News>Vehicle maintenance Airmen use AFSO 21 initiatives
Staff Sgt. Lee Samson works on a 1,500-pound axle removed from an aircraft tow vehicle Feb. 1 at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England. He is perfecting an Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century initiative to improve the procedures for removing and working on the axle. Sergeant Samson is a vehicle mechanic with the 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Scott Wakefield)
Staff Sgt. Oscar Figueroa separates the pieces of a vehicle tow axle Feb. 1 at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England. He helped develop plans for a new platform the axle sits on while it is being broken down and repaired. Sergeant Figueroa is a vehicle maintainer with the 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Scott Wakefield)
Staff Sgts. Tom Crouch (left) and Lee Samson inspect a B-4 tow axle before disassembly Feb. 1 at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England. The two are reviewing the steps for new procedures that are making the process easier and safer. The AIrmen are from the 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron Vehicle Maintenance Shop. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Scott Wakefield)
Staff Sgts. Oscar Figueroa and Lee Samson look for the right size wrench to remove the bolts of an axle gear Feb. 1 at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, Englad. New procedures these two Airmen helped develop reduces the amount of people and time needed to maintain this piece of equipment. The Airmen are from the 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Scott Wakefield)
by Tech. Sgt. Scott Wakefield
Detachment 4, Air Force News Agency
2/1/2007 - ROYAL AIR FORCE MILDENHALL, England (AFNEWS) -- Airmen in the 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron's vehicle maintenance shop are improving safety in their workcenter using Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century.
Mechanics in this unit work on B-2 and B-4 aircraft towing vehicles every three to four years. When that time comes around, it can be a difficult and dangerous task. One of the procedures requires them to remove the 1,500-pound axle from a vehicle and separate it into its three parts.
Before they started working "smarter," they had to use four hydraulic jacks that required four mechanics. When the mechanics heard about AFSO 21, they brainstormed ideas to improve operations throughout their shop. To solve the problem with hazards associated with the axle's maintenance, they designed a three-piece platform on which the axle could be lowered. Mechanics could then stabilize, work on and separate the axle along with the platform when required.
Staff Sgt. Lee Samson is one of the vehicle mechanics working on perfecting the procedures. He said the new axle dolly "will help do the job a lot faster, and make it safer for those working on around it."
Sergeant Samson said the old way of doing things had four mechanics working 10 to 12 hours on the axle. The new platform enables two Airmen to complete the process in eight hours.
It is saving 32 hours of time, and freeing two mechanics to work on other vehicles. The new procedures are something they hope can be implemented around the Air Force, especially down range, where manning may be limited.