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Morris highlights operational imperatives, digital engineering during “State of the Center”

  • Published
  • By K. Houston Waters
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commander discussed the Secretary of the Air Force’s operational imperatives and other topics during the annual “State of the Center” address Jan. 23.  

In addition to detailing Hanscom accomplishments and discussing hiring and telework, Lt. Gen. Shaun Q. Morris outlined how his priorities fit within the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s ‘Accelerate Change or Lose’ campaign.

“I’m just over two years in this job and I have so much pride for this team and what they’ve accomplished,” he said. “We have 30,000 people, spread out all over the globe, that are continuing to deliver war-winning capabilities to our warfighters every single day. They do a fantastic job, and I couldn’t be more proud.”

A major focus for Morris in 2023 is the Secretary’s operational imperatives. He explained that AFLCMC is critical to this mission, as almost every line of effort is supported, or directly affected, by programs and people at Hanscom and other operating locations around the world.

To execute the center’s mission of providing support to the program executive officers on behalf of the Air Force, as well as supporting the OIs, Morris outlined his priorities, which he refers to as the “who,” “how,” and “where.”

Morris’ number one priority is the “who,” which are the “highly skilled and diverse” Airmen and Department of the Air Force civilians who make up AFLCMC. Finding those with the necessary experience in quantum computing, data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning that is required to operate in today’s environment has been a challenge, he said.

“We need these people in my organization,” he continued. “We need to think about hiring the workforce that we need to be successful. I have to find them, bring them in, and retain them.”

The “how,” is the digital enterprise, which he believes is necessary for AFLCMC personnel to execute their programs. The last priority, the “where,” is the physical infrastructure that makes it all possible.  

“Digital enables us to gain more insight, helping us to identify and assess risk and deliver capabilities faster,” he said. “If we combine digital engineering and model-based systems engineering with agile software development and open-modular systems architecture, not only can we drive down risk but we can streamline and incorporate new technology, so we can go faster.”   

During his remarks, Morris also highlighted some accomplishments in the Digital Directorate and the Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks Directorate, both headquartered here. In addition, he detailed the Digital Engineering Course, which is a graduate-level pilot program that is the result of a partnership between Hanscom, the University of Mass. Lowell, and the state’s Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force.

The course is funded by a $180,000 grant from MassDevelopment, the lead agency for the MASS Task Force, and is designed to give Hanscom engineers experience in the use of digital engineering methods, models, and strategy.

AFLCMC is composed of fourteen execution directorates. The 66th Air Base Group at Hanscom, which operates the installation, is also part of AFLCMC, as is the 88th Air Base Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

The Center is responsible for total life cycle management of aircraft, engines, munitions, electronics, computers, networks, cyber and agile combat support systems. AFLCMC employs almost 30,000 people and has a budget of approximately $310 billion.

Morris has commanded AFLCMC since Sept. 3, 2020.

The “State of the Center” address was an in-person event held in Burlington, Mass., hosted by the Lexington-Concord Chapter of AFCEA.