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NEWS | June 19, 2018

Airman innovates site to save money

By Senior Airman Derek Seifert 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to Joint Base Langley-Eustis launched a system April 2 to move assets from unit to unit, saving the U.S. Air Force money and reducing cluttered storage areas.

The Materiel Acquisition and Relocation System program was developed by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Theodore Winnen, 1st Maintenance Squadron armament flight chief, after noticing unused cabinets within his work area that could be used by other units.

Once Winnen developed and pitched the idea for the MARS program, leadership at JBLE saw the potential and worth in the program and gave him the green light to start developing the site.

The site was designed to bring together offices and units across JBLE that are in need of equipment like tools, deployment gear, office supplies, electronics, office furniture and storage.

“One of the things we did was, when posting something, give it monetary value. In the case of those [hazardous material] lockers, those are usually eight or nine thousand dollars so I halved that and put that as the monetary value,” said Winnen. “That way, when talking to senior leadership, we can tell them we have several thousands of dollars’ worth of assets that are on the site now or that we have found new homes for and we saved the Air Force money just by repurposing it to someone else.”

Innovative Airmen, like Winnen, find ways to execute the mission and make processes more efficient and protect the Air Force’s limited resources.

In order for initiatives like Winnen’s to be successful, leaders must support the ideas and remove unnecessary barriers.

The MARS site works similar to a classified advertisement website that Organization Resource Advisors can post assets to the site prior to sending them to the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service. The resource advisors can also check to see what is listed and obtain items at no cost for the organization.

Compared to purchasing new office materials, this alternative will save the Air Force money by redistributing already purchased supplies across the installation.

Currently, there are about $7,000 of items on the site ready to be exchanged and there is no price cap for items.

So far, the only challenges Winnen and the MARS program have faced is spreading the word across base to resource advisors to have more units involved.

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