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$30K awarded to three Airmen

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Three Hurlburt Field NCOs recently got approved to receive $10,000 each for their ideas, which saved the Air Force money.

Master Sgt. Mark Gauthier, Air Force Special Operations Command A4, Tech. Sgt. Arnoldo Cuevas, 16th Civil Engineer Squadron, and Tech. Sgt. Matthew Wilson, AFSOC A4, combined are expected to save the Air Force more than $865,000 a year.

Sergeant Gauthier, developed the plan and procedure for repairing aircraft accessory drive housings on T56 engines in the field rather than sending the whole engine off to depot.

This process not only keeps the mission going, but is also expected to save more than $155,000 over the next year.

Sergeant Gauthier has another idea cycling around the IDEA program.

“I’m going to buy another house,” he said.

Sergeant Cuevas’ idea involved “Exit” signs in buildings around base. He came up with an idea to replace electrically powered “Exit” signs with glow in the dark signs.
These signs use ambient light to charge and require no electricity.

They are also guaranteed for 25 years and require none of the normal maintenance and inspection tasks as the old signs.

By eliminating these maintenance and power consumption costs, Sergeant Cuevas is expected to save the Air Force $200,000.

The plans for his $10,000, “Kids gotta get braces.”

Sergeant Wilson’s idea is expected to save the most money at more than $508,000 a year.
He recommended replacing the MH-53 high frequency radio antenna with a sturdier, compared to the 28,000 – 32,000 parts and 20-30 man-hours spent to maintain each aircraft with the old antenna.

“I got here as a new troop, and we were working on these antennas all the time,” said Sergeant Wilson. “I found out there was a different type of antenna and researched it.”
When asked what he planned to do with the money Wilson said he planned to get a boat, but wanted to wait to see what gas prices were going to do.

He also said he was just happy letting money sit in his investments for now.
To submit your own idea, call Brenda Smith at 884-6805.