Lakenheath munitions Airmen test AFSO 21 initiative

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Scott Wakefield
  • Det. 4, Air Force News Agency
Members of the 48th Munitions Squadron here are using Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st century initiatives to help alleviate pending manning cuts.

As part of Force Shaping, the munitions squadron of 300-plus Airmen will be downsized by a little more than a third; however, the mission will remain the same. 

Squadron leadership is working with the base's newly created AFSO 21 office to try to find ways to do business better. The initiative currently being worked can help reduce time and manpower in the chaff and flare maintenance area, which composes about 80 percent of the workload in the conventional maintenance section.

Currently it takes four Airmen about an hour to restock 120 chaff and flare canisters. The team is reviewing solutions ranging from two- to four-man teams and restructuring the maintenance line. Instead of the current "free for all" mentality of getting the canisters in the work area and taking them apart, stuffed, and put together, they are looking at a streamlined, assembly line-style approach. 

"What we're trying to do, is find a happy medium, where we can do a consistent flow of product to the flightline and it be a less strain to the work force," said Master Sgt. Larry Crenshaw, the conventional maintenance element chief. 

A working team composed of munitions maintainers that work chaff and flare on a daily basis as well as Airmen who work behind the scenes with munitions provided a variety of viewpoints to the new procedures. The three-man team seemed to be the best configuration; it reduced the time by about a quarter and it also freed up an Airman from the old procedure.

Comment on this story (comments may be published on Air Force Link)

Click here to view the comments/letters page