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Dyess NCO nets $10,000 for idea

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFPN) -- A Dyess senior noncommissioned officer is $10,000 richer thanks to his suggestion which will save the Air Force more than a quarter of a million dollars annually.

Master Sgt. Stephen Schwartz, NCO in charge of the 7th Component Repair Squadron's engine shop here, submitted his suggestion through the Innovative Development through Employee Awareness program while following a technical order to repair an aircraft engine.

Schwartz noted the technical order contained two wear-through limits dealing with liners in the engine's turboframe. If one liner segment is worn away more than .002 inches, the engine had to be repaired at a cost of up to $23,000, he said.

"I suggested the maximum wear-through limits be waived and that we allow the part to be worn through before it was replaced," Schwartz said. "I called (the engine's logistics center at) Tinker (Air Force Base, Okla.) and told them about my idea. The individual there who approves changes to our (technical order) told me to submit the change to the IDEA program. He thought it sounded good and said he would approve it even before I submitted it to him."

This was the 21-year Air Force veteran's first use of the IDEA program. He was thinking only about the mission, not the money, when he submitted his suggestion, he said

"I wasn't even thinking about (a reward)," Schwartz said. "I just wanted to help us get the job done (better and faster)."

Ideas that can save resources, increase efficiency, or improve processes, products or equipment are what the IDEA program is looking for, said Master Sgt. Michael Pershing, the IDEA coordinator here.

For details on how to submit a suggestion or for more information about the program, visit the IDEA program Web site. (Courtesy of Air Combat Command News Service)

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