General adds voice to seat management

An Air Force four-star general on Thursday gave the service's strongest

public endorsement yet to seat management.

"We're unanimous in wanting to get it done," said Gen. Patrick Gamble,

commander of Pacific Air Forces, speaking Thursday about the desire he and

his fellow four-stars have to implement seat management. "It's the way to

accomplish the mission."

He did not say if the Air Force would implement seat management in fiscal

2002.

Gamble's announcement came during a question-and-answer session following

his speech at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association's

TechNet Asia-Pacific 2000 conference in Honolulu.

His comments were unusual in light of the service's failure to launch

a well-publicized seat management pilot this year.

Officials at the Air Education and Training Command performed a business-case

study on seat management and talked with vendors and other agencies about

the practice. But they couldn't come up with fiscal 2001 budget money for

seat management. The lieutenant colonel who managed the initiative at Randolph

Air Force Base, Texas, retired this fall, and no one took over his work.

But when Navy officials were able to get approval on the Navy Marine

Corps Intranet procurement, the Air Force and other agencies started paying

more attention to seat management.

Gamble said that two and a half years ago, Air Force four-star generals

would not have mentioned seat management during their regular meetings.

"Today, it's all we talk about," he said. "It's a sea change in Air Force

leadership." And they're willing to give up other items in the Quadrennial

Defense Review budget to get funding for seat management, Gamble said.

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