The U.S. Air Force is adopting widely accepted commercial "best practices" to change the way it purchases goods and services, with the goals of reducing costs and improving performance to better support its missions. Specifically, the Air Force wants to increase aircraft availability (i.e., the number of Air Force aircraft that are maintained and ready to fly at any time) by 20 percent over the next five years while at the same time reducing costs by 10 percent-all in a changing security environment that requires the Air Force to be ready to respond to a variety of international and domestic threats and emergencies. Part of the Air Force effort involves the establishment of "commodity councils" (or commodity teams), cross-functional teams of stakeholders who develop and implement Air Force-wide strategies for purchasing specific categories of commodities such as computers or medical supplies. Commodity councils will enable the Air Force to leverage its purchasing power and manage its contracts more effectively.
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