DoD Honors Productivity

A computer training device has saved the Air Force $18 million so far; a critical, new signal processor linking helicopters and ships cut Navy costs $5 million; and a better way to heat field rations saved DoD $2 million.

These were among the achievements recognized when DoD honored 46 civilian employees and eight service members whose ideas and innovations saved the government more than $143 million. Honored with productivity excellence awards at a Pentagon ceremony May 21, were:

James Lin, Henry Kelly, Richard Ruhlman and Netia Mayton, Army Logistics Support Activity, Huntsville, Ala., developed an automated system to improve tracking of fuel usage rates for off- road vehicles. Using this system, the Army has recouped more than $5.1 million in previously paid, unnecessary excise taxes.

Robert Bernazzani, Jimmy Hodges Army Soldier Systems Command, Natick, Mass.; and Larry Hasty, Army Armor Center, Fort Knox, Ky., applied acquisition reform initiatives to procure, field and integrate a new heater for meals, ready to eat and water on board armored infantry and artillery vehicles. Their innovation addressed a deficiency noted during Desert Storm and saved the Army more than $2 million.

Chief Warrant Officer John Zimmerman, Fort Eustis, Va., and Sgt. Thomas Tompkins, Fort Campbell, Ky., developed a way to better manage maintenance of all Army OH-58D helicopters that gives commanders more time to perform tactical missions. By reducing administrative records and reproduction costs, the new process saved more than $1 million.

David Bullock and Donald Bowen of the Army's Watervliet Arsenal, N.Y., developed a cost-effective, simplified process to convert an integral part of the M-185 howitzer for use on the M- 284 howitzer. Their idea eliminated the need to buy the entire M- 284 assembly. By using existing inventory, the Army saved more than $4.2 million in procurement costs.

John Bly, Army Garrison, Hawaii, developed a lighting retrofit plan for barracks, housing and administrative offices that reduced annual garrison utility costs by more than $2 million.

Louise Green, Debra Watson and Mazie Angus, Industrial Operations Command, Rock Island, Ill.; Deborah Chance, Tooele Army Depot, Utah; and Jannette Brassfield, McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, Okla., improved management of ammunition inventories. The program reconciles inventories more accurately and provides information at lower costs and has saved the Army more than $8.2 million.

Robert Farr, Pedro Chavera, James Lee, Daniel Leal, Charles Myers, Hilario Villareal, Jack Hammons, Herbert Peters, Maria Aquilar-Gallegos and Paul Mosley, Corpus Christi Army Depot, Texas, streamlined repair and overhaul of the T-53 aircraft engine. More accurate work requirements and time estimates and improved material usage increased engine production, improved operations and reduced engine overhaul turnaround time from 120 days to an average of 44 days, saving more than $7.5 million the first year.

Dominic Fraioli, Joseph Hala, Barry Thorp, Richard Funk, David Sistare, Beth McColl, Judy LeBlanc, Donald Kluberdanz, Robert Kosman, Richard Ferchen, Ambrose Godwin, Douglas Hembdt, Donald Manteuffel, Mary Ann Solodiuk and Frank Panzo, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport, R.I., identified a method to restore and improve the signal processing capability between DDG- 993 class ships and Mk-III helicopters. Using in-house resources, they developed a new signal processor for at least $5 million less than it would have cost for commercial development.

Chief Petty Officer Ernest Childs, Naval Air Maintenance Training Detachment, Naval Air Station Miramar, Calif., suggested that obsolete engine assemblies could easily be modified for updated assemblies. His idea provided critically needed equipment for a new training facility, saving $2.3 million in material and manpower costs.

Thomas Andrews, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, identified low-cost, commercial off-the-shelf architecture that a contractor could use to construct automatic test systems used for F-22 aircraft armament testing. Using this architecture cut contract costs by more than $8.9 million.

Jerome Keeney, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, led a complex implementation effort to restructure all commercial satellite communications for the North Warning System. His idea to combine Alaskan and Canadian radar sites on a single communications satellite created a precedent-setting international capability and saved more than $1.1 million.

Maj. Lauren Johnson-Naumann, Air Force Communications Agency, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., led a cross-service team that convinced a local telephone company to overturn its decision to discontinue service to military installations on Oahu, Hawaii. Had the team not been successful, all military bases on the island would have shouldered installation, maintenance and repair costs of more than $6 million.

Master Sgt. Jerry Sutton, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., developed a design concept for operational air crew trainers and simulators that incorporates multi-skill levels for different types of weapons systems within a single, computer-based system. Developed in-house, Sutton's idea saved the Air Force more than $18 million.

Capt. Peter Ellis, Capt. Jodine Tooke and Master Sgt. Terry Pringle, Air Force Personnel Center, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, expanded the comprehensive enhanced follow-on/home basing program for service members returning from unaccompanied overseas short-term assignments. Their innovation produced more voluntary assignments and reduced family moving costs by $6.6 million.

John Fitzgerald, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright- Patterson, recommended using existing inventory to retrofit an existing aircraft engine to meet specifications of new engines the Air Force planned to purchase. By recycling equipment the Air Force already owned, Fitzgerald's idea saved the Air Force more than $60 million.

Lewis Britten and Diana Serpa, Defense Contract Management District West, Sunnyvale, Calif., developed an automated and fully integrated system to improve forecasting, scheduling and tracking of employee training and certification. This one-stop system reduced administrative costs by more than $1.1 million.

Paul Amato, Defense Personnel Support Center, Philadelphia, reduced by more than $3 million the cost of buying and delivering fresh produce to commissaries and military dining facilities. By broadening his customer base, he also was able to leverage his buying practices and pass on savings of up to 25 percent to his customers.

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