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Small shop, big savings
Staff Sgt. Nickolas Hill cuts excess velcro from an air deflector at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, Southwest Asia, Dec. 3, 2013. Hill helped create 44 air deflectors which are used on air conditioners that cool a variety of aircraft. Creating the air deflectors saved production time, time to order and ship, and maintenance dollars. Hill is the 379th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron aircraft flight equipment back shop assistant NCO in charge deployed from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and a Prince George, Va., native. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. David Miller)
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Small shop, big savings

Posted 12/6/2013   Updated 12/6/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Master Sgt. David Miller
379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs


12/6/2013 - SOUTHWEST ASIA  -- During the summer months at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing a properly working air conditioner is a priority for Airmen and for aircraft assigned here supporting decisive combat air power and 30 percent of U.S. Air Forces Central Command's daily air tasking order sorties.

Aerospace ground equipment technicians duplicate aircraft systems on the ground and when a critical part of the air conditioners started to fail, a two-person shop worked together to create a solution that saved production time, time to order and ship and maintenance dollars.

Tech. Sgt. Andrew Wahlin and Staff Sgt. Nickolas Hill make up the 379th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron aircraft flight equipment back shop. These two Airmen took the initiative to replace 44 worn air deflectors for 22 air conditioning units that are valued at nearly $172,000 each.

"We received the technical order and an air deflector and created the same product with material we had on hand," said Hill, the AFE back shop assistant NCO in charge, who is deployed from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and a Prince George, Va., native.

The deflectors help in the efficiency of the air conditioner and prolong the life of the unit. The air deflectors installed on the units deflect hot exhaust air that is blown up and away from the intake, allowing the intake to pull cooler ambient air in.

For the two Airmen, the process took nearly 40 minutes to complete one air deflector.

"I started out a bit slow on the first one I sewed," said Hill. "I got faster and more confident in my sewing skills as I made more of the deflectors."

The 44 flaps the sergeants made saved nearly $17,000, not including shipping costs.

Wahlin, the AFE back shop NCO in charge, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., and a Melby, Minn., native said, "We fabricate items here to repair parachutes and survival equipment for all bases in the U.S. Air Forces Central Command area of responsibility. The air conditioning air deflectors were reverse engineered."

"Other units know we exist and we have skills that can save time and money," said Capt. John Bruyere, 379th EOSS aircraft flight equipment officer, deployed from Laughlin AFB, Texas and hails from Houston. "They can come over and get a cheaper alternative that is just as good as the manufacturer's product."



tabComments
12/6/2013 7:30:51 AM ET
Great work TSgt Wahlin and SSgt Hill Rock On AFE
MSgt Barry Hamilton, AUAB
 
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