Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

July 6, 2017 at 7:55am

Manpower at McChord

Tech. Sgt. John Major, 62nd Airlift Wing manpower and organization NCOIC, reviews a manpower document June 29, 2017, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Senior Airman Divine Cox

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Small but mighty, the six-person manpower office, here, has been crunching the numbers and advising leadership on their resources.

The 62nd Airlift Wing manpower and organization office advises Team McChord leadership on issues pertaining to wartime and peacetime manpower resources, organization structure, productivity and performance management.

"Our goal is to ensure units have the proper number of requirements to accomplish the mission," said Tech. Sgt. John Major, 62nd AW manpower and organization NCOIC. "We do that based on the latest policies and directives, while promoting the most cost-effective and efficient use of resources through continuous improvement activities, consultant studies and productivity enhancement."

Major said the manpower office acts as an honest broker between Air Force, major command, and base-levels.

"We don't just advise leadership on the management of their organization, we also try to convey their needs or differences back up the chain," said Major. "When an Air Force manpower standard is published, we translate it and it gets passed down to the base-level, then we convey the needs back up the chain to make sure the base-level differences are translated into the source documents."

All of the Air Force assets on McChord are associated with the 62nd manpower office.

"My office is responsible for all the AMC requirements on the base," said Major. "We can offer information to the tenant units, but we can't make any changes to their positions because each MAJCOM owns their own requirements."

While the manpower office does a great job crunching the numbers and advising leadership on their resources, there are some challenges associated with being assigned to a joint base.

"Not every base is a joint base, so here, besides working normal Air Force rules and regulation, we also have the joint base construct to deal with," said Major. "The fact that the Army is the lead service on this base means that some things we would normally do are different. Certain things that we would expect to be available are not, so we have to help the units ask for things they need. It's a little bit more difficult allocating for positions here than a normal Air Force base."

Another challenge that manpower faces is miscommunication on shared assets.

"Part of our role as an advisor is to mediate an issue," said Major. "When we do a continuous process improvement event, we bring in a lot of agencies and discuss how a process they share could be improved. We lay that out in a process improvement document; we may solidify that in an Air Force instruction, or a local operation instruction, and then take those documents, publish them, and make that their new standard for sharing that resource."

While being a retrained-in-only career field, the manpower career field is a unique one.

"Manpower is not an easy fit for everybody," said Major. "We are very small with about four hundred positions. Our goal is to be that outside voice when leadership is trying to make changes. We have the amazing opportunity to touch every unit on base.  We touch every functional area the Air Force has to offer. That's why I love being a manpower analyst."

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