Combined C-17 office will bring new jobs to Robins

wcrenshaw@macon.comNovember 16, 2012 

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE -- The 225 people who work in the C-17 Globemaster III Combined Program Office at Robins Air Force Base will move into a new building after Thanksgiving and will get some new co-workers.

While the exact number is uncertain, the move will bring roughly 100 new jobs to the base over the next year, said Col. David Morgan, program lead of the office. The C-17 program office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio is moving to Robins, and Boeing is also moving people into the office.

The new office, located in the former commissary building, also consolidates C-17 sustainment personnel who had been working in separate buildings at the base.

Boeing and government employees will work side-by-side in the office to provide sustainment support for the aircraft.

“We are in one location. We can talk to each other. We don’t have to send e-mails. We don’t have to walk across the base,” said Boeing Vice President Gus Urzua at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday. “We will be better tomorrow than we are today.”

The personnel will move into the office the week after Thanksgiving.

Morgan credited the completion of the project to the work of retired Maj. Gen. Robert McMahon when he was commander of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center.

“If it wasn’t for Gen. McMahon this would not be a reality,” Morgan said. “He has fought to get our money and funding request approved through Congress. He was in our corner the whole way.”

McMahon, now president of the 21st Century Partnership, made a return appearance at the base to speak at the ceremony.

“What we are doing today is making the finest airlifter that was ever built even better, because we are putting in a single room the entire team that will manage and lead this capability not only for the United States Air Force but for air forces around the world,” McMahon said.

Urzua will work in the office, and he said after the ceremony he is the only aircraft company vice president he is aware of who works in a program office on a base supporting that company’s aircraft.

The team recently won the 2012 Secretary of Defense Gerald R. Beck Award in the system-level category for the partnership between Boeing and the Air Force. Morgan said the partnership has proven to be an efficient and cost-effective way to support the aircraft. He said the C-17 has one of the highest availability rates of any aircraft in the Air Force.

“We are less expensive as anyone to efficiently maintain our aircraft,” Morgan said.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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