An Airman from the 80th Aircraft Maintenance Unit retrieves a tool from the 80th AMU supply section at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug. 16, 2019. The implementation of a high-use tool area and other improvements has saved an estimated 1,800 man-hours annually. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Anthony J. Hetlage)
An Airman from the 80th Aircraft Maintenance Unit retrieves a tool from the 80th AMU supply section at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug. 16, 2019. The implementation of a high-use tool area and other improvements has saved an estimated 1,800 man-hours annually. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Anthony J. Hetlage)

Wolf highlights 80th AMU, recognizes innovation

by Staff Sgt. Anthony Hetlage
8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The 80th Aircraft Maintenance Unit support section was recognized by 8th Fighter Wing leaders for executing innovative new processes that led to the reduction of annual man-hours and misplaced tool incidents.

The improvements included an enhanced customer service area, new bench stock bins and shadow boards. The section began the upgrades in September 2018, focusing on areas to improve their overall customer service.

“We installed improved lighting, repainted the shop, installed flooring, reflowed the customer service area, turned in hundreds of thousands of dollars in excess assets and the list goes on,” said Master Sgt. Benjamin Simard, 80th AMU support section chief.

The renovations to the shop have not only increased productivity, but also improved safety as, old and cracked ceramic flooring unfit for industrial use created tripping hazards.
In addition to shop renovations, the section also created a more intuitive and easy-to-use tool checkout process.

“The tool reorganization has saved several minutes for each maintainer, during each shift,” said Simard. “On average, the new tool checkout process will save an estimated 1,800 man-hours annually.”

Prior to the new tool checkout process, maintainers had to locate part numbers within technical orders then input those numbers into a database in order to locate the corresponding bin location. The new shadow board provides quicker way to determine the required part and which bin it is located in. High use items have also been moved to more accessible areas.

“The innovation of the 80th AMU is an amazing example of looking for opportunities to leave something better than the way it was found,” said Col. Tad “Wolf” Clark, 8th Fighter Wing commander.

The 80th AMU support section provides tool checkout for more than 200 maintainers daily. These tools and equipment are used for daily maintenance on the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

While many of the innovations were formulated and accomplished by the 80th AMU support section Airmen, various other base agencies also helped transform the shop including the 8th Civil Engineer Squadron and the 8th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

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