Emphasizing the important role that ECSS plays in the current Defense efficiencies plan, Turner asked General Schwartz specifically about the status of the program, as well as the timelines for completion of the CCR. Schwartz responded: “We have looked at this extensively, and it’s our view that this is something, as hard as it is, that we have got to stick with. And you’ll be hearing from the Department - I think - that we request Congress’ forbearance to press on….This is part of our strategy for achieving the capability to be audit ready. [You] can’t be audit ready if you can’t smash the numbers, and this is one of our vehicles for doing that.”
The response by Schwartz to Turner’s question means that the Air Force intends to continue investing in this important program which is responsible for hundreds of area employees.
The ECSS program is a major process reengineering and technology information system implementation that will streamline the Air Force’s end-to-end supply chain to increase weapons systems availability, reduce costs, and allow reinvestment in modernization. This program is the major enabling initiative of an overarching effort called Expeditionary Logistics for the 21st Century (eLog-21) that is expected to result in a 10 percent cost savings of at least $12 billion over the lifespan of the program.
Expected savings for the Air Force from implementing this program are significant. Currently, logistics operating costs total $33 billion annually, and account for nearly 30 percent of the Air Force budget. ECSS will also retire 240 outdated, inefficient and ineffective legacy information systems that cost $30 million per month to operate. ECSS is a major contributor towards improving the effectiveness and efficiency of Defense Department business operations, and meeting Secretary Gates’ $100B challenge. This program operationally includes 186 Air Force bases globally and 250,000 military and civilian users.