by Patty Welsh
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
10/18/2012 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- The
program executive officer for Business and Enterprise Systems, Maxwell
Air Force Base-Gunter Annex, Ala., shared some of his mission objectives
and insights about his position during an industry meeting here Oct.
Robert Carl "Shof" Shofner, speaking at the Hanscom Representatives
Association, said until he took on this role, he never realized how much
of an impact the organization has.
"I was frankly shocked to learn how much this particular portfolio touches every single Airman every single day," he said.
The BES portfolio consists of 128 different programs or capabilities
that cover a range of areas such as personnel, pay, finance, medical and
logistics systems. The personnel are also geographically separated in
five different states.
"Another way we touch every Airman every single day is when they boot up
their computer, because we're responsible for desktop configuration,"
Shofner relayed a story of meeting with the Air Force Chief of Staff and
telling him that he wouldn't be able to do his job without the BES
personnel doing their jobs.
The PEO highlighted three objectives that he has made a priority. First,
he is going to focus on balanced execution across the enterprise.
He said significant attention often gets put on the portfolio's three
main enterprise resource planning programs: Defense Enterprise
Accounting and Management System (DEAMS), Air Force-Integrated Personnel
and Pay System (AF-IPPS) and Expeditionary Combat Support System
(ECSS). However, he wants to make sure other programs receive the same
amount of focus.
"I want to ensure we don't lose the bubble on other programs," he said. "This is a very diverse and interesting portfolio."
A program he specifically highlighted to show that diversity was one of
their medical programs, where they are working to provide electronic
medical records/history. He said a critical care team can access that
information almost at the point of injury by using a laptop to access
He added that he thinks lessons learned from DEAMS, AF-IPPS and ECSS will be helpful across the portfolio.
The second objective is managing stakeholder's expectations. Shofner
said he is currently working to develop and reinforce relationships with
those stakeholders. He encouraged industry members to take part in the
organization's Vendor Exchange Forums. Information about the forums can
be found on the website: www.gunter.af.mil.
The third objective Shofner highlighted was hard work on integration and working toward common standards.
"Integration of our capabilities -- and the relationship with
infrastructure -- is the lifeblood," he said. "I've worked on some
complicated systems in the past and I've never seen before where
integration is more important."
Shofner said BES will be standing up an office to work on the integration piece.
"It's going to be hard, but it's absolutely crucial," he said.
Mentioning that he has only been PEO for about two months, Shofner said
his observation has been that he knows that it's going to be
"This is hard stuff and it's fluid in nature," he said. "But we have
incredibly sharp, bright people who are proud of what they do to support
not just the Air Force, but the nation."