TTF maintenance shop saves $9M through innovative process

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis
  • 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Before government purchase card holders go out and purchase expensive equipment for their units, it is important to know of available resources that could save their shops thousands of dollars.

The Threat Training Facility maintenance shop at Nellis Air Force Base, has saved Nellis and Creech AFBs a total of $9 million by recycling, reusing, reimagining and repurposing excess and surplus items across the Department of Defense through the Defense Logistics Agency system since 2013.

By using this process the TTF maintenance shop has come across excess equipment and knowledge it has been able to share with other units

"Our main mission is to restore and maintain the training aid displays at the TTF and support the 547th Intelligence Squadron," said Rodney Gilbert, 547th IS, maintenance supervisor. "The 547th IS can't afford the cost of our operations so we get zero budget. We provide our own tools, supplies and equipment through the use of the Military Standard Requisitioning and Issue Procedures of the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services."

The TTF maintenance shop utilizes the DLA reutilization process for their operations which has yielded them desirable results. Occasionally, they pull items for other units, but emphasize training other units on the process which allows those units the ability to tailor the wants for their unit's specific mission.

"Too many people don't know of the program. I've tried to train as many as I can, some take it and run with it and some don't," said Gilbert. "We support many units with signs, banners, posters and other printing needs. We manufacture items others may need from scratch or modify what they have to support their needs. "

According to Gilbert, It is a DoD requirement the to check the DLA reutilization website is see if the item is available before a unit makes a purchase.

With the utilization of the DLA reutilization process the shop has been able to house items ranging from ball-point pens to mechanical parts, all obtained for no cost for the 547th IS.

"If you are patient you can get what you want," said Curtis Klitzka, 547th IS, sheet metal painter. "We have a limited budget, so whatever you see inside this facility it has all been at no cost. I like to say your junk is our spare parts."

The DLA reutilization website is a first-come, first-served basis. Units will "tag" items and submit requests to the authorized supply officer. The person has 14 calendar days to approve or deny the request. If the request is approved the items with be shipped to base supply.

"We believe in long-term sustainment without cost to the government," said Gilbert. "It is important for us to have enough supplies on hand so that there doesn't have to be a stop to the greater mission. We believe in the Air Force creed and excellence in all we do is paramount to us."

If the DLA reutilization website does not have a needed item in stock, the unit can create a want list that is kept for up to one year. 

The maintenance shop works on a variety of items, including the training aid displays seen in the Threat Systems Yard of the TTF. They have also refurbished and painted some of the static displays found around base. Through the DLA reutilization process, they have found and provided some ATVs and carts for units across Nellis and Creech AFBs.

"We help anyone we possibly can. One day, some civil engineer guys lost the front tires off one of their trailers and we were able to give them two brand new 18-ply tires for free," said Gilbert. "It is so fun to be able to work in this environment doing what we do. The 547th IS commander has been extremely supportive of the things we have saved."

The TTF maintenance shop is located inside the TTF compound in building 474. For more information on how to utilize the DLA reutilization process, contact Rodney Gilbert at 702-652-2008, 702-885-4199 or by email at rodney.gilbert@us.af.mil.