by Shaun Eagan
Air Combat Command Public Affairs
8/31/2015 - Langley Air Force Base, Va. -- The
initial stage of Air Combat Command's new program, the Culture and
Process Improvement Program, began here, Aug. 21, and is designed to
take place across 12 Air Force active duty, reserve and National Guard
The CPIP was established to target and develop methods of improvement
for concerns identified by Airmen and family members in the MQ-1/9
The program, set to happen throughout the month of September, began by
sending surveys to 3,366 officer and enlisted Airmen to help identify
concerns and issues in the MQ-1/9 community. Starting Sept. 8, two CPIP
teams will travel to 12 bases to engage with Airmen and their families
and build upon the information discovered from the survey results.
"We're seeing problems in the MQ-1/9 community at both the major command
and base levels that can be solved quickly," said U.S. Air Force Col.
Troy Jackson, C2ISR Operations division chief and CPIP officer in
charge. "Airmen in this career field are being exhausted with no end in
sight; we want to fix this."
The program, comparable to Global Strike Command's Force Improvement
Program, takes the same grass-roots approach, except it's tailored
towards the MQ-1/9 communities, according to Jackson. CPIP presents a
holistic approach to identifying where improvements need to be made both
in the work environments and overall quality of life.
"A lot of assumptions were made over the years, and people don't realize
how stressful and overworked the MQ-1/9 field is," explained Jackson.
"We're asking Airmen to do a lot when they're either not trained
properly or not ready for what's being asked of them, which leaves the
Airmen burned out."
The approach towards the program is to focus on fixing smaller problems
fast, and discovering any long-term strategic goals to improve the more
complex, deep-seeded problems of the Airmen through the process.
"The idea is to present an opportunity for Airmen to understand they're
being heard and to speak their mind," Jackson said. "They need to know
their leadership wants to hear their needs and appreciates what they
How it's getting done
Besides the CPIP teams reaching out to Airmen, they're also hoping to
hear responses from family members. When the teams visit each of the 12
scheduled bases, both Airmen and family members will be allowed to
voice their opinions through questionnaires and interviews.
The bases scheduled for visits are as follows:
- Creech Air Force Base, Nevada (Sept. 9-11)
- March Air Reserve Base, California (Sept. 13)
- Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona (Sept. 13)
- Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico (Sept. 15-16)
- Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, Texas (Sept. 15)
- Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri (Sept. 17)
- Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico (Sept. 18-19)
- Berry Field Air National Guard Base, Tennessee (Sept. 19)
- Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota (Sept. 21)
- Springfield Municipal Airport, Ohio (Sept. 21)
- Fargo Air National Guard Base, North Dakota (Sept. 23)
- Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, New York (Sept. 23)
In addition to surveying and interviewing Airmen and their families, the CPIP team created a Facebook page and a blog
in hopes of expanding to a wider audience, according to Jackson. The
Facebook page will stay updated throughout the program and provide an
opportunity for 24-hour access to the CPIP team. The blog will also be
available to provide program updates and provide open and anonymous
"This isn't about fixing chow halls, gyms, or the other base amenities
that have been looked at before," explained Jackson. "We want to
provide the MQ-1/9 community the same level of holistic quality of life
and professional development as other weapon systems, and this is a step
When the CPIP teams leave each base, a CPIP contingent at ACC
Headquarters will analyze the results and provide real-time feedback to
the teams for improving the interview process. After completing the
base visits, the CPIP team will determine why certain indicators were
reported in the data and interview process.
The findings and recommended solutions will be developed by
peer-selected MQ-1/9 members that are part of the CPIP team. The
members will then present the CPIP's recommendations for improvement to
Gen. Hawk Carlisle, commander of ACC.
"The past has shown the Air Force tried to fix smaller aspects at the
base level, but only so much money can be thrown at certain problems,"
said Jackson. "This approach will allow us to view what's happening in
the MQ-1/9 career field.
"These Airmen deserve an opportunity to have personal and professional
development, lifestyles, work environments and other benefits just like
any other Airman," Jackson continued. "There needs to be a constant
The purpose of CPIP is to collect as much honest feedback as possible.
Jackson explained that Airmen and their families are being presented
with the ability to be heard and tell the Air Force both what's
bothering them and any recommendations they may have to improve issues.
"Airmen need to provide us with their unfiltered responses and opinions
when we visit," said Jackson. "Your responses are going to the
commander of ACC, so what you say is what gets reported."