QUANTICO, Va. --
Citing the need to update the direction of the command that is reflective of the realties and challenges occurring in mission areas, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations rolled out its first Strategic Plan in eight years in December 2018.
The latest version provides a five-year roadmap OSI will use to focus internally and externally, incorporating its capability objectives and goals, to mesh with those of the Secretary of the Air Force (SecAF), Secretary of Defense (SecDEF) and the President of the United States.
“As an agency, we need aggressive, proactive personnel with hunter mindsets, and we need visionary leaders who trust their people to get the job done,” wrote OSI Commander, Col. Kirk B. Stabler, in a command-wide email announcing the Strat Plan rollout. “This is the foundation of our plan, getting back to our true federal law enforcement roots. I recognize this shift in culture and thinking will not happen overnight, but this plan is our first step in the right direction.”
The plan reflects the OSI mission, focusing on achieving effects and results supporting the requirements and needs of the national security environment. The plan details the strategic environment in which OSI operates, OSI tenets, the OSI mission environment and the command’s Lines of Effort (LoEs) supporting the SecDEF and SecAF.
On Oct. 15, 2018, Headquarters OSI leadership signed off on the new Strategic Plan, making it the official way ahead. Subsequently, Col. Stabler and Command Chief Master Sgt. Karen F. Beirne-Flint recorded a 30-minute video explaining what the plan means and where the command is headed. On Dec. 14, 2018, the video was played command-wide to foster constructive discussions at all levels. Hard copies of the plan were also distributed to all OSI units worldwide.
“The one thing I need every Airman, military and civilian, in OSI to take away is how OSI meshes with our senior leadership,” Col. Stabler said in the video. “This is critically important.”
OSI Airmen will be able to seamlessly mesh with senior Air Force leadership and the Air Force moving forward by following the five Lines of Effort providing a clear, attainable vector for the agency.
The LoEs are: Develop an Exceptional Force; Restore Readiness; Cost-Effectively Modernize; Drive Innovation and Strengthen our Partnerships. Each LoE has goals accomplished via objectives to reach a desired end state.
Developing an Exceptional Force is the central guiding Line of Effort critical to achieving the remaining LoEs.
“The number one weapon system OSI uses to get its mission done is our people,” Command Chief Beirne-Flint said in the video. “A force that’s resilient is ultimately the foundation of what we do. The challenge is when Airmen come into our units, we’re able to focus on their personal, professional and technical development so when they leave our units they’re stronger, faster, competent, confident and more resilient than when they arrived. They’ll have the sustainability to finish the job.”
LoE 1, Develop an Exceptional Force, is the linchpin for the other lines of effort.
“This is a building block,” said Col. Stabler. “If you don’t have LoE 1, I guarantee you’re not getting LoE 2 through 5. We’re very focused on Developing an Exceptional Force first. That’s why it’s LoE 1. Each successive LoE builds from it moving forward.”
LoE 2, Restore Readiness, goes beyond the traditional readiness in warfighting mindset. For OSI readiness means having the resources to do the job, both deployed and in-garrison. OSI Airmen must be fully-trained and equipped and able to do OSI’s primary job of conducting timely and unbiased investigations.
“That’s what the Air Force expects of us,” Col. Stabler said. “If we’re not ready, the Air Force is probably not going to be ready either.”
LoE 3, Cost-Effectively Modernize, takes a close look at OSI systems, and how they can be improved to deliver better capabilities to the OSI workforce. The modernizing perspective goes beyond technology, it’s also about policy and has to seamlessly span the structured military environment into the civilian sector.
“It’s incumbent upon us to think differently as an agency and be much more flexible than we’ve been,” Col. Stabler said. “When we succeed, we’ll have better business practices, our technology will be in a better place and our personnel will be in a better place.”
LoE 4, Drive Innovation, is essential to OSI’s survival and to keep the command relevant. Moving forward, OSI will continue to focus on developing and modernizing its reporting tools, and on incorporating new technologies across the full spectrum of mission sets, including cyber and forensics.
“We need to continue to adapt and change with the environment we’re living in,” Command Chief Beirne-Flint said. “That includes cultivating and enhancing agile cyber operations to ensure we’re not five years behind, when we should be five years ahead of our adversaries.”
LoE 5, Strengthen Our Partnerships, plays a key role domestically and internationally in the counterintelligence and law enforcement arenas. Fostering partnerships expands resources and spheres of influence via information and training exchanges, and enhances multi-agency collaborative efforts through global strategic engagements and joint tactical initiatives.
“Partnerships are critically important in moving the agency forward,” Col. Stabler said. “Those key relationships need to be in place across our mission areas so we can protect our Air Force and our Nation.”