Two ideas save money, net airmen $10,000 each

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Amy Perry
  • 437th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Two airmen here each earned $10,000 recently through the Innovative Development through Employee Awareness program.

Master Sgt. Jon Newsom, from the 315th Maintenance Squadron, and Senior Airman Michael Morris, of the 437th Operations Support Squadron, are Charleston AFB's most recent recipients.

Newsom, an aircraft fuels system mechanic, said his idea involved an aerial refueling receptacle. During in-flight refueling, the tanker's boom latches onto the aerial refueling receptacle.

"The front section of the receptacle has a sleeve assembly," said Newsom. "Once the boom connects to the receptacle, the sleeve assembly has rubber packings to prevent fuel leaking."

Currently, there are no procedures to change the sleeve, said Newsom. There are only procedures to change the entire receptacle, which costs more than $55,000. The sleeve, however, only costs $1,367.

"My idea was to change the sleeve assembly," Newsom said. "I had to make sure we could get just the sleeve assembly (separate from the aerial refueling receptacle)."

Newsom said his shop changes about three receptacles a year, costing $165,219. If just the sleeve assembly was changed, it would only cost $4,101.

"There would be a cost savings of more than $161,000 a year," said Newsom. "My suggestion identified the fact that we didn't need to change the entire aerial refueling receptacle, just this cheaper part. We needed Air Force direction to be able to do this."

Morris, a loadmaster, suggested discontinuing the use of the C-17 Globemaster III's pallet bumpers.

The pallet bumpers are used to protect rails on the aircraft; however, not many crewmembers actually use the bumpers and they mostly just get in the way. His idea saved almost $300,000. This is Morris' second $10,000 idea. (Courtesy of Air Mobility Command News Service)