Thursday, May 23, 2013

TOP STORY>>Rock Spring Cleaning strives to make ‘Every Dollar Count’

By 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Before heading to their homes or destination of choice for a long weekend of relaxation, barbecues, pools, family or friend time, the people of Little Rock Air Force Base busted out the broom and dustpan this week for some Spring Cleaning.

The goal of the TLR Spring Cleaning is to reallocate or remove any excess, outdated, or nonfunctional items in the work place, said Capt. Benjamin Trembath, who’s spearheading the spring cleaning campaign.

In addition to sprucing up the workplace, the wing wants to document the value in terms of dollar amount, disk and work space for office equipment, furniture, supplies, papers and publications and shared drive space.

People must identify and photograph items they believe are outdated or nonfunctional, along with a description of the item and its quality, condition and dollar value.

After that, the base plans to set up a Sharepoint site that will work similar to the website Craig’s List, said Trembath. People will then have the opportunity to “shop” or find items they may need. Everyone on base is encouraged to participate and help their unit points of contact in identifying items they no longer need.

This move comes in the wake of budgets shrinking, while Air Force leaders call on Airmen to share their best money-saving ideas through the Every Dollar Counts campaign. Team Little Rock is pitching in with its spring cleaning initiative.

In the wake of sequestration, the initiative marks a cultural shift that empowers Airmen to find and recommend areas for savings that may be used to support readiness needs, said Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry Spencer.

For the rest of the month, Airmen can submit their cost-reducing ideas via the Airmen Powered by Innovation websites while at home, the office or on their smartphone. Links to those sites are available through the Air Force Portal.

“When things get tough, Airmen figure outa way to get it done,” Spencer said. “We have some of the most innovative folks in the world, so I know there are ideas about how we can do things better.”

Furthermore, he said, the Air Force must trim about $11 billion in the last half of fiscal year 2013. Additionally, our overseas contingency operations funding is almost $2 billion short so we have to make up that difference as well.

And the challenge is compounded by the sequester timeline, which officially began March 1.

“We have to squeeze a year’s worth of cuts into about six months,” Spencer said of the Air Force budget. “So there’s a lot of money to be taken out of our budget in a short period of time … I’ve never seen anything quite like it.”

Airmen at every level should feel less encumbered by perhaps dated or unnecessary Air Force Instructions or guidelines when brainstorming cost-cutting measures, the general said.

“Airmen Powered by Innovation means go into that file of good ideas that were maybe ‘too hard to do,’ pull them out and submit them,” Spencer declared. “If it’s a good idea and requires an Air Force Instruction change, then we’ll see if we can do that.”

Spencer wants Airmen to submit their ideas regardless of the idea’s potential savings.

“Whether it’s $500, $1 million or $30 million, we want to hear it because those dollars add up,” he said.

“We’re taking every angle we can to manage our money and ‘buy’ as much mission as we can,” he said. “In that sense, every Airman, whether they’re at a wing or headquarters, can help.”

“This is an opportunity to not only look at homegrown ideas, but broader ideas that affect the larger Air Force as well.”

The general expressed optimism in quickly finding solutions through ideas.

“Innovation is what we’re all about,” Spencer said. “This is our family and we’re going to get through this because we’ve got great Airmen to help see us through this.”

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