RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
There were no cakes, ribbons or special dignitaries on hand June 3 when Blanca Rubio, a contract scanning team leader at the Air Force Personnel Center here, performed an electronic scan of the Air Force's last paper unit personnel record.
However, according to Sharon Hogue, chief of AFPC's Master Personnel Records Branch, this simple office function was indeed an important digital milestone because it completed the paper conversion to a Web-based, around-the-clock "virtual service center" located at the virtual Military Personnel Flight
"This is significant because unit personnel records for active-duty members will no longer be physically located at the military personnel flights," said Ms. Hogue. "Instead of Airmen standing in line and depending on others to do updates, they can now access their records online from their desks at their convenience. Additionally, this major accomplishment is an enabler for future transformation initiatives like automated boards and assignment processing."
The paper to electronic records transition is part of the Air Force's ongoing commitment to Personnel Services Delivery Transformation.
Since September 2006, AFPC has scanned about 325,000 records that were shipped to the branch from every active-duty base in the Air Force. Each record was then scanned into the Automated Records Management System, which indexed them through the identifying data such as name, date, Social Security number, document type, etc.
"Coding the records this way makes it easier to retrieve them later if needed," said John Sabo, the branch's quality assurance chief. "Getting to this point has been a challenging base-by-base process, but it's great to see that our efforts have paid off."
Each unit personnel record group, or UPRG, contains about 33 documents and includes all personnel information that cover an Airman's career, such as citations, enlistments papers, promotion certificates, education records to mention a few.
"Depending on its complexity, each record takes about 3-5 minutes to scan," said Lezley Gonzalez, one of a 70-person team working the record scanning project. "Even though we use high-end scanners, it has been a manual, document-by-document process."
That's about 10,500,000 total documents.
"While this is a significant milestone, there is still much work to be done," said Ms. Rubio. "We will continue to look for ways to streamline our processes and improve customer service. Serving our Airmen in the most efficient and effective way technology will allow is both an ongoing and evolutionary effort."