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 The Air Force Civil Engineer Center provided a strategic overview of the centralized environmental programs the center conducts for the Air Force.
 Environmental Directorate identifies areas for further collaboration between AFCEC and Air Staff to strengthen Air Force environmental programs.
 
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Visit allows Air Staff glimpse into CE, environmental future
Gerald F. “Fred” Pease Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health, discusses environmental issues with an Air Force Civil Engineer Center audience during his visit Sept. 16-19. Pease and his Air Staff delegation received a strategic overview of the centralized environmental programs AFCEC conducts for the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Eric M. Grill)
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  GERALD F. "FRED" PEASE JR.
Visit allows Air Staff glimpse into CE, environmental future

Posted 9/20/2013   Updated 9/20/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Eric M. Grill
Air Force Civil Engineer Center Public Affairs


9/20/2013 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas  -- The Air Force Civil Engineer Center hosted Air Force environmental senior leaders Sept. 16-19 to provide a strategic overview of the centralized environmental programs the center conducts for the Air Force.

The Air Staff delegation, led by Gerald F. "Fred" Pease Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health, met with AFCEC Environmental Directorate and Planning & Integration Directorate members to get an environmental program overview and garner feedback.

"There are so many key things the Air Force is doing today, especially as it relates to basing, environmental actions, bedding down new aircraft (KC-46 and the F-35), that are critical to how we're going to operate in the future," Pease said. "AFCEC is not only integral, but is a key player for the Air Force, in how we're going to do things better."

Talking about the strategic overview, Pease, who provides executive leadership pertaining to formulation, review and execution of plans, policies, programs and budgets for environmental programs, said, "We're getting a real good feel for what AFCEC is doing, what they're thinking, how we can do it better, how we at the Air Staff can do it better, and what kind of support we can give. It really is invigorating to see all these kinds of things going on."

AFCEC, which began initial operating capability Oct. 1, 2012, combined three separate field operating agencies and some members of bases and major command responsible for executing environmental, real property and CE operations into one organization.

"I know the first year has been tough - maneuvering through the manpower issues, going from major command responsibilities to AFCEC responsibilities - and I expected coming down here that they were starting to get up to speed," Pease said. "But I found AFCEC is much farther ahead in this particular portfolio than I ever thought they would be at this time. I'm pretty happy AFCEC is moving along so fast."

The Air Force has always had a great environmental program and during Civil Engineering transformation, there are a lot of changes to how the environmental programs are being executed, Pease said.

"It's good to know that the people working the programs at AFCEC are not resting on their laurels, because we have an excellent reputation already," Pease said. "People are still coming up with innovative ideas on how to do their job even better. That is one of the things I'm taking away from this. A lot of times when people are in the execution mode they're relatively reluctant to change, but I did not get that feel at all. I think people at AFCEC are embracing that change here and it's refreshing to see."

This visit was also a great opportunity for the Environmental Directorate to identify areas for further collaboration between AFCEC and Air Staff that will further strengthen the Air Force's environmental programs, said Karen Winnie, AFCEC's Environmental Directorate Reporting and Analysis Branch chief.

"We were able to provide an update on the performance of our work to support the Air Force's environmental programs and more importantly, solicit Mr. Pease's support and vector or vision for our programs' direction," Winnie said. "We are working hard to implement innovation and improvement as part of our overall environmental management approach."

Michael McGhee, Deputy to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health, said seeing how efficiency is being incorporated in how AFCEC's environmental programs are working is what impressed him the most.

"Everything we've seen has been focused on more efficient ways to deliver the products and services they provide to the installations and major commands," McGhee said. "They're looking at business-case analyses, and they're looking for data-driven understanding rather than intuitive understanding. They're also making sure they do not drop the ball while they're in the process of constructing this new organization and its new approach. That's been really impressive."

Pease said he is looking forward to the future of the environmental program.

"We're going to do some things in the near future that will set the tone for the longer-term future of the Air Force," he said. "What they want to do is great stuff - why should we hold off? A lot of times people are doing great things, but they don't have the top cover. We want to give them that cover, especially when what they're doing is so beneficial to so many people.

"This visit gave us the context that shows us what we need to do and where we are right now to allow us to do those things," Pease said. "We do policy. Things change a lot. Sometimes policy lags, but we don't want to lag. We want to have the policies in place to allow AFCEC to do its mission."



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