Efficiency Experts Take Over

Operating with more efficiency is key for the Air Force to shed billions of dollars in overhead costs over the next five years, says Lt. Gen. Christopher Miller, deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and programs. Speaking Thursday at an Air Force Association-sponsored presentation in Arlington, Va., Miller said this entails evaluating headquarters and administrative functions to make sure staffs are operating as effectively as possible. It may also involve activities like combining aging buildings at a given site into a single modern facility and improving the acquisition process, he said. Coming up with the savings that Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants across the Defense Department may also mean more emphasis on joint programs, said Miller. But he cautioned that joint programs are not a panacea. “On the one hand, there are economies of scale and possibly some opportunities to eliminate overlap, but it also presents challenges in deciding how two or more departments will resource something,” he said.