Just do it! Armory makeover saves time,money

  • Published
  • By Kimberly Woodruff
  • Tinker Public Affairs
The 72nd Security Forces Squadron's armory was becoming a difficult place to work. It was taking far too long to locate an M-4 and its ammunition in a timely manner. The room was crowded with outdated space-saver shelves that proved to be a huge hindrance to those working there.

The armory badly needed a makeover -- a little change to the way the room functioned, so the noncommissioned officer in charge, Staff Sgt. Sara Pante and her team of five just did it. Approximately three months ago they turned up their creativity and focused on how they could do things better without costing the unit or Air Force money.

The team felt that by removing the space-saving shelves, it would open up the space to make weapons management a little more manageable.

The team removed the old space-saver shelves to reuse somewhere else, and replaced them with repurposed shelving the team modified to meet their needs.

By opening up the space, the armory staff was able to use a second arming window that was previously inaccessible. Additionally, it saved approximately 15 minutes per arming cycle, totaling an hour each day.

An hour a day put in terms of man hours equals big savings.

"The rework will save an estimated $373,066.50 per year," said Master Sgt. Zachary Merkl, 72nd SFS Logistics superintendent. "The time is a value, not tangible, but certainly paid forward when you consider it makes the turnaround quicker for defenders already working 12 to 14 hour days."

Sergeant Pante said moving the space savers against the wall saved time and made the job easier. "It was great to give the staff back that time. We received a lot of positive feedback," she said.

Mark Sprayberry, of the 72nd Air Base Wing Safety Office, said the newly revamped armory is the best of the ones he's seen in Air Force Materiel Command.

The armory is a customer service based armory serving Air Force and Navy Security Forces, Department of Air Force personnel, and customers storing privately owned weapons.