Detachment 12 stands up to provide combat software

  • Published
  • By Benjamin Newell
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Commander Lt. Gen. Robert McMurry stood up Detachment 12 and gave command of it to Col. Enrique Oti May 8.

The first personnel assigned to Detachment 12 are Airmen, civilians and contractors in a software development unit unofficially referred to as Kessel Run, whose mission is to deliver combat applications warfighters love. They attended the ceremony, along with many senior leaders, including Steven Wert, program executive officer of Digital, who retains acquisition authority over Detachment 12’s efforts.

The standup ceremony marked a shift from a purely acquisition-centered organization to a detachment with a formal military command structure and simultaneous acquisition mission. Detachment 12 consists of nearly 700 government civilians, Airmen and contractors who work with operators to create software to make daily operations easier for the U.S. Air Force. Several other PEO Digital acquisition efforts also fall under the detachment, making it a focused unit designed to operate with more autonomy in pursuit of innovation.

“After touring this facility, I can tell you the standup isn’t necessary,” said McMurry. “This organization is already stood up. It’s already delivering, and all we’re doing is putting a flag in front of it.”

Oti received the flag from McMurry, participating in a military tradition dating back to ancient Egypt. Many onlookers were civilians and contractors, with little or no experience in military ceremony, which is a result of Detachment 12 seeking talent in the technology industry, rather than major existing military contractors.

“At the end of the day, we’re here to build empathy with our customer,” said Oti. “We must be able to relate to the operators who are downrange, working on the flightline, pulling shift work, and do our best to listen to their needs and provide the tools they need to make their jobs better.”

Oti has been leading Kessel Run for nearly a year, and said during the ceremony that taking command will start approximately another year at the helm. He is responsible for setting up a software factory that builds, tests, delivers, operates and maintains cloud-based infrastructure and warfighting software applications for use by Airmen worldwide.