News happening around Little Rock Air Force Base

News

Little Rock AFB Airman innovation saves $750K

Airman stands next to his safety fixture.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Aaron Brown, 19th Maintenance Group executive, displays the C-130J ramp actuator test fixture at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Feb. 12, 2019. Brown’s test fixture saved Little Rock AFB nearly $750,000. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Irvin)

Airman connects hose to safety fixture.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Aaron Brown, 19th Maintenance Group executive, attaches a hose to the C-130J ramp actuator test fixture at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Feb. 12, 2019. Brown came up with the design for the test fixture to save money and space in the shop. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Irvin)

Man turns knob on machine.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Aaron Brown, 19th Maintenance Group executive, performs a hydraulic operational check for the ramp actuator at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Feb. 12, 2019. The 19th Airlift Wing further encouraged innovative ideas through a Spark Tank style competition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Irvin)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

At Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, the 19th Maintenance Group back shop was assigned an additional task of overhauling C-130J ramp actuators, which are responsible for locking and unlocking the ramp during ground and air operations. In order to overhaul an actuator, a safety fixture is required to house the actuator per regulations.  

In 2017, U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Aaron Brown, 19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron production superintendent, came up with a way to protect the actuator and the Airmen overhauling it. While looking for a safety fixture to purchase, Brown realized they would be able to build it internally, in a timely and cost-effective manner.

“The C-130J ramp actuator was going to be a part we could now overhaul here in the back shop,” Brown said. “The tech data said we needed a safety fixture, something that securely holds the actuator through its operation check, mainly to provide safety to the operator and also to prevent the actuator from damaging itself or any of the other test equipment.”

After contacting other bases to find a safety fixture that would work, Brown discovered it would cost nearly $750,000 and take up too much space.

“So I just came up with this simple design to allow us to mount it vertically so it could extend upwards just like it does on the aircraft mainly to save space and also to prevent us from having to purchase a $750,000 piece of testing equipment,” Brown said. “Metals tech put it together and we mounted it out into the bay and tested it. Now that’s what we use.”

Brown was able to get the test fixture created at the aircraft metals technology shop on Little Rock AFB for $500, saving the Air Force nearly $750,000.

“The safety fixture prevents us from getting sprayed with hydraulic fluid, as well as prevents parts from flying off,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Rodney Williams, 19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aircraft hydraulics system craftsman. “It also prevented a work stoppage because we had four actuators on backlog while waiting for the fixture to be approved.”

The safety fixture enables regulated overhauling of the C-130J ramp actuators allowing the delivery of effective warfighter effects at the right place and the right time accomplishing the mobility mission.

The 19th Airlift Wing is hosting a Spark Tank style innovation competition encouraging Airmen to develop solutions similar to Brown's to more effectively and efficiently accomplish the combat airlift mission.                 

From now until mid-March, Airmen will have the opportunity to develop their written proposals that will be reviewed by the Wing Spark Tank Panel, made up of senior leaders and junior Airmen, who will select proposals for funding. 

Written proposals are due to group commanders by March 6 for presentation feedback and to the WSTP by March 13. The finalists will present their ideas March 21.
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.

Photo Gallery: Week in Review

News Search