NCO awarded $10,000 for IDEA Published April 24, 2006 By Senior Airman Danny Monahan 5th Bomb Wing Public Affairs MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. (AFPN) -- A good idea led to a good reward for an Airman from the 5th Maintenance Squadron here. Tech. Sgt. James Mazurek was awarded $10,000 from the Air Force Innovative Development through Employee Awareness program April 13. He submitted an idea to insert a warning paragraph to the technical orders for hooking up a tow bar to a main landing gear of a B-52H Stratofortress. If the tow bar isn't attached correctly, it can cause extensive damage to the aircraft brake assembly. “I tried to think of various ways to avoid the contact between the MLG brake assembly and tow bar and the simplest way was to just tell people to not contact the brake assembly with the tow bar,” Sergeant Mazurek said. By eliminating main landing gear damage, the estimated first year savings here is $95,740.25. Sergeant Mazurek found out about the IDEA program from his Air Force engineering and training representative. “I wasn’t too familiar with how the program works,” Sergeant Mazurek said. “I just figured any extra money is a good thing.” Anyone with access to a military computer may submit an IDEA on the IPDS Web site, but only active-duty military and appropriated fund employees are eligible for cash awards. Also, an IDEA must be a person’s own thought and must be beneficial to the U.S. government. IDEAs can earn 15 percent of the estimated first-year savings with a minimum award of $200 and a maximum award of $10,000.