Fuels Efficiency at Incirlik Air Base

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Matthew Kakaris
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Airmen at the 39th Logistics Readiness Squadron have recently streamlined their Defense Logistics Agency Automatic Tank Gauging verification process.

The squadron’s petroleum, oils, and lubricants flight must manually check the accuracy of their automatic fuel gauging systems of 46 fuel tanks every quarter and every month for specific tanks. This ensures that they maintain accurate fuel levels and monitor water levels correctly for proper removal.

Before Tech. Sgt. Robert Simms, 39th LRS fuels facilities noncommissioned officer in charge, led the innovation effort; each tank was documented on its own form and required three separate levels of signatures.

This process required nearly 50 separate documents to be created, validated, and routed to the appropriate officials. Because this process had to be completed every three months, requiring 53 labor hours each time, this created an administrative bottleneck.

For Simms and his process improvement team, there was a simple solution.

The team dedicated several months to creating a single document that consolidated all of the tanks’ information, so now, each level of validation would only need to be completed once per quarter, saving 37 hours labor hours per quarter.

“Once we knew we could get approval from the DLA officials to create a revised form, we knew it was the easiest way to improve our process and reduce the administrative processing time,” said Simms.

The consolidated document is projected to save the flight approximately 153 work hours per year in administrative time alone. Simms hopes that the Defense Logistics Agency will adopt the form officially, potentially saving time for units across the Air Force.

“Even if our form isn’t used as the official form for the verification process, I hope it provides DLA with ideas on improving their form for the DoD,” said Simms. “My biggest takeaway regarding innovation is that it doesn’t have to be some huge project that costs a lot of money. The simplest ideas can make the greatest impact.”

Innovation and continuous process improvement can take many different forms. Airmen can seek out the Yellow Belt or Green Belt courses to learn skills that may help them bring innovation to their units.

“Anyone can be an agent of innovation,” said Nazan Ogru, 39th Air Base Wing process manager. “We’re always looking to equip the next generation of innovators with the tools they need to make a valuable impact on the mission. Tech. Sgt. Simms is an awesome example of someone who saw a need for change and acted on that need to make things better.”