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Wing welcomes new process manager

John WIlson, 919th Special Operations Wing process manager, discusses how unsing specific steps lead to solutions and create better ways to successfully accomplish simple to complex tasks in any work area at Duke Field, Florida, Oct. 2, 2021.

John Wilson, 919th Special Operations Wing process manager, takes a moment for a photo while at his workcenter on Duke Field, Florida, Oct. 2, 2021 while explaining the benefits of Continuous Process Improvement and Innovation. One of his primary roles is to help units streamline processes and eliminate wasted steps to improve efficiency throughout the organization.

John WIlson, 919th Special Operations Wing process manager, discusses how unsing specific steps lead to solutions and create better ways to successfully accomplish simple to complex tasks in any work area at Duke Field, Florida, Oct. 2, 2021.

John Wilson, 919th Special Operations Wing process manager, demonstrates how to visually map out a process for analysis and improvement while at his workcenter on Duke Field, Florida, Oct. 2, 2021. One of his primary roles is to help units streamline processes and eliminate wasted steps to improve efficiency throughout the organization.

DUKE FIELD, Fla. -- For the past 50 years, the 919th Special Operations Wing has delivered around-the-clock support to the warfighter while also administering humanitarian and medical support to those in need.

Providing this level of support starts at a basic level of following a step-by-step processes across every squadron in the Reserve's only special operations wing.

John Wilson is the new wing process manager at the 919th SOW, and he assists in making sure members effectively implement and improve those processes at Duke Field, Florida.

“My goal is to create a culture of change agents,” says Wilson. “We do that when everyone has the same mindset of being able to identify areas of improvement so everyone can move forward together for the mission.”

Wilson’s previous job at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, introduced him to Air Force Constant Process Improvement (CPI). His prior service as an Army combat engineer gave him plenty of experience as a problem solver. A mentor recognized his quick thinking and problem solving skills and suggested he consider a career in CPI. Wilson now applies six years of experience and lessons from his mentors to teach others problem solving skills and how to implement process changes when they find a solution.

“As a combat engineer, I conducted route clearance working to identify and reduce the threat of roadside bombs,” Wilson said. “In that line of work, you have to apply common sense to problems and be able to think quickly on your feet. It’s similar to problem solving here. We break down the process, identify the root of the problem, come up with a solution, and find a way to include that solution in the future process.”

Wilson plans to organize events and offer classes to train members in an eight-step method to make and sustain improvements in work processes. The methods and lessons trained teach problem solving tips members can use to improve things from processing paperwork to better methods of painting aircraft. A recent CPI event helped the wing improve a time and attendance program to result in a standardized, manageable process moving forward.

“The wing process manager assists leaders with the design and development of strategy, vision, goals and priorities and aligning them with our higher headquarters,” says Lt. Col. Christa Machado, 919th SOW director of inspections. “The 919th SOW process manager is a significant contributor to the Wing’s combat capabilities and mission successes!”

While Wilson is here to help leaders improve mission effectiveness and create change where needed within their organizations, ownership of the program still resides with the member.

“The biggest thing I want people to understand is, it’s not my process, it’s theirs,” said Wilson. “I’m just here to help look at it and help you fix it if needed. That's really the biggest thing that goes back to the whole culture piece. If people have the change agent mindset, then we can save money and time and do some really great things here.”