Tinker B-1 program awarded James G. Roche Sustainment Excellence award Published May 11, 2012 By Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Rojek Defense Media Activity WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The B-1 System Program Office from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., earned an Air Staff-level award recognizing the Air Force Materiel Command program office with the most improved aircraft maintenance and logistics readiness performance. William Barnes, the deputy chief of the B-1 System Program Office at Tinker was presented the Dr. James G. Roche Sustainment Excellence award by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz during a Pentagon ceremony on May 9. According to award documents, Airmen and contractors with the office worked to increase their B-1 Lancer warfighter fleet availability by 10 percent during fiscal 2011. This increase created the highest B-1 availability rate in the last four years. "The B-1 is highly prized at the moment," said Jeff Vaughn, the chief engineer of the B-1 System Program Office. "And this award tells us we're improving in every area we can think of." In order to keep the aircraft out conducting missions versus under maintenance, Vaughn said the team is using a high-velocity maintenance approach. This boils down to having the right people, paperwork and parts in the right place at the right time. While having a high availability rate for the B-1 does a lot for the warfighter, the work of Tinker's B-1 System Program Office also helps taxpayers. "If we can better orchestrate maintenance -- completing a four-week process in two weeks, for example -- we can save taxpayers a lot of money," Vaughn said. In 2004, the Air Force chief of staff approved the award to promote maintenance excellence. Air Staff officials determine the awardees by calculating the improvements for a predetermined set of metrics and multiplying each metric by a corresponding weighted value. The award is named for the 20th secretary of the Air Force. He served in the Air Force's top position from 2001 to 2005.