SJAFB team honored for testing discovery
By Turner Walston
Published in News on November 21, 2005 1:47 PM
A Seymour Johnson Air Force Base team has earned an Air Force Chief of Staff Excellence Award for discovering a way to improve efficiency in testing aircraft wiring.
The 4th Fighter Wing's Aging Aircraft Wire-Component test team was one of five in Air Force to receive the award, which recognizes outstanding team performance.
The team of Staff Sgt. Shawn Speirs, Senior Airman Seth Evans and civilian Tom Jordan discovered that using a wiring analyzer manufactured by Eclypse saved time and money in identifying wiring problems in aircraft parts.
"Our analysis decided that wiring caused 34 percent of discrepancies that we have on the jets or components," Speirs said. "We wanted to find an automated way to test components."
Jordan, a civilian working with Air Force Engineering and Technical Services, found the Eclypse Wiring Analyzer to perform automated analysis of wiring normally done by hand. Jordan serves as liaison between Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer, and the Air Force.
When F-15E parts come into the shop at Seymour Johnson, Evans builds cables to connect them to the Eclypse. He then writes a computer program for the analyzer to check each wire, switch and toggle on the part. The tests can take as little as three minutes.
"It's instantaneous," said Evans. "It takes the impractical and makes it practical. It's not going to misdiagnose an error."
Speirs uses the Eclypse system on the flight line.
"Different programs check the wiring on systems throughout the jet. It saves a part coming up here (to the shop)," he said.
"It's turning into preventative maintenance," said 2nd Lt. Angelina Stephens, flight commander with the accessory flight of the 4th Component Maintenance Squadron. "It'll come in for something small, and they can check it for everything."
Evans said the Eclypse has allowed him to diagnose and fix problems much more quickly.
"It takes an hour to set up and test for one person, compared to 60 hours with two people," he said.
The Eclypse doesn't just locate problems; it also catches unforeseen ones.
"It checks things that normally they would never check," Stephens said.
Using the analyzer for six months has saved taxpayers an estimated 9,000 man-hours and more than $269,000.
"When you talk about time-saving, you get a lot of attention," Evans said.
That attention has come from the highest levels of the Air Force.
"These guys brief generals," Lt. Stephens said.
The Eclypse system is slowly being adopted at other bases, she said. Evans' programs are small enough to be sent via e-mail to the other facilities.
The Seymour Johnson team was one of five teams selected for the award from out of fifteen nominated throughout the Air Force bases worldwide.
The three team members, as well as Stephens and Chief Master Sgt. Bill Schatzman will attend the Chief of Staff Award ceremony Dec. 13 at the Pentagon and be recognized for the efforts by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley.
"It's exciting to see this level of innovation in our young people," Moseley said in a press release. "All these teams, whether they walked away with a trophy or not, they've made us all better. Our airmen are the best in the world at what they do and their efforts are keeping us out in the front as the world's premier expeditionary force."
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