ATAC-16 briefs Hon. Hunter

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Mikaley Kline, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The most recent team to attend the Advanced Tactical Acquisition Corps program graduated on May 8, 2024, culminating with a brief to the Honorable Andrew P. Hunter, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.

ATAC is a 3-month development and retention program designed to prepare high-performing Air Force acquisition professionals (with 4-10 years of acquisition experience) for senior leadership positions. Each cohort is a multi-functional team composed of members competitively selected from across Air Force Materiel Command.

“The team is given a real-world problem that we set out to solve during the 3 months,” said Kimberly Holland, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Logistics Manager. “We are to distill the problem statement, determine root causes, engage with stakeholders, and formulate recommendations that we ultimately brief to Honorable Hunter.

The overall purpose of ATAC is for us to hone our leadership skills and we do that through engagements with both industry and Air Force senior leaders.”

Each ATAC cohort is tasked with analyzing a director-level problem and generating innovative solutions.

“Currently, there are multiple program offices with overlapping responsibilities for the procurement of engine test cells and hush houses for Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers,” said Holland. “These responsibilities are not clearly communicated to country managers, who are the focal points for facilitating country-to-country agreements, causing confusion in the Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) process. ATAC-16 aims to improve customer satisfaction, streamline processes, and establish a comprehensive approach to engine test cell and hush house capabilities that meet FMS customers’ requirements.”

Early in the team’s research, the group discovered that the offices with overlapping responsibilities already agreed on an alignment plan, but it hadn’t been communicated to relevant stakeholders. For Capt. Haolun Qu, the problem-solving aspect drove him to apply for ATAC.

“It was a verbal agreement that would be difficult to enforce if there was turnover, so everyone agreed that solidifying it on paper was needed for longevity,” said Qu. “We settled on and drafted a memorandum for record as the recommended solution after discussions with stakeholders and senior leaders. Our team ended up facilitating much of the back-and-forth in terms of verbiage that satisfied all parties. I love puzzles, so problem-solving is a natural extension of that interest,” he added. “An opportunity to tackle a director-level problem in such a short period of time felt like the perfect challenge for me. What I got out of this experience is how to be an effective leader. I still have a long way to go, but I’m excited to apply what I’ve learned when I get back to my home office.”

Other members of ATAC-16 include:

  • Mr. Zachary Bassett (AFLCMC; Joint-Base San Antonio, Program Manager)
  • Ms. Linda Taylor-Bethea (AFLCMC; Eglin AFB, Engineer)
  • Mr. Christopher Espinoza (AFLCMC; Hill AFB, Program Manager)
  • Capt. Kyle Gapinski (AFLCMC; Wright-Patterson AFB, Engineer)
  • Ms. Kimberly Holland (AFLCMC; Robins AFB, Logistics Manager)
  • Capt. Jason Kyles (AFLCMC; Wright-Patterson AFB, Contracting Officer)
  • Ms. Katy Schuff (AFNWC; Hill AFB, Program Manager)
  • Capt. Haolun Qu (AFLCMC, Hanscom AFB, Product Manager)