Great idea earns big money

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Christopher Williams
  • 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
The Air Force IDEA Program rewarded another great mind during a ceremony held at the Air Force Special Operations Command headquarters building at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Sept. 5.

The Air Force IDEA program is an incentive program that promotes process improvement and resource savings through new and original ideas submitted by military and civilian employees.

William Walter, Air Force Special Operations Command program analyst, earned a check for his idea to refurbish five 40mm guns used on C-130 gunships.

"It seemed like the right thing to do," said Walter. "We did it to fill one of our operational requirements the fastest and most efficient way we could and we did, that's just normal business to us."

The 40mm M2A1 guns were found mounted on target vehicles at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

Walter had an idea to get the guns inspected and refurbished. Based on request for information responses, the cost avoidance is between $607,000 and $2.36 million.

"So let me get this straight, you found five 40mm guns that were just sitting on a range and you decided it was a fantastic idea to refurbish them?" said Brig. Gen. Michael Kingsley, Air Force Special Operations Command vice commander. "What an excellent idea!"

The IDEA program encourages a better way of doing business by elevating employee awareness and participation.

"It's not about me. It's about us and the command," said Walter. "It's about setting examples for other people. The exposure that comes out of this will then get others to bring ideas forward."

All Air Force military members, Air Force appropriated funds civilian employees, and Air Force reserve personnel on active-duty orders may submit ideas and are eligible for monetary awards. Private citizens, non-appropriated funds personnel, contractor personnel, retired personnel and National Guard Title 32 military members may submit ideas but are not eligible for monetary awards.

For more information about the program or to submit an idea, contact Tech. Sgt. Jennifer King at (850) 884-6227 or visit