Air Force Electronic Systems Center


Agency: Department of Defense--Air Force

Title: Air Force Electronic Systems Center

Background Information

Electronic Systems Center (ESC) is a world leader in developing and fielding command, control, communication, computer and intelligence (C4I) systems. ESC manages more than 200 such systems with a total budget of almost $4 billion. These systems serve as the eyes and ears of our war-fighting commanders to cut through the fog of war. They help to see what no one else can, and pass that information on to the troops in the sky, on the sea, or on the ground. The nation saw the spectacular success of these systems during the Gulf War. A focus on quality and total customer satisfaction have been guiding elements of ESC.

ESC provides a remarkable breadth of products, processes and services. The premier program is the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, or Joint STARS. Built into a modified Boeing 707 with a canoe-shaped radome mounted under the forward fuselage, Joint STARS gives Army and Air Force commanders real-time data on ground targets.

One of ESC's best known programs is the Airborne Warning and Control System, or AWACS. Originally developed in the 1970s, the flying sensor system and command center can simultaneously track up to 300 aircraft and ships up to 250 miles away in any direction. ESC is constantly improving the system to keep it state of the art well into the next century.

Both AWACS and Joint STARS performed spectacularly during Operation Desert Storm, as did a number of other ESC-developed systems, including Tactical Digital Facsimile, Sentinel Byte, Constant Source, and the Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center. These systems demonstrated that information swiftly and accurately gathered, analyzed, and disseminated, will give fighting forces the winning edge.

In air and space, ESC is upgrading the North American Aerospace Defense command systems, and working with the Federal Aviation Administration to install new radar displays and improve air traffic control at major airports worldwide. The sole mission at ESC is to support customers through the timely and cost-effective delivery of quality C4I systems that meet or exceed customer needs.

The people at ESC are transforming this vision into reality. Quality represents the single greatest unifying theme, and ESC has used its tenets over the past six years to achieve remarkable results. Their small blue, Process Improvement Guide, developed by a small dedicated ESC team, is now the Air Force's reference guide for quality tools; hundreds of thousands of copies are in use today.

As an example of how this guide has been used, the Travel Pay Office reduced travel voucher processing times from weeks to minutes, paying vouchers on the spot and making Hanscom travelers the envy of the entire Air Force. Another ESC team combines program data, personnel information, and metrics into one networked application.

ESC regularly measures cost, schedule and performance data for each of its 200 programs. With Almanac, ESC no longer manually creates and forwards this information. Rather than reporting breaches in one or more of these critical areas, ESC examines favorable and adverse trends, and uses "trip wires" to bring attention to problems months and even years before they occur. Causes for pre-breach and breach data are presented using Almanac to aid in the required diagnostics.

In addition to cost, schedule, and performance, ESC pioneered a document called a "Customer Satisfaction Assessment Report" or CSAR. CSARs foster better communication with all our issues, including internal customers of ESC.

Main NPR Category: Customer Service

Related NPR Categories: Employee Empowerment

Contact Person: SMS Sgt. Les Teahl Contact Phone: (617) 377-8742

Col. Ke Collins (617) 377-5183

Contact Address: Hanscom Air Force Base

City: Bedford State: MA Zip Code:

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