434th ARW uses Continuous Process Improvement to reform the wing

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Alexa Culbert
  • 434 Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

For years the Air Force has been “doing more with less” due to low manning and budget constraints, however its demand for “excellence in all we do” is continuous despite any setbacks it might run into.


In response, the Continuous Process Improvement program encourages Airmen to seek out ways to improve existing processes that slow down or complicate operations.


434th Air Refueling Wing process improvement manager, Bryan Runion, held a brief February 6, to increase awareness about the CPI program and Green Belt training course.


He started off by explaining that the CPI is not a program, but a way the base does business by working smarter, not harder and putting an emphasis on waste reduction.


“Looking back on my career, I have seen a lot of same problems over and over. For example, EPRs or filing travel vouchers,” said Runion. “I think if we start getting people trained on looking at these processes and thinking of ways to make them more efficient…It will have people look at things more analytically and begin thinking of ways to make it better.”


The Air Force CPI program is comprised of four areas: reducing variation, eliminating bottlenecks, re-design process and eliminating waste.


Eliminating waste, or Lean, makes up 80 percent of the model and focuses on eliminating non-value work, therefore, saving time and resources.


“The leadership is always saying that we’re not getting any more people or money, so we need to find ways to make those processes more efficient and have better use of our time,” Runion said. “On UTA weekends, we don’t have a lot of time and there are ways in which we can streamline processes and maximize our time and not spend it doing administrative things and actually do our jobs.”


CPI practitioners are referred to as Green or Black belts, depending on their skill level. Green Belts operate as entry level and under the guidance of Black belts, who facilitate teams across unit boundaries.


The Green Belt training course is a nine-week course, comprised of 45 modules and is taken via E-Learning. The course can be accomplished at home without CAC access or military network and reservists can earn nine Retirement Points and a Special Experience Identifier.


If the Green Belt training course is too much of a commitment, another option is the Foundational Skills Training or the Yellow Belt training. This course is only three weeks, 15 modules and is worth three retirement points.


For those who elect to take the Yellow Belt course can later enroll in the Green Belt course without having to repeat already accomplished modules.


After completing the course, trainees can earn the Green Belt Certificate by leading a CPI event under the guidance of a Black Belt practitioner.


To register visit: https://usaf.opusworks.com/usaf