Military News

Monday, December 07, 2015

CPIP survey strengthens Airmen, weapon system

by Airman 1st Class Tryphena Mayhugh
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


12/7/2015 - RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Ramstein Air Base, Germany, was one of 15 global sites, including Air National Guard units to undergo a survey by Air Combat Command's Culture and Process Improvement Program Nov. 19 to 21.

The survey gathered information to determine areas for improvement for the Distributed Common Ground System enterprise community and to recommend solutions to ACC senior leaders by mid-December.

"The enterprise has been working at an extremely high operations tempo in a deployed-in-place construct for more than 15 years, which has resulted in a number of stress factors and other systemic challenges," said Col. Donna O'Harren, ACC's DCGS CPIP lead. "The survey was conducted at a grass-root, peer-based level and gathered input directly from the field regarding these challenges."

The DCGS enterprise is an Air Force weapons system, composed of 27 regionally aligned, globally networked sites, including one at Ramstein.

With such a high-tempo career field, it can be beneficial for leadership to ensure that the Airmen working under them are able to cope and find ways to make the job easier and more efficient.

The process began when ACC leaders sent surveys in early October to approximately 9,000 officers, enlisted and civilian personnel to identify the key areas that needed improvement. Building upon what was gathered in those surveys three teams traveled to 15 global sites and conducted further surveys and interviews to gain insight into even the lowest-level problem areas.

"It's important to demonstrate to the Airmen and families of the DCGS enterprise that ACC is committed to hearing and understanding challenges and taking action to implement improvement where we are able," said O'Harren. "This will help those working in the enterprise to know they have a voice in making improvements for their future, which will in turn help create a more sustainable force that can progress and thrive."

The CPIP team also included families in the survey.

"Families are such an integral part of the support network for military members," said O'Harren. "They too are impacted by the high operations tempo and stress of the DCGS enterprise. Duty stressors can sometimes bleed over into stress at home and vice versa, so it was important to capture the challenges and improvement ideas from the families' perspective."

According to O'Harren, the focus of the survey was to gather direct feedback from the DCGS community on issues about job satisfaction, duty stressors, base support services and more.

"The CPIP team was able to achieve strong participation from Airmen from all of our mission sets, as well as from their families, for both days of the interview process," said Appel. "The CPIP team also worked around the clock to interview our Airmen who work 24/7 operations."

Each base's surveys and interviews were analyzed by a staff contingent at Headquarters ACC who provided real-time feedback to the teams to continually improve the process. This gave the survey teams a better chance of success and made it possible for them to discover new experiences and knowledge within their career field.

"Members from various DCGS units who traveled to the sites and participated as interviewers gained a broader understanding and appreciation of the wider enterprise in which they serve, and they will take those insights back to their units," said O'Harren. "They were energized to be part of this historic undertaking."

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