Teamwork makes the dream work

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Colby L. Hardin
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Innovation is always a trending topic in the Air Force, with Airmen constantly looking for new and more efficient ways to complete the mission.

The 22nd Logistics Readiness Squadron and the 22nd Maintenance Squadron recently worked together to save McConnell and the Air Force more than $200 per placard by forming them in house.

The placards hold the rank on government vehicles escorting colonels and above around base.

"The holders are so specialized that there's only one company that manufactures them." said Master Sgt. Byron Wise, 22nd LRS vehicle operations superintendent.

The 22nd Air Refueling Wing needed six extra holders to prevent having to remove and replace the placard every time an equipped vehicle needed maintenance.

"We asked vehicle maintenance [if they could make them] but they didn't have the capability to work with aluminum," added Wise. "So I kept asking around the units until I came across sheet metal."

The sheet metal shop in the 22nd MXS is trained to build and repair parts on the KC-135 Stratotanker but they decided to use this as a training opportunity for new Airmen.

"There were about four or five Airmen who worked on this project," said Tech. Sgt. Tabitha Fredrickson, 22nd MXS aircraft structural maintenance craftsman. "All I had to do was tell them what we needed, and they took it and ran with it."

The first step for Airmen working on the placards first step was to develop a layout. Next was to get it approved and then start working.

"This was a big deal for us because the Airmen were able to create something that will be used by the wing," added Fredrickson. "They were using equipment that they were not familiar with but they still did a very good job."

It's routine for the sheet metal shop to create something out of nothing for the aircraft, but it's not often that they are making pieces to go on vehicles.

The placards were all created during down time and in between jobs, taking no time or man-power away from the mission and were completed within a month of the initial request.

"This was all for the Airmen," Fredrickson said. "I simply said 'yes we can do this' and it was rewarding to see them take ownership and do a great job on it."