Defense Standardization Program Office awards AFLCMC teams

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Two Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) teams are among six Department of Defense teams recognized by the Defense Standardization Program Office for outstanding contributions to the DOD during the last fiscal year. 

To earn the DSPO's award, the teams had to have achieved significant improvements in quality, reliability, readiness, cost reduction and interoperability through standardization. 

Mark Kuntavanish, AFLCMC Air Transportability Test Loading Activity team lead, with team members Eric Treadwell, Michael Schneider, Linda Titcombe and Susan Breslin, have been working several years to create a design standard for procuring systems to meet airlift and deployability requirements for the variety of cargo carried aboard the spectrum of Air Force airlift aircraft. 

The team's members worked with all cargo aircraft system program offices, some of whom were initially reluctant, to convert a previously limited-distribution document on airlifted material to be publically releasable. 

According to Kuntavanish, while the work has produced many other benefits, the availability of this information has led to improved acquisition efficiency as it provides aircraft manufacturers with accurate information previously unavailable to them. 

"This increases the chances that new domestic or foreign, commercial or military items be readily compatible with USAF aircraft," Kuntavanish said. 

He added that, considering that other countries purchase U.S. aircraft like the C-17, the beneficial effects are far reaching. 

For Michael Jones, an AFLCMC engineer at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, his team's effort came as a response to two in-flight incidents aboard a C-5A Galaxy that could have resulted in the loss of an aircraft and the lives of those onboard. 

During that flight, several tie-down devices on two vehicles, including an M1A1 Abrams tank, released, creating the potential for the load to shift with catastrophic results. 

Jones, along with teammates, Jeff Friesner and L.G. Traylor, and working with the tie-down device's manufacturer, tested the tie-downs to determine the cause and developed a kit that would prevent the device from releasing under an in-flight, dynamic load. 

Further testing revealed that a single tie-down could be made to serve the requirements of the two varieties of the device that the Air Force used aboard their cargo aircraft. 

While their solution meant dollar savings - eliminating the need to buy the second variety of tie downs, leading to less weight on the aircraft - the team's big payoff was in terms of the prevention of aircraft mishap and the loss of life. 

According to DSPO, their mission is to "identify, influence, develop, manage and provide access to standardization processes, products and services for warfighters and the acquisition and logistics communities."