ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. --
Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr., commander, Air Force Materiel Command, issued diversity and inclusion, or D&I, guidance last fall, and shortly followed it with the 2020 AFMC D&I Survey.
The survey led each site or installation to establish a D&I Command Action Plan, or CAP, and all CAPs were due to AFMC June 4. The survey results for Arnold Air Force Base drove the implementation of two initiatives to heighten awareness of the program at the installation.
“These initiatives include ‘AEDC Engage,’ monthly diversity and inclusion talking points, as well as ‘Here We Grow – AEDC Chats,’ small group sensing sessions,” said Misty Layne, D&I lead at Arnold AFB, the headquarters of Arnold Engineering Development Complex.
Both AEDC Engage and Here We Grow were introduced to the Department of Defense, or DOD, civilian and military workforce at Arnold in August. During the Commander’s Call in September, Layne gave a brief on the opportunities these two initiatives offer.
“The AEDC Engage is a brief worksheet covering a variety of diversity and inclusion flavored topics from month to month,” Layne said. “It serves as an invitation for leadership to have open discussions with employees geared toward improved team practices. The D&I talking points complement the AFMC ‘Connect’ discussion points, which are geared toward resiliency.”
AEDC Engage monthly themes have included “Middle Ground” for the month of August; “Communicate” for the month of September; and “Assumptions” for the month of October.
Layne is the primary facilitator for the Here We Grow – AEDC Chats. Sessions are held the last Tuesday of each month and are available for in-person, online and call-in option attendance. The duration of these conversations is approximately one hour, and participation is voluntary.
Prior to each session, AFMC-approved discussions and growth topics are emailed to attendees as a read-ahead article or video link. Review of this content is a prerequisite for participation. Participants are encouraged to share their perspectives relative to their background and cultural experiences. The growth topic for August was “Adopting an inclusion mindset at work” and for September it was “Your role in workplace diversity.” For October, the discussion was “Workplace Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Action.”
During the recent Unit Effectiveness Inspection conducted at Arnold, the AEDC Inspector General Office assisted Layne and D&I Council co-chair Mike Dent with gauging program effectiveness.
This measurement was derived through a workforce survey sent to DOD and military workforce in September. The data collected from the survey was used to support and respond to a diversity, equity and inclusion command interest item.
“Arnold’s D&I Council will be able to utilize the survey results to make considerations for future program improvements,” Layne said.
Membership to the Arnold D&I Council is open to DOD civilians and military wishing to directly contribute and support the success of local D&I initiatives. Those interested in joining may contact Layne for further information.
AEDC team members can also view previous and current months AEDC Engage worksheets on the AEDC SharePoint site via the D&I Information tab on the AEDC Special Emphasis Programs and Equal Opportunity page: https://usaf.dps.mil/teams/21826/SpecEmpProg/SitePages/Home.aspx. Questions related to the D&I program or ongoing initiatives can be emailed to AEDC.D-I.Workflow@us.af.mil.