USAFE IDEA program sets standard

Where to submit ideas
Submit and check status of IDEAs on the IDEA Program Data System at, or click on the link at the Ramstein homepage,

Ramstein quadrupled and U.S. Air Forces in Europe doubled the 2004 Air Force achievement for return on investments in the Innovative Development Employee Awareness program.

While the Air Force achieved a return of $47 in tangible benefits for every dollar awarded and spent in the IDEA program, Ramstein earned $469 while USAFE earned $106 for every dollar spent.

“Ramstein personnel had another great year providing submissions to the IDEA program,” said Pete Almering, Ramstein’s IDEA program manager.

Ramstein members submitted 80 IDEAs. Two received the maximum $10,000 award and saved the government $11 million – “an enormous amount in times of tight budgets,” said Mr. Almering.
A third person from Ramstein received $1,172 for a money-saving IDEA, and 23 submissions were honored with $200 each for intangible benefits.

“It’s because of the innovative submissions that the command was able to accomplish this,” said Kurt Morio, USAFE IDEA program manager. “Because people are focused on doing a better job, we saved over $13 million this year.”

Last year USAFE personnel submitted more than 400 submissions and were awarded more than $129,000.

The best ideas come from the people who are actually working in the area, said Mr. Morio. These people are able to get cash awards because they think of better ways to improve how they work, and that’s what the IDEA program is about, he said.

“Submissions can be sent by using the IDEA Program Data System,” he said. “This data system vastly decreases the amount of time and number of evaluators needed to process a submission.”

A link for the IDEA program is on the Ramstein home page, or visit Servicemembers can also submit the AF Form 1000, available electronically or at the 435th Air Base Wing Manpower and Organization IDEA office, said Mr. Almering.
If an idea is approved, is outside the submitter’s job responsibility and has tangible savings, the submitter will receive 15 percent of the savings up to a maximum pay out of $10,000. If the idea is within a submitter’s job responsibility, he or she will receive 3 percent of the savings. Ideas that improve processes but don’t have a tangible, quantitative savings associated with them garner a $200 award.

USAFE has a way of recognizing individuals or groups who contribute to the continual performance improvement through the IDEA program.

The command’s nominee for the Exceptional Innovator of the Year award then competes on the Air Force level.

The IDEA program only works if people are willing to make submissions.

“I encourage everyone to use the IDEA program,” said Mr. Morio. “We are all obligated to do what we can to work together to make USAFE and the Air Force more productive. This program is a wonderful way to do that.”

For more information, call Mr. Almering at 480-5887 or e-mail (Information courtesy of USAFE News Service)