413th FTG conducts strategic planning event

  • Published
  • By Jamal Sutter
  • 413th Flight Test Group Public Affairs

Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 413th Flight Test Group (FTG) came together Dec. 6-7 to discuss the unit’s future during a strategic planning event hosted at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

With in-person participants at Robins and virtual attendees from the group’s geographical separated units through video teleconference, the 413th FTG held the event to map out the unit's direction for the next few years. They did this by analyzing progress from the previous strategic event in comparison to where the unit is today.

The group’s last strategic alignment took place three years ago. Since then, the 413th FTG, 22nd Air Force and U.S. Air Force have all seen changes in leadership. Col. Sean Bittner, 413th FTG commander, said it’s important to ensure the group is still on the same page as higher headquarters and to make certain that the unit performs to its highest ability during the ongoing continuing resolution and other constraints.

“The worst thing we can do as an organization is become stagnant,” Bittner said. “Our mission is probably not going to change too much. We might expand it a little bit, but are we really, strategically doing the best things that we can to be most effective with the resources we have … limited resources we have in many cases … to actually execute that mission?”

The event kicked off with a keynote speech from Col. Jason Trew, the vice commandant of the Squadron Officer School at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. During his speech, Trew touched on psychological safety, having a growth mindset and the practical issues that involve strategizing.

“There is a difference between things that are complicated and things that are complex,” he said. “Complicated is lots of moving parts. It’s a jet engine. I can take it apart and put it back together again, because the relationship between those parts is rational and linear. Complex is different, because things are non-linear, and it’s hard to even wrap our minds around what the problem is. You can’t just reverse engineer problems that are complex.

“Anything involving humans is complex, so just appreciate that the domain that you are in is a domain of complexity,” Trew added.

Robin Bouton, the 413th FTG’s new process manager who led the event, said she wanted the group to make the most of the opportunity and to focus on criticizing by creating, the idea of also bringing a possible solution to the table when presenting a complaint.

“We know there are things we can do better,” Bouton said. “We know there are things that aren’t completely perfect. But don’t just come with an issue … come with some way to fix it or some type of creative way that we can get after it.”

Throughout the course of the two days, the group looked at recent accomplishments and setbacks, established new priorities and goals, and participated in several other activities and exercises. The process even garnered a new vision statement for the unit.

Results of the 413th FTG strategic planning event, along with the new vision statement, will be officially presented early next year. The group plans to meet again in the near future to review what’s been accomplished, identify what still needs work and make revisions if need be.