KMC Innovations: 86th VRS revs up the competition

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Savannah L. Waters
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Innovation Madness is a competition-based outreach campaign promoting Continuous Process Improvement and cultivating a culture of innovation throughout U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

During 2017, USAFE saved $17.3 million, and 1.6 million in man-hours.

“We collect innovations that have been accomplished throughout the 86th Airlift Wing and validate them before submitting as a wing to the Innovation Madness competition,” said Robert Lumaban, 86th Force Support Squadron CPI wing program manager. “The 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron’s innovation helped save money, and contributed to man-hours saved within the wing.”

The 86th VRS Vehicle Operations Flight supports the flying mission at Ramstein by transporting the aircrew, transporting and documenting cargo, and supporting distinguished visitors.

“In 2016, we had a rash of accidents,” said Tech. Sgt. Matthew Reid, 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron training and validation operations supervisor. “People weren’t paying attention. Leadership noticed a trend happening and wanted to stop it.”

After sitting down with leadership to figure out how to best to mitigate the number of accidents, the 86th VRS Vehicle Operations Flight executed a simple fix that ended up saving time, money, and man-hours.

“After each incident, we sit down as a group and go over what happened, the mistakes made, and ways to avoid making those same mistakes again,” Reid said.

Rather than putting the Airman that caused the incident in a punitive environment, it opened the floor to a more casual environment for the Airmen to learn from each other’s mistakes, Reid said.

“Between 2016 and 2017, we decreased accidents by 40 percent,” Reid said. “Identifying the high-risk areas and fixable errors helped save approximately $21,800 in total savings and cost avoidance this past year.”

Created in 2015 by the Innovation Transformation and Financial Management offices, USAFE wings compete in a three-round evaluation of their CPI program for Innovation Madness every year, each round’s winner receiving a cash prize.

With contributions from units like the 86th VRS to the Innovation Madness submission this year, the 86th Airlift Wing won the second round, winning $5,000 for the best video production about the wing’s innovation success.