Working on the “Tooth-to-Tail” Ratio

According to Lt. Gen. Michael Peterson, the Air Force’s chief of warfighting integration and chief information officer, the Air Force today has more than 19,000 software applications that perform tasks from changing pay information to ordering parts for an aircraft. What the service plans to do is cut that number, since many of these applications, often developed independently, create needless work. “Often to get two applications to share data, we must build software to serve as a link,” Peterson told Air Force journalist SSgt. C. Todd Lopez. And, if an application shares data with 20 others, that’s 20 more links to create. The goal is to reduce the 19,000-plus to less than 2,000 by Fiscal 2012. In so doing, explained Peterson, the Air Force can reduce the number of people it takes to do a job. For example, he said that such modernization applied to the exchange between the munitions field and acquisition folks, means the munitions crowd can do the same job with 15 fewer people. (Let’s see, 40,000 minus 15, leaves only 39,985 to go to reach the cuts planned for the next five years.)