Air Force Materiel Command
|Air Force Materiel Command|
Air Force Materiel Command building,
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Role||Systems acquisition, research, development, testing, and maintenance|
|Garrison/HQ||Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio|
|Commander||Gen Janet C. Wolfenbarger|
|Vice Commander||Major General H. Brent Baker Sr.|
|Command Chief||Chief Master Sergeant Michael J. Warner|
|Emblem of Air Force Materiel Command|
Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) is a major command of the United States Air Force (USAF). AFMC was created on July 1, 1992 through the amalgamation of the former Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC) and the former Air Force Systems Command (AFSC).
AFMC is headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The commander of AFMC is General Janet C. Wolfenbarger and the vice commander is Major General H. Brent Baker, Sr. Chief Master Sergeant Michael J. Warner is the Command Chief. AFMC is one of ten Air Force Major Commands (MAJCOM) and has a workforce of approximately 78,000 military and civilian personnel. It is the Air Force’s largest command in terms of funding and second in terms of personnel. AFMC’s operating budget represents 57 percent of the total Air Force budget and AFMC employs more than 40 percent of the Air Force’s total civilian workforce.
The command conducts research, development, testing and evaluation, and provides the acquisition and life cycle management services and logistics support necessary to keep Air Force weapon systems ready for war. The command develops, acquires and sustains the aerospace power needed to defend the United States and its interests for today and tomorrow. This is accomplished through research, development, testing, evaluation, acquisition, maintenance and program management of existing and future USAF weapon systems and their components.
The United States Armed Forces procurement of military aircraft began when the United States Army's Aeronautical Division of the U.S. Signal Corps, acquired several examples of the Wright Military Flyer of 1909. USAAF/USAF aircraft Research and Development (R&D) was merged with aircraft procurement twice in the 20th Century (e.g., 1944, 1992):
- Airplane Engineering Department
- The Airplane Engineering Department was established by the Equipment Division of the U.S. Army Signal Corps in 1917 for World War I experimental engineering. The department had a 1917 Foreign Data Section, and the Airplane Engineering Department was on McCook Field at Dayton, Ohio (the 1917 Patterson Field and Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot were nearby). McCook Field established the Air School of Application in 1919 and after WW I, the department was renamed the Airplane Engineering Division on 31 August 1918 under Lt Col Jesse G. Vincent (Packard co-engineer of the 1917 V-12 Liberty engine) to study and design American versions of foreign aircraft. The division merged in 1926 with the Air Service's Supply Division (formed by 1919) to form the Material Division (Air Corps). In 1920, the Engineering Division's Bureau of Aircraft Production completed the design of the Ground Attack, Experimental, (GAX) aircraft built as the Boeing GA-1, and designed the VCP-1 that won the initial Pulitzer Race in 1920 at Roosevelt Field (the division also designed the TP-1 and TW-1).
- Material Division
- The Material Division was set up for four functions: research and development, procurement, supply, and maintenance—on October 15, 1926, under the Office of the Chief of the Air Corps (OCAC) and had the characteristics of a major command. With the construction of nearby Wilbur Wright Field, McCook Field was closed on April 1, 1927, and was subsequently demolished after its assets moved to the new Wright Field, the latter serving as the Air Corps', and later the Army Air Forces', principal R&D center from 1927 to 1947, including the Physiological Research Laboratory which opened in 1935. By August 22, 1935, the division operated an Army Aeronautical Museum at Wright Field, and by November 22, 1935, had an "Industrial War Plans Section". F.B. Vose became the Material Division commander on October 19, 1940, with the division employing procurement inspectors at Wright Field the same year. The division had four Field Service Sections: San Antonio, Fairfield, Middletown, and Sacramento.
- Material Command & Air Service Command
- Material Command took over R&D and procurement on December 11, 1941, when the Air Service Command was activated for supply and maintenance. Army Air Forces Materiel and Services was established on July 14, 1944, containing both Material Command and Air Service Command, and AAF Material and Services was redesignated Army Air Forces Technical Service Command on August 31, 1944.
- Air Technical Services Command
- Air Technical Service Command (ATSC) was designated when AAF Technical Service Command was renamed on July 1, 1944, and its two component acquisition commands—Material Command & Air Service Command—were abolished on August 31, 1944. By 1945, 14 bases in the United States had ATSC facilities: Newark, New Jersey; Fairfield, California; Miami, Florida; Middletown, Pennsylvania; Mobile, Alabama; Ogden, Utah; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Oakland, California; Rome, New York; Sacramento, California; San Antonio, Texas; San Bernardino, California; Spokane, Washington; and Warner Robins, Georgia. (e.g., Chico AAF transferred to ATSC on 15 October 1944). In 1945, planning began for a separate United States Air Force as an independent service, and in January 1946, General of the Army Eisenhower and Army Air Forces General Spaatz agreed on an Air Force organization composed of the Strategic Air Command, the Air Defense Command, the Tactical Air Command, the Air Transport Command and the supporting Air Technical Service Command, Air Training Command, the Air University, and the Air Force Center." (for the latter, the Army Air Forces Center instead merged with the Army Air Forces Proving Ground Command on March 8, 1946 to form the Air Proving Ground Command). ATSC centers were also renamed, e.g., the Kelly Field Logistics Depot's "San Antonio Air Technical Services Command" became the San Antonio Air Materiel Area in 1946.
- Air Material Command
- Air Material Command was established on March 9, 1946, and in November 1946, AMC's History Office published Material Research and Development in the Army Air Arm, 1914-1945. In 1947, AMC bases were transferred to the newly established United States Air Force, with facilities such as the storage depot in Maywood, California being renamed Cheli Air Force Station.
- Air Material/Research and Development commands
- Research and Development Command was established on January 23, 1950, gaining the R&D mission from Air Material Command, with the latter retaining procurement, supply, and maintenance. Research and Development Command was redesignated the Air Research and Development Command (ARDC) on September 16, 1950, and the Arnold Engineering Development Center was dedicated by President Harry S. Truman on June 25, 1951. AIMACO, the "Supply Control Command compiler" for Air Materiel Command, began c. 1959 with the definition of a high level programming language influenced by the UNIVAC Flow-Matic and COMTRAN programming languages. The draft AIMACO language definition was developed by an AMC-chaired committee of industry representatives from IBM, United States Steel, and AMC Programming Services. AIMACO had two compilers specified/designed (never produced), and AMC originally intentded all programming for AMC systems would be in AIMACO and compiled on a UNIVAC at the AMC headquarters at Wright-Patterson AFB for operation on UNIVAC or IBM computers. An alternative compiler was designed by AMC Programming Services to compile systems on IBM computers for operation on IBM computers. AIMACO, along with FLOW-MATIC and COMTRAN, influenced development of the COBOL programming language.
- Air Force Logistics Command and Air Force Systems Command
- On April 1, 1961, as part of the DoD reorganization under President John F. Kennedy and his Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara, the Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC) was established at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, superseding the Air Material Command and assuming the latter's supply and maintenance roles while divesting itself of the procurement role. On the same date, Air Force Systems Command (AFSC) was also established at Andrews AFB, Maryland, assuming the R&D role of the former Air Research and Development Command while also inheriting the material procurement function that had previously resided in the Air Material Command.
End of the Cold War
Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) was activated on July 1, 1992 as part of a post-Cold War, USAF-wide reorganization that resulted in the merger of AFLC and AFSC into a single major command.
Following the establishment of AFMC, subsequent BRAC actions also saw significant reductions in AFMC infrastructure. This included the BRAC-directed closure/privatization of the San Antonio Air Logistics Center at Kelly AFB, Texas and the closure of Kelly AFB as an independent installation, with incorporation of its runways and remaining military flight line areas as the Kelly Field Annex to adjacent Lackland AFB.
The Sacramento Air Logistics Center at McClellan AFB was also closed/privatized and McClellan AFB totally closed per BRAC direction, with the extant installation transitioned to a totally civilian airport with the exception of Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento and the Air Force Recruiting Service's 364th Recruiting Squadron.
- General Ronald W. Yates, 1992-1995
- General Henry Viccellio Jr., June 1995-May/June 1997
- General George T. Babbitt, Jr., May 1997 – 2000
- General Lester Lyles, May 2000 - October 2003
- General Gregory S. Martin, 2003 - 2005
- General Bruce A. Carlson, 2005 - 2008
- General Donald J. Hoffman, 2008 - 2012
- General Janet C. Wolfenbarger, assumed command June 2012
AFMC fulfills its mission of equipping the Air Force with the best weapon systems through the Air Force Research Lab and eight specialized centers responsible for the "cradle-to-grave" oversight for aircraft, electronic systems, missiles and munitions. For instance, weapon systems, such as aircraft and missiles, are developed and acquired through three product centers, using science and technology from the laboratory research sites. The systems are then tested at AFMC's two test centers. Over the system's lifetime, it may be serviced, upgraded or repaired at the three air logistics centers. The command's specialized units perform many other development and logistics functions, including scientific research and the retirement or sale of older systems.
In addition, the command operates associate units and tenant activities on several non-AFMC bases.
In 2012, there was a major reorganization and several new Centers were organized. Among them, the Air Force Sustainment Center at Tinker AFB now directs the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker AFB, the Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill AFB, and the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins AFB.
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