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Hickam Airmen strategize aircraft weight-reduction initiative

  • Published
  • By Petty Officer Jason Segedy
  • Air Force Print News
Members of the Hawaii Air National Guard have been categorizing parts of a KC-135 Stratotanker to figure out what can come off during certain missions to save fuel and money for the Air Force.

The project was initially launched when Dr. Ron Ritter, special assistant for Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century, visited Hickam earlier this month to show how this was done at other bases and to educate people on AFSO 21. Money saved through the program will help in reshaping the Air Force.

"We consume about 60 percent of the government's energy in the Air Force," said Dr. Ritter. "A lot of that is jet fuel, so it's important to look at smarter use of the fuel and more efficient use."

Many of the aircraft components in question, such as toolboxes and bunks, were only a necessity on certain missions. Winter snow gear wouldn't see much use in the warm Hawaii climate, and the extra weight from many of the components combined could add up to 5,000 pounds or more.

While the new name and drive of AFSO 21give it a fresh appeal, the Air Force has always strived to improve its operations.

"I've been in the service for 26 years and it has always been 'do more with less,'" said Senior Master Sgt. Robert Santos, 154th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aircraft manager. "We have to pay for the war, and new equipment needs to be purchased. And just like any other business or service, we have to make things better and be a better Air Force, be a better National Guard."

"They had a rubber floor-mat that weighed more than 290 pounds," said Maj. Gen. Darryll Wong, commander of the Hawaii Air National Guard. "Do we need it, I'm not sure, but if it's going to save fuel and money it might be something people should take off the airplane."

Improving the Air Force is what reshaping is all about, and programs like AFSO 21 and the KC-135 weight-reduction initiative are leading the way into saving fuel and money for a better equipped and more productive Air Force.

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