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Face of Defense: Airman’s Sharp Eye Saves Air Force $348K

Compliments of:

By Air Force Senior Master Sgt. George Thompson
386th Air Expeditionary Wing

As Air Force officials seek to institute a culture change through the “Every Dollar Counts” campaign, one deployed airman’s determination helped to save more than a third of a million dollars.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Air Force Master Sgt. Ernest Harrison, 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron, poses for a photo at the U.S. Army Logistics Civil Augmentation Program port in Southwest Asia, April 16, 2013. Harrison saved the Air Force more than $348,000 when he found a misplaced U-30 aircraft tow tractor that had mistakenly dropped off the inventory list during changeover with his predecessor. Courtesy photo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Air Force Master Sgt. Ernest Harrison, 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron transportation management office superintendent, was working his liaison officer duties at a host-nation port when something caught his eye.

“I saw this massive piece of equipment, but had no idea it was an Air Force asset,” Harrison said. “My predecessor gave me a list of all the assets I needed to track, and this was not one of them.”

The item in question, a 50-ton U-30 aircraft tow tractor, had somehow dropped off the inventory list during the changeover.

“Normally it’s dark when I finish my work, but on this particular day, I finished early and took a couple of pictures of this thing,” Harrison said. “I wrote down the weight and the tag number and sent it to the Air Forces Central guy in charge of all the vehicles in the region.”

As it turns out, AFCENT was in the process of ordering a new U-30 to support the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing’s C-17 operations.

“He wrote me back and said, ‘Where did you find this thing?’ and I said, ‘It was sitting out here in the middle of a field all by itself,’ and the best part was it started right up,” Harrison said.

Harrison’s detective work allowed AFCENT to cancel the equipment order and scratch the C-17 mission slated to transport the 100,000 pound U-30, saving the Air Force $348,571.73.

Though Harrison will not receive a monetary award, as do those who submit money-saving ideas through the Air Force’s Innovative Development Through Employee Awareness Program, he’s glad he was able to save his service a substantial sum.

“As you know, the budget is tight,” he said, “and just knowing I saved the Air Force this money is a great feeling.”

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About Edited by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer.  In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials.  Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat.  Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republican and The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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