Airmen ideas carry big payout Published Jan. 25, 2007 By Airman 1st Class Shane Dunaway 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. (ACCNS) -- The spirit of Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century has sent organizations Air Force-wide picking brains for new ideas and new ways to accomplish the mission. For two Seymour Johnson Airmen, the new ideas they submitted earned them a little extra spending money. Master Sgt. Terry Fraser, 4th Maintenance Operations Squadron, and Senior Airman Stephen Jorgensen, 4th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, received checks from the Innovation Development through Employee Awareness program for using a little ingenuity to help the Air Force save money in the long run. Sergeant Fraser's idea made a significant impact in savings. He pitched the idea of purchasing zues fasteners and leaf spring systems, which are used on the Digital Map System, through an authorized manufacturer and repairing the system themselves instead of sending it to the depot for repair. His proposal could save the Air Force just over $619,000 a year, and by taking the time to find a better way, he earned a $10,000 payout, which is the maximum payout the IDEA program offers. "Sergeant Fraser dedicated time to the Air Force Repair Enhancement Program the 4th Fighter Wing did not see," said Tech. Sgt. Rodney Kuhnau, 4th Maintenance Group. "His leadership built the most professional, successful, streamlined, organized, comprehensive, corporate-type workplace (at which) most individuals dream of working. His personality was an incredible asset for the successes the program achieved here." Airmen Jorgensen's suggestion to replace the disposable right wing navigational light on the F-15E with a light which could be repaired by the electrical and environmental shop on base, netted him $1,667. By thinking outside the box, his idea is projected to save the wing just over $11,000 annually. Dennis Heath, the IDEA program manager from the 4th Mission Support Squadron, said AFSO-21 and the IDEA program go hand-in-hand. Through ingenuity and effort, these Airmen proved that it really does pay to have good ideas.