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Marine Squadron Wrenches Up Speed, Efficiency
Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 36 implemented a new process aimed at
increasing the speed and efficiency of all logistics within the squadron.
By Lance Cpl. Karim Delgado / Marine Corps Base Camp Butler

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, OKINAWA, Japan, July 6, 2006 – Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 36 implemented a new process aimed at increasing the speed and efficiency of all logistics within the squadron.

The system, Enterprise AIRSpeed, integrates modern solutions for business practices used by major corporations such as Boeing, General Electric and Microsoft, and applies them to a military environment.

The solutions are founded on the business theory that the sum of something's parts are of greater value than its whole, and continuous improvement should be demanded from every part of an organization.

The new system will reduce the amount of time and effort necessary to complete logistics projects, according to Staff Sgt. Billy Carter, a fixed-wing aircraft power plants mechanic with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 36.

One example is how the squadron repairs an engine. Prior to the implementation of AIRSpeed, the Marines from the power plant section focused on repairing only the discrepancy noted by the ground crew who pulled the engine from the aircraft.

The problem created by this process of troubleshooting a single component is that it could lead to several costly repairs and engine checks before maintainers identified the exact defect, Carter said.

With the new process in place, they disassemble the entire engine and service or replace each part before rebuilding and returning the engine to the supply system.

Though the overhaul may appear more time consuming and costly, it is more effective because Marines are able to fix the problem with the engine and repair other discrepancies that may not be immediately visible, he said.

The squadron began using the AIRSpeed system June 5, after officers and staff non-commissioned officers came back to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 36 from stateside classes on the system.

The leaders passed on the knowledge to their non-commissioned officers in charge, who went back to their respective sections to get the junior enlisted Marines involved, according to Capt. John Digiovanni, the avionics officer of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 36.

See Caption.
U.S. Marine Lance Cpls. Kenneth Sobecki (top) and Robert Schultz, both fixed-wing aircraft power plants mechanics, work on an engine part of the KC-130 Hercules aircraft at the Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 36 airframe shop, June 28, 2006. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Bryan A. Peterson

"It's those Marines who are the backbone of the shops," Digiovanni said. "They're the ones who use the current systems and equipment, so they'll be able to make the most difference in improving the way the squadron works as a whole."

The system will enhance mission success by standardizing practices throughout the squadron and eliminating unnecessary steps. This will also allow units with the squadron to transfer equipment quickly and efficiently, said Maj. Jack G. Abate, the Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 36 aircraft maintenance officer.

"It's a disciplined methodology whose purpose is to keep us all on the same page," he said.

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