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AFSO 21: Fairchild initiative reduces wait for critical parts

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. (AFNEWS) -- A maintenance technician here used to wait up to an hour to get a screw and washer before he could complete a KC-135 Stratotanker repair on the flightline.

Soon, thanks to an Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st century initiative at the 92nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, he is just minutes away from the critical parts.

In the near future, maintenance trucks will carry a box with approximately 100 bench stock items commonly used in aircraft repair, said Maj. Thomas Campbell, the 92nd Maintenance Group's AFSO 21 representative and the facilitator for the recent rapid improvement event that yielded the mobile bench stock idea.

Other time saving improvements from the AFSO 21 event were in communications between the maintenance technicians and the truck drivers.

"They decided to add more radios to a shift and to create visual indicators so the drivers know when to stop at an aircraft," Major Campbell said.

Another rapid improvement event is scheduled Feb. 5 to look at ways to improve the process of reducing foreign objects on the flightline. Pieces of metal, rocks and other objects can be sucked into an aircraft engine and cause significant damage. Referred to as FOD for foreign object damage, the pieces of debris are usually found and collected by hand.

But that is very labor and time intensive, Major Campbell said.

Major Campbell and Capt. Rich Mutter of the 92nd Maintenance Squadron will be the facilitators, and Tech. Sgt. Cade Peterson of the 92nd AMXS will be the team leader for the FOD rapid improvement event.

"They will map the current process, brainstorm new ideas and build action items that will get the most bang for the buck," said Major Campbell. "Sergeant Peterson's team will be looking to reduce waste in the current methods of FOD elimination, and to come up with some new and improved processes."

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