Come up with an idea that saves the Air Force a significant amount of money per year, earn up to $10,000. That couldnâ€™t get any easier. Itâ€™s the concept behind the Innovative Development through Employee Awareness program.
The IDEA program awards Airmen who have smart proposals that lead to improvements or monetary savings, with payments based on the merits of their recommendation.
Staff Sgt. James Boslooper, 355th Component Maintenance Squadron hydraulic systems craftsman, was recently awarded the $10,000 for his contribution. His idea deals with the Universal Aerial Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation system.
â€œWhen I was deployed, we had an EC-130 that needed work,â€ Boslooper said. â€œWe didnâ€™t have a hangar to use as a non-contaminated area which would protect the plane from the dust. There was a leaking latch actuator that needed to be fixed, but that would have caused me to have to remove a part called a UARRSI bucket to get it. This process would take roughly 16 hours of work. In that environment, taking off the UARRSI bucket may contaminate the fuel system.â€
Boslooperâ€™s idea was instead of taking off the entire UARRSI bucket unit to get to the latch actuator, he removes a part that is in the way of the leaky latch actuator. With the change, the process takes about four hours, thereâ€™s no risk in contaminating the fuel lines, and it saves about 50 man-hours per year and saves the Air Force roughly $20,000 every time itâ€™s done.
By Airmen submitting these ideas, the Air Force has the potential to save a significant amount of money per year. Boslooper says the new process could be used with any aircraft that has aerial fueling capabilities. This could mean potential savings Air Force wide.
â€œThe IDEA program drives Airmen to make things easier for themselves and to help the Air Force save money,â€ Boslooper said. â€œAirmen can hear about the program and say â€˜I know some things to change, why not submit my ideas.â€™ Itâ€™s a good system to have.â€