52nd FW Airman improves AGE driving time on flightline

  • Published
  • By By Airman 1st Class Alison Stewart
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Across the U.S. Air Force, Airmen have been encouraged to think of new ways to improve old processes and ideas. For Senior Airman Ryan Amador, 52nd Maintenance Squadron Air Force repair enhancement program technician, the need for a more efficient entry control point for aerospace ground equipment drivers proved pivotal to his daily work life.

Currently, AGE drivers cross the runway with equipment several times a day to the Air Mobility Command side of the flightline to store equipment at the AGE sub-pool or deliver equipment to an aircraft.

“The old route added a half mile to get equipment to the AGE sub-pool, which was an unnecessary waste of time,” said Amador. “Not to mention the wear and tear on equipment and more fuel being consumed by the Bobtails.”

Amador’s idea was to improve the ECP by designating a new spot for it on Ramp 5, in a closer location than the previous ECP, which allows flightline drivers to cross the flightline instead of driving around the perimeter of the ramp.

“My idea was to make it more efficient as an AGE driver and for all other flightline drivers,” said Amador. “Emergency vehicles, transient alert vehicles, security forces vehicles and maintenance vehicles drive the flightline through a new ECP on Ramp 5 instead of having to enter the ECP at the end of Ramp 5.”

Airmen can submit ideas and innovations through the 52nd Fighter Wing or 52nd Innovation and Transformation Office SharePoint sites, where the ideas are then reviewed to possibly come to fruition.

“The time frame all depends on the size of the idea,” said Master Sgt. Kevin Cumbie, 52nd FW ITO superintendent. “It also depends on the complexity of what is being presented. Regardless, the 52nd FW has a proclivity of working these ideas, big or small, to completion with full Wing support.”

Amador pitched the idea in May 2019, and was approved four months later in September, when the ECP was also implemented.

Since the ECP was established in September, the new route saves around 100 hours of drive time and 102 miles annually.

“According to Airmen and civilian drivers on the flightline, they say it is a great addition as it cuts down travel time with or without equipment,” said Amador. “From the data that was taken, depending on the type of equipment being towed, there was a significant time difference between the old route and the new route.”

Amador’s peers also agree that his innovation has helped them perform their jobs more efficiently.

“Before this innovation, we did not have an ECP directly after exiting the controlled movement area with Ramp 5 directly in front of us,” said Senior Airman Tyler Morton, 52nd MXS AGE journeyman. “This meant that we had to drive around the ramp where another ECP was located, taking precious minutes away from our delivery time and time that could be spent servicing the aircraft in a more timely manner.”

Morton says the new ECP improved the process of delivery for AGE drivers, as it not only created a more direct path for delivery to the aircraft from their shop after scheduled inspections and unscheduled maintenance, but also to the sub-pool where their equipment is parked when other drivers are on the ramp waiting for runs.

Amador’s co-workers also praised his work ethic.

“Senior Airman Amador is a wonderful asset to the AGE team,” said Morton. “He is a tremendously hard-working wingman who is always looking to improve work procedures and the efficiency of the flight, which in turn better supports the mission.”

Amador was awarded the 52nd FW Commander’s Top Innovator coin for his contribution to the mission.