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Reclamation center tops DOD for continuous process improvements

by Rob Raine
Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center Public Affairs


12/1/2005 - DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFPN) -- By reclaiming nearly 42,000 aircraft parts during fiscal 2004 and 2005, a team here saved the government $1.25 billion, while providing direct and often sole-source parts support to American and allied warfighters.

As a result, the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center earned the 2005 Department of Defense Maintenance Symposium Recognition of Air Force Units for Lean Continuous Process Improvement.

"AMARC highlighted the changes and improvement in the reclamation process for this nomination," center commander Col. Tony Panek said. "I'm very proud of the men and women of AMARC.”

The colonel said, “They played an active role in the LEAN teams. They came up with ideas and recommendations to achieve these types of improvements and savings."

The center reduced in-processing time to an average of less than 24 hours, from the time a customer requests a part, or parts, until shipment.

Through continuous process improvement, the center team shipped more than 35 percent of all priority 1 to 3 parts in less than 48 hours. Before, fewer than 10 percent shipped in 48 hours and the average was 10.2 days.

The center reduced parts reclamation time for priority 4 to 8 parts to 5 days -- a 75 percent reduction in customer lead time. The center also reduced parts reclamation time for priority 9 to 15 from 22 days to 5.8 days, a 74 percent reduction.

The AMARC team returned 10,600 priority 1 to 15 parts -- valued at more than $267 million -- and 4,800 "save list" parts -- identified by item managers as critical, and valued at $177 million -- to air logistic centers, item managers, the supply chain and other defense customers.

The team also reduced safety mishaps -- first aid, lost days and definitive care -- from 11 fiscal 2004 to 1.

"We are now raising the bar a few notches. I'm looking forward to our future successes," Colonel Panek said.

Colonel Panek and center director Sam Malone said improvement in numerous work centers, production support and administrative functions, are evidence of how the AMARC team has embraced process improvement.

"Our willingness to challenge the status quo and make positive change for the Air Force will keep AMARC as a critical supplier of products and services to the warfighter," Mr. Malone said.

Colonel Panek said, "Earning an award is great. But this award highlights AMARC doing its mission and doing it well -- in this case getting parts to the warfighter in a timely manner.”



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by 1st Lt. Erick Saks
818th Contingency Response Group Public Affairs

12/1/2005 - ISLAMABAD, Pakistan AFPN) -- The Air Force unloaded the 250th aircraft taking part in Operation Lifeline -- the humanitarian relief mission providing aid to the people hit by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake here in early October.

The Idaho Air National Guard C-130 Hercules, arrived Nov. 29 at Chaklala Air Base from Afghanistan. It brought in five pallets of medical supplies and other humanitarian relief materials. 

The Airmen of the 818th Contingency Response and 24th Air Expeditionary groups handle all U.S aid and much of the international aid arriving at Chaklala. The groups make up an Air Force quick response unit created for the quick offload of cargo in nearly any environment, said Col. David Wise, the unit operations officer.

“We are the equivalent of a SWAT team (as) compared to everyday police officers,”  Colonel Wise said. “You call in the SWAT team to handle a crushing situation -- and that’s what we had here."

The colonel said that’s an important analogy because "we come trained and equipped as a team -- so the efficiencies are just there. We were able to move in quickly and effectively manage the cargo operations.”

Since unit arrived in Pakistan Oct. 11, it has moved nearly 14.5 million pounds of humanitarian cargo. That included more than 7,200 boxes of food, 2,200 boxes of medicine, 1,500 boxes of water, 12,000 boxes of blankets, 4,600 sleeping bags and 4,500 tents. 

Airmen also offloaded humanitarian cargo from more than 20 countries, including Germany, Australia, England, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Col. Richard Walberg, the unit's commander, said the international support for the Pakistani people is a powerful gesture.

“Right here, right now -- there are no artificial lines on a map,” Colonel Walberg said . “There are humans in need, and the rest of humanity is rushing to help.”

Master Sgt. Perry O’Brien, the unit's aerial port operations superintendent, said teamwork and drawing from each others’ experiences have been the keys in safely moving the huge amount of cargo.

“You’ve got a lot of different people with a lot of different experiences which we pool together and draw on to teach the others,” Sergeant O’Brien said.

At 19, Airman 1st Class Troy Engstrom is the youngest member of the air transportation team. While he’s far from home, he is proud to be supporting the Pakistani people.

“Most of the time, we just put cargo on a plane and that’s the last we hear about it," he said. "But on this trip, we know how much of a direct influence we’re having on the people getting it.

"I’m definitely glad I was chosen for this trip," the Airman said. "We’re do