Egress Airmen enhance ACE capabilities

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Isaac Nicholson
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Airmen across the United States Air Force are being challenged to rethink and restructure their operations to be more agile, mobile and ready to compete in a near-peer environment.

The 20th Component Maintenance Squadron’s culture of continuous improvement and leadership granting Airmen the freedom to rethink operations led to the creation of the Air Force’s first ever mobile egress unit in Aug. 2021.

Since then, the project continues to be driven forward by prioritizing innovation within the team.

The mobile egress unit is a recent construct that provides egress members a compact, efficient and fully-functioning mobile shop while deployed.

“With the introduction of the Agile Combat Employment concept, our Airmen were encouraged to determine how we could engage in the fight with a smaller footprint,” said Senior Master Sgt. Larry Hamlin, 20th CMS assistant senior enlisted leader. “Our young Airmen have unique and intelligent backgrounds and can view a process or procedure from a different perspective that can help innovate and drive our efficiency into the future.”

The initial planning and development process of the mobile egress shop consisted of members of the 20th CMS collecting measurements from unused internal slingable container units, recreating their dimensions in tape on the floor of the main egress shop and then simulating the work environment by experimenting with different layouts before construction began.

“Creating the mobile egress unit was a unique experience because we were doing something that wasn’t driven by technical order,” said Tech Sgt. Brian Darnell, 20th CMS egress systems craftsman. “This project allowed us to think outside the box and use our creativity to make things better.”

Once the first mobile egress shop was approved, the egress team sought operational feedback from Airmen. The team created a second ISU shortly after the first and a third is now nearing completion. Improvements from the original included a switch from a two table to one table setup and a reorganization of the layout of the unit to give the occupying member more space to work.

“Each ISU is different because we have continually made improvements as we have refined the unit’s design,” said Darnell. “I think our next container will be the latest and greatest once it’s done.”