News>Idea brings $10,000 for McConnell AFB civilian
Jim Shores poses for a portrait outside of the flightline, Aug. 23, 2012, McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. Shores is the 22nd Operations Support Squadron short range scheduling chief and was awarded $10,000 as part of the Innovative Development through Employee Awareness program for saving Air Mobility Command approximately $472 thousand a year in fuel waste. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jose L. Leon)
Jim Shores is presented a $10,000 check by Col. Kyle Kramer during a wing staff meeting Aug. 27, 2012, McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. Shores is the 22nd Operations Support Squadron short range scheduling chief was awarded the money through the Innovative Development Through Employee Awareness Program, which provides an incentive for members to submit ideas that streamline processes and increase productivity and efficiency in the workplace. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jose L. Leon)
by Senior Airman Laura L. Valentine
22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
8/27/2012 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. (AFNS) -- A civilian member of the 22nd Operations Group was presented a check for $10,000 from the Air Force at the 22nd Air Refueling Wing staff meeting Aug. 27, here.
James Shores, the 22nd OG short range scheduling chief, received the money as part of the Innovative Development through Employee Awareness program, which provides an incentive for members to submit ideas that streamline processes and increase productivity and efficiency in the workplace.
Shores identified a recalibration that will help eliminate fuel waste in air refueling training operations.
Traditionally, "token offload fuel" has been interpreted to represent 1,000 pounds of transfer fuel to a receiver from a tanker during a training mission. In legacy scheduling tools a whole number value in the offload field was required.
Shores recognized that the restriction for whole number values no longer exists in the current software and recommended changing the default fuel offload value to 100 pounds per mission. By reducing the token offload values from 1,000 to 100 pounds, the Air Mobility Command will save more than $472 thousand annually, said Master Sgt. Billy Nash, 22nd Force Support Squadron IDEA Program manager.
The the savings are in the cost to carry the penalty fuel, which is the extra fuel carried on each mission. In some training missions, the receiver doesn't require fuel, just the practice of connecting and disconnecting with the boom, said Shores.
Now that air refueling missions can be scheduled with a lighter fuel load, it will be a re-education process for AMC schedulers.
It's educating them on what to use, how to do it and be able to meet the receiver's requests, which will save the Air Force some money in the process, said Shore.
It was by accident that the IDEA process started in March 2011.
"We were talking about fuel conservation for our KC-135 Stratotankers," Shore said. "It was figured for the maintenance side of the house, instead of calculating to the nearest 5,000 pounds of fuel for refueling a plane out on the ramp, a plane could be refueled to the nearest 1,000 pounds. With that reduction of 4,000 pounds of fuel, we further identified a way to save more money by narrowing the mission load from 1,000 to 100 pounds."
Shores worked with several individuals and offices on base, including current operations, fuel efficiency, and manpower, to research and accomplish the changes. AMC was also involved with determining the correct calculations.
"I never thought about it until I got the calculator out," said Shore. "It was after I thought about how many missions we do here and all the other (AMC) bases, as well as Guard and Reserves, and those numbers add up. What I thought was a trivial amount here was really a lot more."
As the largest tanker wing, McConnell will save thousands of dollars annually using the new fueling calibrations.
"A lot of times you take things for granted in the way you do business," he said, "then you start looking at other ways to save a few dollars."
For more information or to submit a proposal, contact your installation IDEA Program office.