Brig. Gen. Michael T. Brewer, 412th Test Wing commander, along with several guest speakers, addressed changes coming during a commander’s call Nov. 26 at the Base Theater.
One of the big changes Team Edwards can expect is in the landscaping.
“We spend about $300,000 a year on watering the grass. That’s three man-years of money. So we can either hire three people or mow the grass,” said Brewer.
The solution will be switching to a desert landscape with rocks in place of grass. The new landscaping will save $2,000-$3,000 per acre each year as it will no longer require the same watering and maintenance as a lawn.
Another positive change is happening with the Athoc system, which will be available for updates to personal phones. For instance, the system may be used to alert a personal cell phone of a gate closure due to heavy rains.
Brewer announced that he will have the opportunity to meet with Congressional Staffers at Capitol Hill on Dec. 9. In preparation for his visit, he has asked for personal-impact stories to show Congress how budget cuts have directly impacted team Edwards.
He is also asking the community to submit their ideas for improving efficiency through Project 84. The premise for the project is that if each individual on base could save $84 monthly that would result in base-wide savings of $11 million each year.
“With $11 million I can solve every problem we have in the wing,” said Brewer. “[Project 84] is sort of like baseball, if I can hit three out of 10 ideas that we can implement, that’s batting .300. We can go to the hall of fame with that.”
According to Rodney Cruse, 412th Test Wing Plans and Programs, it’s the “little” ideas that are going to make a big difference in efficiency. For example, turning out the lights at night or only leaving the computers on for 24 hours, two nights a week for updates. Those are only two of the 99 ideas that have been submitted to Project 84 to date.
The Sexual Assault Response Coordinator is also seeking new ideas. According to Kim Shirley, 412th TW Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program coordinator, is already starting to use someone’s idea for peer-to-peer discussions at leadership trainings to end sexual assault.
In 2014, all federal employees can expect to self-certify that their vehicles have met smog check requirements under the Air Force Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program. It’s called the Employee-Vehicle Certification and Reporting Systems also known as ECARS.
Attendees at the commander’s call also heard briefly from Family Advocacy on domestic violence, the Corvias Foundation on scholarship applications and Chief Master Sgt. Brian Randolph, 412th Test Wing command chief, on driving under the influence.
The presentations came to a close with a video highlighting accomplishments of the 412th TW for 2013 and a reminder to enjoy the holiday season responsibly.