Airmen Focus: Innovation is always around the corner

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Cotton
  • Commander, 45th Space Wing
In keeping with the tradition of our CSAF, I feel it is important to tell the Air Force story. Our Airmen here at Team Patrick-Cape continue to make us successful every single day.
If you haven't heard, the 45th Space Wing recently garnered the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for exceptionally meritorious achievement from 1 October 2010 to 30 September 2012. Our success is due to people like Mr. Phillip Walsh.

Phil Walsh is the customer service rep for the 45th Logistics Readiness Squadron Vehicle Maintenance and also takes great pride in helping our mechanics find the right parts to repair vehicles for the best cost.

He takes the initiative to conduct in-depth research into local vehicle parts sourcing availabilities and ultimately expands to finding nation-wide opportunities.

With relentless energy, he scoured and negotiated with an ever expanding network of suppliers and vendors, saving the Air Force over $17.5K in the purchase of parts and services in just one month. In another instance, Phil took a $19,000 estimate from a local contractor to repair a man-lift, and cut the cost to do it in-house with a cost of $3,950 saving $15,050. Another example is when he checked around for a 1.5 ton truck transmission.

The initial local cost was $3,500 and Phil sourced the assembly from another vendor at $2,500 saving an immediate $1,000. Additionally, he saved $200 on a turbo assembly, $125 on brake parts for a bobtail and $130 on a transmission shift controller just by expanding the source network.

Phil has also worked many hours sorting and inventorying parts left by previous contractors so that all personnel have access to and knowledge of parts that we have in-house.

This prevents the unnecessary duplicate purchase of parts exhausting extremely limited budgets. His inventory efforts also led to the turn-in of unneeded supplies from excess machinery to hydraulic hose fittings freeing up shelf space and reducing vehicle maintenance's footprint paving the way for the impending reduction in square footage that will remain after future building renovations.

Phil exercised his initiative again by putting together shop equipment such as benches, lockers and the parts cleaner. His actions provide all technicians a more comfortable work environment, faster access to parts while facilitating the faster closure of work orders putting more vehicles and equipment in the hands of the units as opposed to on our shop floor.

Phil is an innovator. He takes unselfish initiatives because he has integrity. Phil is an Airman. And just like General Welsh says, "Airmen rock."

Look around your organization closely. Somewhere in your unit is another Phil Walsh.

Keep pushing, Sharks.