Living in a “Reliability Nightmare”:

Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne declared this week that he is currently “in a reliability nightmare,” because the service is “flying products that were not designed to fly this long.” Wynne was addressing the Logistics Officers Association Conference in Washington, where he praised the innovative efforts in logistics across the services. He said he has “watched one bad practice after another go by the wayside,” crediting Air Force Smart Operations 21 for producing real results in just a few years. He noted the evolution on today’s battlefields where the logistical chain is pulling needed supplies and capabilities when they are needed and not a moment earlier. “No parts forward, but all parts forward when needed,” he said, adding that the same “smart operations” approach will be needed as the Air Force attempts to break down barriers in learning about “geriatric mechanics.” Wynne explained that, to deal with operational aircraft that will approach 70 years of age—like some KC-135 tankers—before replacements arrive, USAF must delve deeper into structural mechanics, learning how “we begin to model it, use it, understand it, and get with the program.”