News>McChord Product Improvement team saves AF approx. $46,000 with a $2 light bulb
Tech. Sgt. Joseph Bilger, 62nd Maintenance Squadron product improvement manager, highlights some of the features of the buffet and galley subsystem inside a C-17 Globemaster III June 4, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The small galley consists of a refrigerator, freezer, coffee maker, sink, waste container and an oven, making it essential for the comfort of aircrews and passengers on board. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Russ Jackson)
Airman 1st Class Jake Bucklaw, 62nd Maintenance Squadron aircraft electrical and environmental systems apprentice, checks the continuity of the wiring for an oven belonging to a C-17 Globemaster III buffet and galley subsystem June 4, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Maintainers discovered an unserviceable galley had been erroneously turned in to the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office, and repaired it with nothing more than a $2 light bulb. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Russ Jackson)
by Staff Sgt. Russ Jackson
62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
6/12/2014 - JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Editor's Note: This is part four of a five part series on McChord's product improvement section.
C-17 Globemaster III aircraft come equipped with a buffet and galley subsystem, which provides an area for food and beverage storage and preparation, just like those found on commercial airliners. The small galley consists of a refrigerator, freezer, coffee maker, sink, waste container and an oven. They are essential for the comfort of aircrews and passengers on board.
Back in April, one such galley system was turned into the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office. DRMO is managed by the Defense Logistics Agency and is responsible for the disposal of excess property received from military services.
After inspection of the unit at DRMO, a maintenance parts delivery driver who delivered the galley felt it could be fixed and didn't need to be turned in. He contacted Tech. Sgt. Joseph Bilger, 62nd Maintenance Squadron product improvement manager, and asked him to look into it.
Bilger drove to DRMO and discovered the galley had not yet been processed, so he was able to take possession of it. Once he brought it back to McChord Field, Bilger returned the system to a maintenance shop to be inspected. Maintainers discovered that the unserviceable galley was able to be repaired with nothing more than a $2 light bulb. Replacing the whole system would have cost nearly $46,000.
"The mishandling of the part was all chalked up to confusion between flightline maintenance and supply," Bilger said. "We determined this incident occurred due to a lack of knowledge on the subject, therefore, no one was faulted."
Supply shops and maintenance shops have repair logs to identify which parts maintainers can repair, and which parts they cannot. There were some mismatches on the two lists, which caused the confusion resulting in the galley being sent to DRMO. This has since been rectified.
"Now that we have ensured the lists match, the next time a galley comes through to be repaired, it will be sent to the back-shops and not DRMO," said Bilger.