Nov 10 11 - 03:28 PM
The comments came in a pointed, Nov. 2 letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley. The letter, obtained by The Patriot, said the process for determining sites for the two new agencies was “highly suspect and offends the very notions of fairness and open government.” The letter was signed by Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee; U.S. Reps. Jim Matheson, Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.
Members of the delegation have called for at least a year delay in implementing the restructuring.
The decision announced last week by Air Force Materiel Command would downgrade air logistics centers at Robins Air Force Base; Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and Hill Air Force Base, Utah, to Air Logistics Complexes. Command staffs at each center along with respective two-star commander positions would be eliminated and oversight for depot maintenance and weapon system program management shifted to a new Air Force Sustainment Center at Tinker AFB headed by a three-star general.
Another aspect of the plan would create a new Air Force Life Cycle Management Center headed by a three-star general at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Falling under the AFLCMC umbrella would be the Aeronautical Systems Center at the Ohio base, the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., and the Air Armament Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
AFMC said the plan would go into effect in October of 2012.
The Utah delegation said its attempts at dialogue and partnership with the Air Force had been rebuffed for months by Donley and other Air Force leaders “even as Air Force Materiel Command’s reorganization plans were being drafted in haste and behind the cloak of non-disclosure agreements.”
The letter stressed that Air Force failure to conduct a formal business case analysis ignored Air Force and Defense Department regulations that specify that course of action for proposals with at least $500 million in impact across a five-year defense plan.
The Utah team said it was particularly distressed over potential impacts to its Falcon Hill Enhanced Use Lease project that included some $20 million in state funds. The project consists of privately funded office, research and commercial development on 550 acres of Hill AFB property.
“The investment now stands at risk through what appears to be an impetuous Air Force reorganization scheme that could reduce demand for Falcon Hill, thereby jeopardizing the future modernization of Hill AFB facilities and infrastructure,” the letter stressed. “To announce your plan and not to have considered these potential negative impacts is most disappointing and irresponsible.”
The letter closed with a call to defer the AFMC reorganization until “greater dialogue and disclosure (are) achieved …and a formal business case analysis is completed.”