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Warren airman earns $10K for idea

F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. (AFPN) -- A little bit of epoxy sealed Tech. Sgt. Toby Taylor's chances for $10,000.

Taylor, training noncommissioned officer in charge of the 90th Maintenance Operations Squadron electrical-mechanical technician team, was recently presented with a $10,000 check from the Air Force Innovative Development through Employee Awareness program.

The IDEA program gives cash rewards to all Air Force military and Air Force federal civilian employees for sharing their ideas on how to save the Air Force money. IDEA cash rewards range from $200 to $10,000 depending on the calculated tangible savings.

Taylor's effort secured the maximum reward since his idea to seal and fix launch facility batteries will save the Air Force an estimated $25,000 a year in manpower alone here.

Taylor's money-saving idea came to mind 18 months ago when he discovered the Air Force was condemning and replacing launch facility batteries that had cracks in the top greater than one-half inch deep.

"At that time, our shop was at minimal manning," said Taylor. "We had a hard time getting enough bodies together to dispatch and replace these condemned batteries. That's when I took a different approach and thought that our guys could just repair the batteries on-site rather than try to come up with enough bodies to make a replacement team and still keep our primary mission going."

Taylor submitted technical order changes to repair cracks deeper than one-half inch by "filling in" the crack with an epoxy. By filling in the crack, the battery could remain in service rather than be thrown away at a replacement cost of $5,810 each. Currently, Warren has 20 sites requiring battery replacements because of cracks. The repairs to the cracked tops can be made without dispatching a special team and made on the normal maintenance cycle.

"The reason I submitted the change was to alleviate some of the workload for my guys," said Taylor. "The check was a nice bonus. I've submitted many IDEA suggestions over the years. Although some of my past IDEAs were disapproved, it didn't discourage me from trying again. Sometimes you just have to 'think outside the box.' You never know when your rich Uncle Sam will give you a reward for doing so." (Courtesy of Air Force Space Command News Service)

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