PSD to streamline MPF

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- A new personnel system that puts each Airman's destiny in their own hands took affect March 31 when the Personnel Services Delivery system went on line.
The Web-based service gives Airmen of all ranks the ability to conduct their own personnel business on line such as records reviews, updating records and filing separation or retirement paperwork. 

"That was a long time coming and it needed to be done," said Maj. Charles Ashmore, the military personnel flight commander at the 82nd Mission Support Squadron. "If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense for every Airman to take care of their own records." 

PSD was brought on line to place more MPF-related functions in the hands of servicemembers and to redirect personnelists to commander support staffs in the future. But, that doesn't mean the MPF will disappear completely. 

Major Ashmore said personnel will continue to process items such as involuntary separations, Airmen-in-training assignments and ID Cards. The Air Force Personnel Center will phase in aspects of MPF functions through four different spirals. And as this is implemented, AFPC will add new responsibilities with each phase. 

The new way of doing business isn't the toughest challenge Sheppard personnel face with the new system. 

"The biggest challenge is the cultural change from our old way of doing business face-to-face to accomplishing the same thing on line" he said. "We have to change our expectations; change our perspective." 

The major said servicemembers should approach the new Web site the same way they would their own bank's Web site. He said for most, no one taught them how to navigate the Web site because it was designed intuitively and they taught themselves. The same approach has been used to design virtual MPF. 

He said the user-friendly PSD should be easy for Air Force members to complete specific tasks. If they run into problems, he said personnel at the MPF and AFPC hotline could help. 

Major Ashmore said this new system will be very successful. He said PSD was tested by a consulting firm before leadership implemented the Web-based application. In fact, a group of Airmen of all ranks was studied while using this new online process and adjustments were made to make the Web-based system very user-friendly. 

"All of this is a good thing," he said. "We're just catching up with the rest of the Air Force" and streamlining our process. 

According to an Air Force print news article, the idea behind this transformation is to provide a convenient and secure way from any telephone or Internet-ready computer, allowing Airmen to avoid waiting in lines, save time and fit their personnel business into their own schedule. 

The goal is to move 85 percent of MPF actions online. Once the transformation begins, however, it doesn't mean Airmen still can't get personal customer service. 

"This is a centralized effort and centralization is the beauty of this. We are relieving the pressure from those in the field," said Maj. Gen. Tony Przybyslawski, AFPC commander. "We are simplifying the process. Now Airmen can make a 90-second transaction at their convenience, instead of what normally might have taken a couple of hours by going to the MPF." 

The transformation is a four-phase program that will continue through 2011. The first phase begins with transferring active-duty personnel actions. 

Airmen can access the Web-based services through the virtual MPF at http://ask.afpc.randolph.af.mil/.