HomeNewsArticle Display

Travis, Patrick airmen earn big $$$

SAN ANTONIO (AFPN) -- An airman from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., and another from Patrick AFB, Fla., each earned a coveted $10,000 cash award for suggestions submitted through the Air Force’s Innovative Development through Employee Awareness program.

Staff Sgts. Nick Bugni and Al-Quaddir Vines received their checks for the “tangible savings” to the Air Force, according to program officials.

Bugni is an air reserve technician assigned to the 349th Equipment Maintenance Squadron at Travis. Vines is assigned to the 45th Communication Squadron at Patrick.

Bugni suggested an improved way to remove and replace horizontal stabilizer pivot pins on T-tails of C-5 Galaxys.

“I’ve submitted dozens of suggestions in the past for different cost-saving ideas,” Bugni said. “I never thought I’d receive the maximum amount of money from the Air Force like I did -- it paid off this time.”

The idea paid off for the Air Force as well. His suggestion will save the Air Force about $133,000 annually.

In January 2002, Bugni watched a depot team from Robins AFB, Ga., on the Travis flightline. They removed and replaced a pivot pin on a C-5 -- a procedure that took three hours. He took pictures and notes of the procedure. After it was replaced, the engineers explained that the process could be completed safely in the field. They said he should submit a suggestion to add the job to a technical order so maintainers at bases could replace the part.

“As I thought about all the travel, lodging and man hours that could be saved if we took care of this fix here, it became obvious there could be a huge savings to the Air Force and we wouldn’t have to wait (sometimes weeks) for a depot team to fly here to make the repairs,” Bugni said.

Not only were time, travel and man hours saved, but before Bugni’s suggestion, many components were disconnected and removed unnecessarily before replacing the pivot pin.

Since steps cut out that were not necessary for the procedure, maintainers do not have to rely on as much equipment, either. That also saves money, he said.

“The IDEA program is a great opportunity for people to improve processes throughout the Air Force, saving valuable time and money,” Bugni said.

Bugni said he plans to take his co-workers out to lunch and take his wife on a cruise after he receives his money.

In the Patrick suggestion, Vines saved the 45th Space Wing and its mission partners an estimated $303,607 by training airmen in his office how to program and install land-mobile radios.

"Maintenance of the radios was contracted, but the programming and installing was outside the contract," said Vines. "If we could program, remove and install the radios ourselves, we wouldn't have to pay the contractor extra money for extra services."

There are more than 3,000 radios at Patrick and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, according to Vines. While the radio contract provides basic maintenance, the contractor would charge the wing an additional $65 for each radio they programmed and installed.

Vines saw it as an opportunity to save the government money while providing his office, mainly managers who do not normally do technical installation, some real hands-on work.

"I noticed the way we paid for the extra services from the contractor, and I said to myself, 'We could save money doing it ourselves,'" said Vines, who learned how to program and install the radios during a deployment to Kuwait.

Vines visited Patrick’s IDEA program manager. During his visit, Vines said he never expected he would soon have a $10,000 check in his hands.

"(His idea) was very rewarding to the unit and the wing," said Alexandria Mullins, the program manager. "(The) $10,000 is just a drop in the bucket compared to the over $300,000 the wing would have spent. It makes me feel great, especially when we give out the money."

Vines said he has been trying to save the Air Force money his entire career.

"That was the main goal, saving the wing money," he said. "This was the first time I've used the IDEA program. Alexandria was great. She practically held my hand through the entire process."

"If you see something wrong, try to fix it," Vines said. "You owe it to the Air Force and yourself."

Vines said he is going to take a much-needed vacation with his wife and wisely invest the rest of his award.

"If you have an idea, go for it," he said. "It was the easiest $10,000 I've ever made."

Under the IDEA program, Air Force officials give cash awards to airmen and federal civilian employees for sharing their ideas on how to save the Air Force money. Cash awards range from $200 up to $10,000. (Tech. Sgt. Scott King and 1st Lt. Warren Comer contributed to this report)

Engage

Twitter
Tactical Air Control Party Airmen assigned to @INGuardsman participate in close air support training. TACPs provide… https://t.co/BcyiAmfFmV
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: The @140Wg became the first ANG unit to successfully execute an agile combat employment exercise while at @Buckley_AFB. T…
Twitter
“I’m a dental tech who became Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force...be dreamers – dream big.” - @CSMAF_Officialhttps://t.co/AKSjyQNq4s
Twitter
A C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 317th Airlift Wing flies during a Joint Forcible Entry exercise at Dyess… https://t.co/t3VXu0ZYWj
Twitter
Pentagon staff applaud @cmsaf_official as he exits the Pentagon for the last time as Chief Master Sgt. of the Air… https://t.co/c9RXsc3lAO
Twitter
Join us for the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force transition ceremony LIVE from @Andrews_JBA on Aug 14 at 9:30AM E… https://t.co/GfPIHkx0zn
Twitter
An @EdwardsAFB B-52H Stratofortress completed a captive-carry flight test of the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Respon… https://t.co/HxxgE2In8C
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Just arrived to @NellisAFB to see RED FLAG, the #USAF Weapons School, and more. Because it has the best #Airmen and trai…
Twitter
“It’s no overstatement to say that brilliant ideas combined with trailblazing Airmen makes today’s Air Force the mo… https://t.co/qsDWN2Den5
Twitter
An F-22 Raptor aircraft assigned to the 3rd Wing approaches for landing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson during R… https://t.co/EMKHnjC6p0
Twitter
A C-130H from the 302nd Airlift Wing, equipped with the Modular Airborne Firefighting System, flies over fires near… https://t.co/9BPVXNFual
Twitter
Roam Robotics developed a lightweight & inexpensive knee exoskeleton for applications in the health, military & rec… https://t.co/7klpyEaYG1
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: |RESOLUTE PARTNERSHIPS| On Aug. 6, 2020, U.S. Air Forces Central Command and @AirMobilityCmd units were called to action to p…
Twitter
A C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Lewis-McChord flies over the Seattle skyline after completing a training exe… https://t.co/4IodNs1bId
Twitter
#DYK The T-33A Shooting Star at Moody AFB's air park was developed from the single-seat F-80 fighter by lengthening… https://t.co/XXY3pAHDzu
Twitter
A C-17 Globemaster III returns to @TeamCharleston after evacuating to Ellsworth AFB. Ellsworth has a support agree… https://t.co/vtHhp1ETVC
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: #OTD in 1949, the DOD was formed, unifying the military under the secretary of defense. Our thanks to everyone who serve…
Twitter
Starting off the week with some air power! . An F-22 Raptor assigned to the 3rd Wing takes off from Joint Base Elme… https://t.co/cjvCe6fSOk
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: “We need out-of-the-box thinkers to succeed in our mission of developing the base of the future,” said Brig. Gen. Patrice Mel…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,266,391
Follow Us