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14th FTW hosts BLAZE 21 Lean event

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Leading the way in Air Education and Training Command and the Air Force, Columbus AFB and the Blaze Team will host a Blaze 21 Lean event Monday through Nov. 17.

Chosen as one of only six projects to be funded by AETC, a cross-functional team from organizations encompassing a wide variety of base activities will convene to take a hard look at current flight scheduling practices.

Facilitator Ed McGavin will be accompanied by AETC vice commander Lt. Gen. Dennis Larsen, 14th Flying Training Wing commander Col. Dave Gerber and other wing leadership who will participate as team members.

This high level participation emphasizes the command's dedication to the successful transformation of the Air Force to a true Lean organization.

In this era of budget and personnel cuts, the Air Force is constantly on the lookout for new and innovative ways to smartly accomplish its mission.

To this end, the Air Force has instituted Air Force Smart Operations 21 (AFSO 21) which combines many key management concepts including Lean.

Lean is a derivative of the Toyota Production System, and has been successfully implemented to streamline complex processes in a wide variety of organizations. The key concept of Lean is to continuously analyze processes and practices, eliminating waste and non-value added work. As personnel are trained and become familiar with Lean tools, events will begin to occur on a regular basis.

Far from being a one time event or "flash in the pan", Lean is not a program, but rather a total mentality shift. Each member is critical to the Air Force's successful transformation, seeking out and eliminating waste at every level.