Two 56th Training Squadron Airmen received $5,000 each July 24 from the Luke Air Force Base Innovative Development through Employee Awareness program.
After going through Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century events, Maj. Matthew Russell, 56th TRS programmed flying training chief, and Maj. Derrick Vincent, who has been reassigned to the 4th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, noticed shortages of fighter pilots and production.
“Because we have to do more with less and are sitting at a shortage in some career fields, it is important for us to do what we can do to help the Air Force and all the agencies we support,” Russell said.
The previous scheduling method limited how many pilots could be trained each year. Russell and Vincent were able to devise a more efficient way to schedule sorties.
The new method capitalized on efficiencies in two major areas — programmed flying training course alignment and aircraft maintenance support productivity.
Under the new method of scheduling, it created a new structure for Luke’s basic qualification course layout. The new concept resulted in an increased pilot production number from 196 to 231 for fiscal 2012.
“As a result, we were able to improve and streamline the course’s process,” said Lt. Col. Jason Queen, 56th TRS director of operations. “Through that it will allow us to produce more fighter pilots with fewer resources.”
The improved concept of operation costs nothing to implement, but will save 1,820 man hours and $1.92 million for the base each year.
“It’s great to be able to help out and have an impact while supporting the Air Force mission,” Russell said.
The IDEA program is for federal employees and active-duty members.
Those who come up with improvements can be awarded money ranging from $200 to $10,000.
“An idea submission requires three conditions to be met in order to be eligible,” said James Ferris, 56th Force Support Squadron IDEA program manager. “The submission must include the current method, recommended change and benefit to the Air Force.”