Airman’s idea a ‘win-win’ for 721st APS, 10th EAEF

by Airman 1st Class Ciara M. Travis
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

All too often, Airmen think their ideas go unheard throughout the service, but the 721st Aerial Port Squadron has shown that good ideas can come from Airmen of any rank.

Senior Airman Michael Crawford, a 721st APS vehicle control officer training manager, never imagined a 14-year master sergeant would take an Airman’s suggestion seriously. But when he came to Master Sgt. Kevin Brown, 721st APS superintendent of fleet services, his idea soon changed daily operations and began aiding in saving lives.

For years, the 721st APS has lent Airmen and a vehicle to the 10th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight on a daily basis to assist in the 10th EAEF’s mission for loading and unloading patients and emergency medical equipment.
To make the mission of moving patients successful, the 10th EAEF needed an easier way to load medical equipment.

Because of Crawford’s idea, the 721st APS was able to take an unused truck of their own and give it to the 10th EAEF.

“Making this change was a win-win situation for everyone,” said Tech. Sgt. Craig Picou, 10th EAEF NCOIC medical logistics. “By making this change, the 721st will be freed up, allowing them to focus on their mission and allowing us to be self-sustaining.”

Picou said being able to complete the mission without the help of another unit is gratifying.

“Airmen today are more technically sound, and they have fresh eyes,” he said. “It’s the new ideas that keep us from getting stagnant. You’ve heard the saying ‘work smarter, not harder.’”

For Lt. Col. Scott Rice, 10th EAEF commander, it’s Airmen of all ranks who keep the Air Force the sharp organization it is today.

“As a commander, taking new ideas from throughout the ranks is a very important thing to consider,” Rice said. “If it weren’t for an Airman speaking up, we would still be continuing operations in a more difficult way.”

After the transition in June, the 10th EAEF is now able to complete its job faster.

“If I could encourage anything, it would be to push Airmen to bring their ideas forth,” Rice said. “If it weren’t for this idea, we would be spending several hours a day doing a job we can now do in minutes.”

Picou said the idea saves more than just time.

“If you put it into perspective, because of their truck, we are now able to do our jobs better and quicker ― essentially, they’re helping us save lives,” he said.