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Tue, Jul 15, 2003

AWACS Techs Get Paperless Link

The E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System became the first weapon system to provide technicians with a paperless link between an aircraft parts manual and the base supply system.

Technicians from the 552nd Equipment Maintenance Squadron have been participating in a test program for a parts ordering tool that provides an electronic link between AWACS parts manuals and the supply system. The ordering tool allows technicians to order parts in a totally paperless environment. The system eliminates the need to search for the part in a paper manual and type in all the information, which saves time and reduces errors.

“We did in 10 minutes what used to take hours,” said Tech. Sgt. Thomas Martin, 552nd EMS dock chief, in reference to a recent maintenance inspection. Basically, the tool allows the technician to electronically search for parts, click on the items to be ordered, review and query the required parts list and submit the request through the automated system.

This technology can eventually be applied to wireless local area network devices, such as rugged laptops, for maintenance. The new tool is expected to save at least 160 man-hours and 25 incorrect parts orders per day when fully implemented throughout the 552nd Air Control Wing here, officials said.

Although the system is not yet fully operational, users have noticed a significant reduction in time spent and are excited about the system’s capabilities, they said.

“Out of several projects I’m involved with, I see the need and benefit of (the ordering tool) to the Air Force in the long term,” said Master Sgt. Rick Celusta, the 552nd Maintenance Operations Flight superintendent. [Courtesy of Air Combat Command News Service]



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