Creative Airman improves TARRP operations

Story and photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Tech. Sgt. Doug Mullins, 86th Munitions Squadron Tactical Air Munitions Rapid Response Package section chief, stands for a photo in front of two high-line docks Aug. 10 on Ramstein. Mullins and a team of munitions personnel designed and created the high-line docks for a faster, safer and less expensive means of pallet production.

Airmen are continually finding ways to improve steps in their work flow. They might find a way to work faster, cut costs or improve safety. The Air Force needs these forward-thinking individuals, such as Tech. Sgt. Doug Mullins, 86th Munitions Squadron Tactical Air Munitions Rapid Response Package section chief.

The 86th Airlift Wing Innovation Program plans to recognize Mullins and the TARRP team for giving their shop a capability it didn’t have before: an approved way of building married munitions pallets.

“With all the munitions we are sending worldwide, it was vital we developed a smarter, safer and faster alternative,” Mullins said.

Pallets are designed to safely airlift munitions, yet the rollerized trailers previously used to build the pallets had limited space on the trailer deck. There was also a falling hazard because the trailers didn’t have rails, requiring extra safety precautions. The 86th MUNS needed innovation in its pallet-building process.

The TARRP team stepped up to the plate with Mullins as the point man to figure out how to improve the situation.

TARRP’s innovation was to create high-line docks. High-line docks provide platforms for Airmen to marry, or join, the pallets. They also provide a way to load cargo and secure it to the pallets. The high-line docks can hold more pallets at a time and provide a safe, easy way to move pallets onto a transport trailer or vehicle.  The new docks give Airmen the ability to build each pallet in 45 minutes rather than the previous 60, saving time and increasing production to support theater tasking.

Munitions Airmen constructed two high-line docks, increasing the squadron’s T3 pallet-building capability by 500 percent.

Mulllins said that because of the high-line dock, the 86th AW is more capable of transporting assets around the world.

“We’re placing warheads on foreheads quicker,” Mullins said.

Thanks to the mission dedication from Mullins and the TARRP team, the high-line dock is now an approved and recommended platform for building married munitions pallets.

“It is great to know we have a dedicated team that thinks on their feet,” Mullins said. “I know that when I change stations, the fight for excellence here will continue.”

The Innovation Program is searching for new ways to reward innovative personnel and wants to hear about designs Airmen have accomplished to save the Air Force time and money. For more information, contact Rabecca Porinsky at the 86th Force Support Squadron Manpower office at 06371-47-4032.