level carries a strategic and functional purpose for the Air Force. This divisional structure rarely changes and in fact hasn’t changed since World War II (http://www.afhra.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=10946).
Concerning change, the USAF does plan for change but as a member of the USAF I am able to say it can be slow to adapt. The USAF planning changes based on the internal and external environment. Externally the USAF is moved by semi and non-controllable forces. The USAF is actually a customer-based business especially in the MAJCOM I am a part of, ACC (Air Combat Command). ACC is the business of airplanes and air warfare and the “Fly” of “Fly, Fight and Win”. Our customers (government, civilian contractors and pilots) sway the way we conduct business and what we are flying for. The non-controllable forces the influence the USAF would be foreign nations threatening our way of life or directly through attack. Regarding allocation of resources, each MAJCOM is independent and resources as the descentralized leadership of each MAJCOM determines fit. The Air Force plans appropriately to the environment it is currently in, next the Air Force puts structural organization into effect. The USAF is yet again a poster child of effective and efficient organization. Organization as defined by our textbook as
“Organizing may be defined as the process of efficiently and effectively bringing people and resources together to create products and services. Organizing establishes task and authority relationships that allow people to work together to achieve the organization's goals” (Reilly, M., Minnick, C., & Baack, D., 2011).
Organization of the Air Force is broken down by necessity of the mission. My MAJCOM’s (Air Combat Command) mission determines what AFSCs (Air Force Specialty Code) or career fields are needed in