By Sila Manahane, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Hawaii
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM (NNS) -- Navy Region Hawaii Recycling Center assisted the Air Force's 735th Air Mobility Squadron (AMS), a group under Air Mobility Command, in providing recycled materials to create a new tool room during a time of limited dollars and helping them meet a short two-month deadline of mid-May.
"There has been a concerted effort between the Navy, Defense Logistics Agency, and Air Force members to build a new tool space during this difficult time of sequestration," said 735th AMS Non Commissioned Officer in Charge of Consolidated Tool Kit (NCOIC) Tech. Sgt. William Church. "We are very lucky to be able to collect various industrial resources, turned in as excess or scrap, from different sources thereby consistently meeting the goals of our mission."
The project, to create a tool room, was initiated in mid-March shortly after the squadron received notice to move from a joint consolidated tool room with the 15th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS). The cost for this effort was estimated at approximately $200,000.
Knowing the squadron did not have these funds available, its members used a little ingenuity and creativity to make it happen. They built a tool room from existing features in their hangar and transferred over 14,000 items from the joint consolidated tool room to the new one, painstakingly engraving each item with their unit I.D. number. They then looked for additional materials from the Navy Region Hawaii Recycling Center and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Disposition Services at Kalaeloa. The Navy was able to provide sheet metal and tool chests with draws that were built into new work stations for tool room personnel, as well as re-purpose some of the steel for flight line and aircraft use.
"When we heard about the project we recognized they really needed our help," said Fran Pena, Navy Region Hawaii Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Hawaii supervisory environmental protection specialist. "Although metals are a vital source of income for our recycling program, providing funding to pay for our employees, we were happy to donate some sheet metal and steel approximately valued at $40,000 to the Air Force for their project."
From DLA, the squadron retrieved various industrial items, crates of tools, and some test equipment that ranged from brand-new to well-used, but salvageable. In addition, they also provided five, highly prized, surplus Marine Corps metal CONEX containers to aid the unit in meeting team's objective to conserve funds in every way possible. In all, DLA supplied them with approximately $157,000 of materials.
Through the diligent efforts of many members of the squadron team, they successfully minimized the monetary impact of their move and only spent approximately $3,000 of government funds towards essential equipment such as batteries for radios and label printers that could not be found in surplus or recycling organizations.
"The 735th Air Mobility Squadron encountered a number of challenges in the process of developing a mission plan for this project," said Church. "We relocated our entire operation without compromising our mission on the flight line. This does not come without some road blocks and needed help; but through the actions and support of Maintenance Operations Officer Capt. Forrester, Maintenance Operations Superintendent Chief Master Sgt. Prosser, Aircraft Maintenance Unit Superintendent Senior Master Sgt. Braga, Non Commissioned Officer in Charge Master Sgt. Kevin Taggerty, and Support Superintendent Master Sgt. Cory Cameron, were able to plan and complete our rebuild into our hangar."
The tool room was completed on time and held a ribbon cutting ceremony May 15.
"Every piece has been vital," said Church. "Without the recycled or surplus materials I wouldn't be able to do what I am doing right now. We have kept the cost of the entire move significantly low. Navy Region Recycling and Gilbert Delagente at DLA Disposal Services have made a significant impact in helping us achieve our goal."
The 735th AMS is a tenant unit located on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH). They are under Air Mobility Command (AMC). The 735th AMS is a mobility squadron that is comprised of cargo movement and aircraft maintenance. There are currently 375+ Air Force personnel in the unit and they have the capability of maintaining a variety of aircrafts including C17s, KC-10A, C-5 A/B Model and new C5M model as well as commercial aircraft and KC-135 med-a-vac missions.