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Airmen receive Spencer innovation award

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- When innovative ideas save the Air Force hundreds of thousands of dollars, leadership takes notice.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James presented the Gen. Larry O. Spencer Innovation Award to Master Sgt. Matthew Galinsky, who, in 2015, served as the Air Force fuels equipment manager at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and to the Electro-Chemical Milling Team from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, during a ceremony at the Pentagon Sept. 16.

The award’s namesake, a former Air Force vice chief of staff, was an advocate of Air Force innovation and efficiency, and created a culture of problem-solving that’s projected to save the Air Force $132 million over time.

The award was conceived in 2015, and is presented annually to both an individual and a group that finds creative and efficient ways to substantially save the Air Force time and money.

“America expects an Air Force that can fly, fight and win against any adversary,” James said. “This only occurs by investing in our Airmen, our capabilities and our innovation.”

According to his citation, Galinsky, now the joint staff petroleum manager, displayed superior innovation by leading six projects and saving $11 million in 2015. That same year, the ECM Team was directly responsible for reducing the time it takes to remove the casing of an AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile motor from eight weeks to two, resulting in an annual savings of $640,000, according to their citation.

“To our award winners today, I want you to know that you’re the best of the best,” James said. “I am proud of what you do, and I am thankful to your families and loved ones who support each of you as you protect our freedom. Thank you for your unwavering dedication to the mission and to our Airmen.”

Members of the ECM Team are Trevor Foust, Brad Johnson, Daniel Minert, Jack Olsen, Steven Roskelley, Savanna J. Stepp, Trent Tholen, Erik Thompson, and Caleb Trammell.