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Turner Questions Air Force Chief of Staff on ECSS

Response Means Hundreds of area Jobs to Stay at Wright-Patt

On Thursday at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the Air Force budget, Congressman Mike Turner questioned Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Norman Schwartz on the future of the Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The ECSS program has been undergoing a Critical Change Report (CCR) process which has extended beyond the originally forecasted completion date and is threatening the program’s funding.

Emphasizing the important role that ECSS plays in the current Defense efficiencies plan, Turner asked General Schwartz specifically about the status of the program, as well as the timelines for completion of the CCR. Schwartz responded: “We have looked at this extensively, and it’s our view that this is something, as hard as it is, that we have got to stick with. And you’ll be hearing from the Department – I think – that we request Congress’ forbearance to press on….This is part of our strategy for achieving the capability to be audit ready. [You] can’t be audit ready if you can’t smash the numbers, and this is one of our vehicles for doing that.”

The response by Schwartz to Turner’s question means that the Air Force intends to continue investing in this important program which is responsible for hundreds of area employees.

The ECSS program is a major process reengineering and technology information system implementation that will streamline the Air Force’s end-to-end supply chain to increase weapons systems availability, reduce costs, and allow reinvestment in modernization. This program is the major enabling initiative of an overarching effort called Expeditionary Logistics for the 21st Century (eLog-21) that is expected to result in a 10 percent cost savings of at least $12 billion over the lifespan of the program.

Expected savings for the Air Force from implementing this program are significant. Currently, logistics operating costs total $33 billion annually, and account for nearly 30 percent of the Air Force budget. ECSS will also retire 240 outdated, inefficient and ineffective legacy information systems that cost $30 million per month to operate. ECSS is a major contributor towards improving the effectiveness and efficiency of Defense Department business operations, and meeting Secretary Gates’ $100B challenge. This program operationally includes 186 Air Force bases globally and 250,000 military and civilian users.

1 comment to Turner Questions Air Force Chief of Staff on ECSS

  • Amitabh Ghosh

    Congressman here are my concern with this program. First the selection of the COSTS product – The MITRE the government watch dog ? in reality has been looking to expand its foot print.
    second the LTO should be representing the USER community and collecting requirement not be involved in designing. This whole program is a mess and wasting the ubiquitous taxpayers money and making corporate america’s belly fat.
    Hope fully you will do the right thing, clean the house and put the program back on track in a cost effective manner.
    I would be more than happy to have a conversation with you on ECSS.
    I am running for the US senate from the State of MI in 2012 only to ensure that the Ubiquitous tax payer gets full value for the system…
    Amitabh Ghosh
    cell 734 834 2722

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