As Program Executive Officer and Director of the Air Force’s Business & Enterprise Systems (BES), Richard Aldridge knows how rapidly IT is changing. But he and his team are on top of it, and they’re lending their expertise to a powerful public-private partnership.
What does Business & Enterprise Systems do? Our motto is: “We run the systems that run the Air Force, moving money, manpower and material.” Essentially, we enable the business operations of the Air Force, fielding the IT systems and applications that allow it to accomplish accounting and finance, logistics, human capital management and a myriad other business functions unique to the military such as ammo disposal, training certification of parajumpers and repatriation of human remains back to the United States.
Who does it serve? We serve not only the 800,000 military and civilian Air Force employees, but we also provide solutions for the entire Department of Defense and most federal agencies, servicing more than 4 million users.
What does your job entail? I lead 2,300 employees at four locations (Montgomery, Dayton, San Antonio, Boston) who procure and operate 400 business applications. We also manage enterprise sourcing activities like providing contracts to buy laptops, desktops and more, leveraging the massive buying power of the Air Force to get a better price point for these things. Also, I ensure we follow Federal Acquisition Regulations while procuring business application solutions, and that the “lights stay green” for the operational systems the Air Force relies on to execute every single one of its warfighting and combat support missions.
What’s your favorite thing about your work? The IT world is such a rapidly changing space. Each day is unique, and I love attacking the challenges that come.
Any recent honors? Last year, I was selected as the Small Business Executive of the Year for the Defense Department.
Big Ideas, Big Results
“I’m so proud to be a part of the powerful public-public partnership amongst my organization, Air University and the various civic organizations like the Chamber, City of Montgomery and County Commission. We are on a great transformational journey here. We have some areas to improve like many cities, but there is no reason why the River Region can’t become the Silicon Valley of the South. If Walt Disney didn’t have a grand vision, Orlando might still be one big orange grove.”