August UTA Theme: Improving the Unit

  • Published
  • By Col. Eric Vitosh
  • 931st Air Refueling Wing

The theme for August is “Improving the Unit.” This should be an ongoing process that everyone embraces to make McConnell Air Force Base and the Air Force a better place than it was yesterday.  Our lethality as a fighting force is vitally dependent upon this function.  Without it, it will be impossible to stay ahead of our adversaries who are always sprinting to find ways to get at our weaknesses.

There are various methods and paths to improving the unit, and each of them depends upon you to see change through.  The simplest form of improvement is as approachable as seeing a broken process, or a program that you have direct control over and making it better and more effective.  Take charge and don’t take no for an answer.

Next is through a process improvement office.  Some of those efforts will be rather complex and take dedicated teams to come together and accomplish Rapid Improvement Events (RIEs) to repair processes that cross organizational boundaries.  We are looking for individuals throughout the wing to volunteer to become Green Belt Practitioners to work with Rachael on large process events such as these RIEs as well as other less complex improvement projects.

The Department of Defense has implemented a new organization labeled Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) that interfaces with innovative small businesses to help the military solve small to medium sized problems.  All you have to do is describe a problem you have within your unit or organization, and DIUx will help to define the problem so that a company in the commercial sector can analyze the issue and present a solution to DIUx.  They will, in turn, work at a way to get that solution funded.  It’s a pretty radical solution set that I think we can use to help us get to results that we are unable to come up with ourselves.  Go to  to find out more information or submit a problem idea.

Finally, Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David Goldfein have distributed Squadron Innovation Funds for units to use and execute in this current fiscal year which ends very shortly.  If you have ideas that require funds to execute, please make sure you get those ideas to your squadron commander as soon as possible, and we will work to get those ideas funded.

It is up to all of us to find ways to improve our unit.  I’m counting on you to identify those problems and work towards innovative solutions to continue to make this Air Force the best in the world.