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Vandenberg AFB civilians save the Air Force $1 billion

Three 30th Contracting Squadron civilians survey items in a warehouse used for storing government furnished property Feb. 12, 2018, on Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The team is responisble for saving $1 billion over the course of seven years.

Three 30th Contracting Squadron civilians survey items in a warehouse used for storing government furnished property Feb. 12, 2018, on Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The team is responisble for saving $1 billion over the course of seven years. (U.S. Air Force photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- Three 30th Contracting Squadron civilians saved $1 billion for the Air Force here January 2012 through January 2019.

The team used reutilization, innovative tools and efficient team dynamics to effectively save the money.

“The majority of cost savings comes from reutilizing assets from contract to contract,” said Darlene Thompson, 30th Contracting Squadron contract specialist. “When one contract is ending, another contract on base may be beginning and able to use those parts and equipment. We reutilize the materials under another contract and they don’t have to reprocure them.”

The team has oversight of government furnished property that is given to a contractor to use throughout the life cycle of a contract, said Stephen Schultz, 30th Contracting Squadron property specialist. If there are items on the contract that are no longer needed, the contractor will go through plant clearance to dispose of them. That is when the team will help to get items off of their contract and can put reutilization and money saving into place.

They started tracking their cost savings in a database in early 2012. Since then, it has been populated daily.

“We started the database to keep track of what we do and to be able to provide metrics to the team, contracting officers, and commanders,” said Joseph Gagnon, 30th Contracting Squadron property administrator team lead.

Over the years, the team has tried to find places for equipment to be used rather than disposing of it.

They have worked with computers for learning, Vandenberg’s history museum for legacy items and Vandenberg’s recycling center, Gagnon said. Working with the programs has been a direct cost savings to the government and has also helped benefit schools and Vandenberg.

“We try to reutilize to the base populous through the Vandenberg recycling center,” Thompson said. “As much as possible we try to go there so base agencies can use the furniture.”

Along with reutilization, the team’s efficient dynamics have enabled savings.

“What has benefitted us is the way we work together,” Thompson said. “Our team structure is different from most and when we have our meetings, everything we share is something we can use, and we can jump into each other’s seat and contracts and take over when we need help. It’s been great that the team works cohesively.”

The team has worked together to create how-to guides, checklists and other tools to help make their efforts more efficient.

“We always strive to find easier, faster ways to get our jobs done without cutting out parts,” Thompson said. “The metrics and the tools we have used help us to rely on our info so we aren’t duplicating efforts.”

Through innovation, reutilization and team dynamics, they have become a major cost savings asset to Vandenberg AFB and the Air Force as a whole.

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