By Kari HawkinsDecember 13, 2017
Sixteen Team Redstone organizations were recognized Dec. 4 by the Aviation and Missile Command for Value Engineering projects that achieved significant savings and addressed critical issues related to Army readiness.
The recognition ceremony, held in the Sparkman Center's Bob Jones Auditorium, is part of AMCOM's ongoing Value Engineering and Life Cycle Cost Reduction programs. Collectively, the awards recognized 112 value engineering projects completed by 16 organizations, representing $295 million in savings and cost avoidance for local organizations and $27 million in savings for 19 field locations around the world. Additional benefits include mitigated obsolescence, improved capability, reduced cycle time, relieved Soldier burden and inserted technology.
"This year's Value Engineering awards represent efficiency improvements and readiness improvements to the tune of nearly $300 million in cost savings and cost avoidance for AMCOM and the Army," said William Marriott, Deputy to the Commander of AMCOM.
"It's really about how can we improve the process and ultimately the end product - readiness."
This is the 32nd consecutive year that AMCOM and its partners have exceeded Value Engineering goals. Because of that accomplishment, AMCOM is the only Army organization that is consistently recognized in the Department of Defense Value Engineering Program. The Army and DoD awards are presented only at the command level.
"These projects equate to Soldier readiness. It's really a big deal to us to recognize the methodologies followed to develop optimal solutions for saving money and for Soldier readiness," said Tom Reynolds, who manages the Value Engineering and Life Cycle Cost Reduction programs for AMCOM.
The value engineering projects launch AMCOM into another successful year within the Army's and the DoD's Value Engineering program, Reynolds said. The value engineering projects that occurred in 2017 will be submitted in AMCOM's Value Engineering package as it vies for Army and DoD Value Engineering awards in early 2018. They also continue AMCOM's reputation as being a leader in value engineering.
"Our value engineering program has been recognized both nationally and internationally," he said.
"We consistently field requests from outside organizations for training, examples, policies, lessons learned and success stories. The common theme is a highly motivated, well trained and dedicated workforce that not only delivers superior materiel to our warfighters, but also raises, defines, and resolves issues using VE and other effective methodologies."
Redstone's Value Engineering program involves the participation of about 100 engineers and 200 support personnel representing various Army and Department of Defense organizations in the Team Redstone Value Engineering Community.
Describing AMCOM's Value Engineering program as "world class," Marriott told those at the awards ceremony that Team Redstone and the Army benefit from "employees in the Value Engineering community working together on significant engineering challenges."
Marriott called those engineers visionaries as they work to develop innovative solutions that are "absolutely critical to optimizing our acquisition dollars" and providing the best value, performance and quality for warfighters.
"Value Engineering allows us to provide the best for Soldiers, to improve readiness, reduce costs, increase quality, improve mission capabilities. At its core, Value Engineering is about problem solving. It's about fresh ways of thinking to tackle problems, to improve processes, to reduce waste and to create added value. You have a remarkable ability to deliver affordable readiness to our Soldiers."
Of those engineers recognized, Michael Vourcos, the lead engineer of the Storage Analysis Failure and Reclamation Center, received the Robert Tarquine Award for value engineering.
Vourcos coordinates efforts in the success of AMRDEC's Maintenance Engineering Division's Value Engineering Program at CCAD. Vourcos provides high quality engineering support for depot production of aircraft and management oversight on all engineering repair projects. He leads engineers in the Maintenance Engineering Division in developing cutting edge repairs of aviation parts, components, and aircraft in support of Depot and Field maintenance for the war fighter.
During the past three fiscal years alone, the AMRDEC center at CCAD has returned more than 2,000 parts per year to service and successfully completed significant airworthiness engineering tasks that generated $212.9 million in validated value engineering savings.
Whether at AMCOM, Redstone Arsenal or field locations where AMCOM engineers are located, value engineering continues to reduce the high costs associated with Army helicopters and missile systems.
"Awards and savings are important but more important is the impact these projects have on our Soldiers' lives," Reynolds said.
"As we all know, our products are expensive. However, these are not luxury items but equipment that our Soldiers literally bet their lives and mission on every day. You completed 112 projects last year and most yielded more benefits than monetary savings such as mitigating obsolescence, improving reliability, easing Soldier burden, inserting technology and reducing cycle times."
Value engineering projects completed during fiscal year 2017 included:
• Reduction in cost in repairing Unmanned Aerial Systems, resulting in a savings of $57.9 million and providing the Army with a robust repair capability that improves operational availability.
• Reduction in cost for aviation fixed wing engine overhaul, resulting in a savings of $45.27 million between fiscal year 2017 and fiscal year 2022, reducing engine overhaul turnaround times and establishing a more controlled result.
• Reduction in Apache AH-64E Aircraft cockpit door cost, resulting in savings of $7.4 million by lowering the cost for labor, material and overall life cycle costs.
• Reduction in aviation radio Keep Alive Battery assembly obsolescence, resulting in a savings of $5 million by lowering life cycle costs and alleviating obsolescence.
• Establishment of maintenance procedures for helicopter parts recovery, resulting in a savings of $5.42 million and creating efficiencies in providing parts to the field.
• Establishment of maintenance procedures for the UH-60 T700 Engine Compressor Rotor Disks, resulting in a savings of $4.5 million, returning parts to serviceable condition and satisfying critical shortage needs.
Also, two Operating and Support Cost Reduction projects - the CH-47 Full Authority Digital Engine Controller Continuity Test Set and the UH-60 Pitch Trim Actuator redesign - and an obsolescence mitigation - Cruise Missile Defense System Avenger Reclamation -- collectively represent an investment of $3.6 million and a savings of $25 million over 10 years.
The following 13 organizations received Value Engineering Awards and the individuals listed received certificates for coordinating their organization's Value Engineering actions: Aviation & Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, Patrick Kelley; Aviation Ground Support Equipment Product Directorate, John Ricci; Air Traffic Control Product Manager, Alivio Mangieri; AMCOM Logistics Center, Nicolette Hughes; Apache Attack Helicopter Program Managers Office, Nathan Kennedy; Corpus Christi Army Depot, Mike Vourcos; Fixed Wing Project Office, William Calvo; Lower Tier Air & Missile Defense Project Office, Jennifer Shepherd and Will Lovell; Precision Fires Rocket and Missile Systems Project Office, Gordon Duran; Missile Defense Agency Test Resources Directorate, Dennis Werth; THAAD Project Office, Toni Hamilton-Datcher; Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office, Heath Phillips; and Utility Helicopters Project Office, Rebecca Balch.
In addition, three organizations - Cargo Helicopters Project Office, Cruise Missile Defense Systems Project Office and Utility Helicopters Project Office - were recognized with Life Cycle Cost Reduction certificates for completing at least one life cycle cost reduction project.