HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
Innovation isn’t a foreign concept in the Air Force. However, the 49th Maintenance Squadron Munitions Flight is taking the concept to the next level.
Airman Phillip Tashash, a 49th MXS munitions specialist, took it upon himself to create an inventory accountability program to better track the thousands of dollars in Ammo assets.
“I’ve created a shop stock accountability program, also known as ASAP [Automated Supply Accountability Program],” said Tashash. “It essentially is able to track the quantity of assets, as well as the price of those assets. Every bin has a barcode in it, so they’re able to search through a barcode for that asset and it will give them the information they need.”
This program was designed to replace the outdated system.
“With the old system, the quantities can be easily fat-fingered,” said Tashash. “Basic information can be input wrong, and that’s just not what we wanted. The system I created pretty much prevents that – everything is automatic. There is no information that can be edited without prior approval, so we know the information is correct.”
The ASAP took pieces from the old operating system and improved on them -- cutting transaction times from five minutes to 10 seconds.
“This isn’t a program that has been implemented Air Force-wide,” said Tashash. “We are planning on it going to the other shops here in the Ammo community – first to the Conventional Maintenance shop. We are planning on taking this application over there and teaching somebody the basics of this to see how it runs at a different shop. We’re testing the sustainability.”
Nevertheless, Tashash’s success has not been without trial and error.
“In order to create this system I had to take the foundation of what we had before and build upon that,” said Tashash. “This still has what we had before, but we just made the information much easier to grasp. I had to go home and get Excel, and start working on the basics and work on it from scratch. There were a lot of headaches – a lot of frustration in learning how to code it. But, overall, after just two weeks I can’t complain.”
These Airmen are now also testing a new computer tablet that could potentially save hours of input time.
“We are working with these new tablets that just came out,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Tobin, a 49th MXS munitions storage technician. “Before the tablets, we were using paper copies. We also had to take the [Technical Order] out with us on jobs. A job that would take about an hour would usually require about four or five TO’s. This tablet has everything in one, as well as the Combat Ammunitions System. With this thing we can just scan the barcodes on the assets themselves and it will input the information in real-time.”
This transition has had ups and downs, with outside agencies helping to accomplish the mission.
“Right now we are in the implementation phase,” said Tobin. “We are trying to get everything worked out, as far as some of the little issues. We’ve had a lot of help from [The 49th Communications Squadron] and Air Combat Command. Because of that help, the transition has been a lot easier.”
The success of these programs and the support from his leadership has Tashash encouraging every Airman to be an innovator.
“[Leadership] has come out and expressed their gratitude,” said Tashash. “The recognition should inspire a lot of people on this base, and show them that innovation is really something that’s on their agenda. I want everyone on this base to be an innovator. What’s stopping you from creating something like this for your own shop? I’m sure there’s something in all of our shops that needs improvement and I don’t see why any of us on this base can’t fix it.”