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Learning to be Lean: CMSAF Rodney McKinley took 11 airmen from USAF’s major commands on a visit to United Airlines’ San Francisco airport facility to study that company’s lean practices. The two-day excursion was part of a training course designed to aid the Air Force’s implementation of its smart operations for the 21st century (AFSO21) program. Why United Airlines? Ron Ritter, AFSO21 special assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, said the airline “implemented the idea while under intense pressure and stress” and was successful.