For Greene County News
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — A grey and misty morning hung over the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as arrays of colorful umbrellas played connect the dots with the two-day-old puddles that led up to the main entrance.
The forecast wasn’t supposed to change much over the next week and although Ohioans know to never gamble with such predictions, a humid gloom still existed in the umbrella’d eyes.
But inside the AFLCMC headquarters building and especially inside the office of Chief Master Sgt. Doreen Losacco, the air was different.
Just a little over a year ago, Losacco began her role as the AFLCMC command chief and she brought with her not only a plethora of experience from her prior assignment at Sheppard Air Force Base (among others), but also a positive energy that even a gloomy Dayton forecast couldn’t dull.
“I arrived on June 9 last year and headed down to Eglin Air Force Base to meet with Airmen just two days later,” Losacco said.
During that visit, she met an Airman who had come up with a new idea that not only saved time, but also improved an old process from an ergonomics perspective.
Airmen don’t always realize that they are the ones who can make small changes that then have such a large impact on the overall mission, Losacco said.
Although headquartered at Wright-Patterson AFB, AFLCMC is spread all over at bases such as Tinker AFB in Oklahoma, Hill AFB in Utah, Hanscom AFB in Boston, Robbins AFB in Georgia, Eglin AFB in Florida — to name just a few.
“The fact that we have people everywhere … to reach out to them and let them know they are not out of sight and out of mind … To make sure I reach out and touch everyone to let them know we’re here for them — that’s one of my biggest challenges,” Losacco said.
She also discussed the importance behind continuing to reach out — how touching base with someone once isn’t enough.
“Just today, I went out and met some new Airmen. One is learning to play bagpipes!” Losacco said. “And another has a new workout routine that I’ve never heard of … and another told me about wanting to start a brown bag luncheon for linguists so they can meet up and practice their skills.”
Reaching out and getting these new ideas from Airmen — young and old — is something Losacco is very passionate about.
“Like the brown bag luncheon idea … Our linguists need to practice or they lose their skills so this idea is something that I can bring back and suggest to other units,” she said.
We just can’t stop, she said. We can’t stop reaching out.
Losacco also spoke about how she’d like to see Airman get a broader point of view earlier in their careers.
“Right now we get senior NCOs and many of them retire here,” Losacco explained. “I’d like to start getting a few younger NCOs so they can take what they learn here at Wright-Patt back out into the field. We grow up with blinders on in any career field and I think it’s important to open up those blinders because that’s when we truly get innovation.”
She told a story about a recent trip she took to Edwards Air Force Base with a lieutenant who had previously worked with the KC-46 program office and was part of a team that had suggested a new idea for testing the fuel system pressure of receiver aircraft. They toured the maintenance facility and it gave the young lieutenant a larger perspective.
“The lieutenant’s team had come up with an idea to make a new pressure tester. So they suggested it and the people (at Edwards AFB) designed the sensor to make it work. She was able to see that whole relationship of how it all works,” said Losacco. “To relate that message of it starts here and then goes there and then the testing—it was a great experience to see that through the eyes of the Lt. I was so excited for her, for the institution, and even for myself.”
During a visit with the Fighters and Bombers Division, she walked up and down the aisles of work areas saying hello, offering her famous homemade chocolate-covered cake pops, and talking to every Airman — officer, enlisted and civilian alike. She asked questions about prior duty stations, about photos of loved ones and other questions showing everyone she was interested in their lives not just at work, but holistically.
When she first arrived at Wright-Patt, she explained her philosophy about a healthy work-life balance for individual Airmen with an analogy that mirrors her philosophy on teamwork.
“Each individual has to balance their careers, home life, education and their community involvement,” she explained. “To highlight this concept, I like to share a button analogy. A button typically has four holes. Each hole represents a part of our lives — work life, family life, community life and personal life. If the thread from one of the holes begins to fray, the button can become loose. Eventually, if a person doesn’t take care of the thread from that hole, it may result in the loss of that button.”
With the health and well-being of LCMC in mind, individual Airmen are the thread of the organization and Losacco is passionate about ensuring that thread remains securely fastened to all the buttons that keep LCMC strong and progressing.
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