Gunfighters seek innovation through CPI

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Chester Mientkewicz
  • 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 366th Force Support Squadron manpower team is leading courses to find innovative ways to maximize resources and increase efficiency in areas concerning people, money and time.

In 2015 Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st century’s name changed to the Continuous Process Improvement program. Before AFSO 21 there was Observe Orient Decide and Act, Lean Principles and A-3.

While it has gone through many names, the program has had success in many areas. 

In the Air Force Inspection System, commanders are directed to use CPI to assist members in managing daily duties. Members of the program use this to help commanders make driven decisions. 

“Commanders and supervisors need to be comfortable saying when they need a better way to do something,” said Terral Ristow, 366th Force Support Squadron manpower analyst. “[These improvements] can possibly take off and help the entire Air Force.” 

The Inspector General validates and verifies the Commanders Inspection Program against the four major graded areas using CPI as the foundation. The Inspector General Education Management System uses the eight step problem method to manage deficiencies. 

There are two courses taught by Ristow, a four day green belt class teaching individuals to lead CPI courses themselves and a one day class teaching a beginner the process of creating a problem-solving map to lead their ideas in the right direction. 

“These courses give Airmen the information they need to take their ideas to the next level,” Ristow said.

A green belt is certified to individuals who are trained in the program and have completed at least one improvement project. Technical Sgt. William Jorgensen, 366th Fighter Wing Self-Assessment Program Manager andWing Management Internal Control Toolset administrator, earned this green belt and was awarded a special experience identifier in the CPI program, qualifying him to facilitate and lead CPI events. This is the first green belt certification at Mountain Home Air Force Base since 2011.

“I just want to pass my knowledge on to others to more efficiently complete the everyday Air Force missions,” Jorgensen said. 

Through an AFSO 21 project in 2008, the Gunfighters pioneered the current physical training method, which in turn, has saved the Air Force time and money through improved efficiency. As a result, unit fitness program managers test multiple individuals at once by designating times for when individuals can PT. 

“Individuals noticed there needed to be a change and they did something about it,” Ristow said. 

 If an airman has an innovative idea they can submit a case through the CPI link in the Air Force Portal. 

“We’re excited for this program,” said Jorgensen. “You have the ability to make a difference on a large scale no matter what your rank is.”