$70 part proves to be AFSO-21 smart

Senior Airman Christopher Meoak, Master Sgt. Stephen Aull and Senior Airman Todd Getz, 27th Communications Squadron, examine the Tactical Air Navigation system they successfully repaired Aug. 20.

Senior Master Sgt. Brian Roberts

Air Force Smart Operations 21 (AFSO 21) is an initiative with which most Airmen are familiar. It is a focus on what Airmen try to do daily – improve the way things are done.
This ASFSO 21 approach is what a trio of Airmen from 27th Communications Squadron did last week. Their ingenuity mirrored AFSO 21 tenets – they maximized value and minimized waste in Air Force operations. AFSO 21 doesn’t have to be a massive process that changes the entire Air Force. Sometimes it’s just smart thinking and following processes already in place, as illustrated by the recent endeavors of Master Sgt. Stephen Aull and Senior Airmen Todd Gets and Christopher Meoak,
At 11 a.m. on Aug. 20, the Tactical Air Navigation (TACAN) system went down. The TACAN provides critical airfield navigation information, ensuring flight safety and wing mission success.
Sergeant Stephen Aull, noncommissioned officer in charge of 27th Communications Squadron’s airfield systems work center and his work center personnel sprang into action.
They quickly identified the power supply card as the point of failure. Following normal procedures, they ordered a new card. However, the estimated delivery date of the part was not until February. Even with a priority order in the supply system.
Sergeant Aull used his experience and knowledge of electronic theory to guide his Airmen through further troubleshooting processes. This lead to the discovery of a bad capacitor in the power supply.
After receiving approval, they repaired the faulty power supply locally. The TACAN returned to service within a week, instead of 6 months. The $70 part and 27th Communications Squadron’s Airfield Systems work center’s diligence prevented a cost to the Air Force of $58,877.88, and limited the impact on flying operations and flight safety.
Additionally, the fix will be sent through major command channels to be evaluated as a corrective method, potentially helping several other ACC bases which may have incurred a similar problem.
The ingenuity and AFSO 21-minded thinking of these subject matter experts serve as an example of how Airmen around the Air Force can implement this new initiative. Forward thinking and experience saved the Air Force thousands of dollars and returned Cannon to normal flying operations with as little delay as possible.