AGE saving time

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --  Senior Airman Brandon Urban repairs a broken flood light here recently. Airman Urban is an aerospace ground equipment technician with the 39th Maintenance Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bradley A. Lail)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Senior Airman Brandon Urban repairs a broken flood light here recently. Airman Urban is an aerospace ground equipment technician with the 39th Maintenance Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bradley A. Lail)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Sometimes, it's the smallest of ideas that reap the biggest rewards. When the reward is more time to accomplish the mission, everyone benefits. Members of the 39th Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment flight have combined several Air Force Smart Operations 21 initiatives to make their processes more efficient and trim the response time to their customers.

"We looked for ways to take unnecessary steps out of our daily routine," said Senior Airman David Wood, 39th MXS AGE flight journeyman.

One of the steps the AGE flight eliminated was having to go back to their shop to get tools to accomplish minor maintenance. Now, AGE drivers are armed with a tool kit that allows them to perform maintenance on the spot.

"Before, if we had to do a quick tightening of a nut or bolt we'd have to go back to the shop for tools," said Airman Wood. "Now, we've cut the time (to do minor maintenance) down drastically."

Another area where the age flight found they could save time was performing service inspections. AGE maintainers use to perform inspections on every one of their 250-plus pieces of equipment every two weeks. Some research into their technical orders revealed that their inventory of non-powered age only required an inspection once a month.

"Inspections are getting done quicker which allows the shop more time to do maintenance," said Airman Wood. "As a whole, we're functioning much better."

Locating the equipment is also now much easier since the flight consolidated all of their AGE at one location.

"Consolidating our equipment has certainly limited the chaos," said Master Sgt. Stephen Martin, 39th MXS AGE flight assistant flight chief. "Drivers know exactly where to go to get the equipment they need."

In addition to improvements the AGE flight has already implemented, they are looking into other ideas to streamline their processes. A future initiative would allow AGE professionals to refuel and service equipment on the flightline instead of bringing it back to their facility.

"We can save five to ten minutes per unit by not having to take it back to the shop," said Airman Wood.

By implementing a few small ideas the 39th MXS AGE flight has simplified their procedures and allowed them to better serve their customers.

"It's made it a lot easier for our folks to do their jobs and respond to the mission needs of our customers," said Sergeant Martin.