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Andrews Airmen powered by innovation

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. (AFNS) -- Airmen with the 11th Logistics Readiness Squadron here answered the call to innovate as the Air Force faces a slashed budget this year.

The four-member logistics team realized JB Andrews could save more than $10,000 per year by changing the way they acquired cars used to transport distinguished visitors.

By leasing less expensive vehicles through the General Services Agency, or GSA, versus paying for commercial leases through local dealerships, annual lease costs were reduced by almost 50 percent.

The idea, contributed by Thomas Main, the 11th LRS deputy chief; 2nd Lt. Luke Muldoon, the deployment and distribution flight commander; Master Sgt. Ted Vandenbrink, the vehicle management superintendent; and Tech. Sgt. Moreed Kamal II, the vehicle control center supervisor; not only saved money at the base, but caught the attention of the Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, Gen. Larry Spencer.

The general is heading up the "Every Dollar Counts" campaign, an effort to encourage Airmen to share their money-saving ideas and help lessen the financial impact caused by sequestration.

"I am so proud of all the hard work you're all doing," Spencer said, as he handed each Airman a coin during a ceremony June 6, at the LRS vehicle operations center. "It's great ideas like this that we need to implement Air Force wide."

Spencer said this and similar ideas could have exponential savings that would free up funding for higher readiness priorities, such as squeezing in extra flying hours and getting more aircraft and engines into depots for overhaul and repairs.

"Sequestration has definitely made it harder to accomplish the mission, but we have been thinking of ways to make it happen on a smaller budget," said Main. "Knowing our Airmen made a difference during these challenging times is a great feeling. Working with them is what keeps me coming back to work every day."

Kamal said the collaborative effort was nothing more than common sense.

"The cars we will acquire through the GSA leases will do the same things that the more expensive cars did," he said. "They also have the added benefit of costing less. At the end of the day, isn't that what we're trying to accomplish?"
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