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PECI program; money for ideas

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Senior Airman John Templeton, a firefighter with the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron, fills self-contained breathing apparatus tanks using a Mobile Self-Contained Breathing Air Unit on Jan. 20.  The firefighters from the 30th CES purchased this devise through the Productivity Enhancing Capital Investment program and it saved the unit both money and manpower hours. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christian Thomas)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Senior Airman John Templeton, a firefighter with the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron, fills self-contained breathing apparatus tanks using a Mobile Self-Contained Breathing Air Unit on Jan. 20. The firefighters from the 30th CES purchased this devise through the Productivity Enhancing Capital Investment program and it saved the unit both money and manpower hours. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christian Thomas)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Due to the weary state of the economy, Americans have become more and more conscious about the way they spend their money in the most efficient ways.

The same goes for the Armed Forces, and the Air Force has even created a program allowing its people to benefit by presenting money saving ideas to be used by the Air Force.

This program is called the Productivity Enhancing Capital Investment program. It was designed by the Air Force to provide fast funding for productivity improvement projects. The PECI program identifies the ideas that government employees see within the confines of Air Force bases that could potentially provide measurable savings and also produce a return on the investment in two to four years.

"The program was set up to save the Air Force money," said Rhonda Gray, Vandenberg's program manager for the PECI program. "It's a faster way to get budgeting for a project and it usually makes the unit more efficient and saves them money in some way. It is a good way for us to quickly purchase equipment and upgrade facilities without going through the normal budgeting process."

The Air Force rewards people for those ideas. Depending on how much money an idea will save the Air Force, the Air Force will pay back a portion of the savings, up to $10,000, directly to the persons with the idea.

Annually, the PECI program invests approximately $20 million in projects that have normally averaged a life cycle savings of $235 million for the Air Force.

One of the ways a unit from Vandenberg took advantage of the program was by purchasing a Mobile Self-Contained Breathing Air Unit. The firefighters from the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron purchased this devise through the PECI program and it saved the unit both money and manpower hours.

The firefighters from the 30th CES rely on bottles providing an air supply when conducting operations. Before the purchase of the mobile breathing unit, the firefighters would have to make several unnecessary trips between the scene of a fire and the station with the compressor for the re-servicing of bottles being used by the firefighters. The trips made to re-service the bottles cost the Air Force manpower hours at the scene of the fire, wear and tear on Air Force equipment and gasoline cost used for traveling. Through the use of the PECI program, the 30th CES purchase of the mobile re-servicing unit was estimated to have saved Vandenberg $982,576 in life cycle savings.

"The units who take advantage of the program will get to reinvest the money they save into other priorities they may have," Mrs. Gray said. "I think it is a great program and I wish people would use it more often. The program is available and it is a lot cheaper and faster trying to palm for equipment and having to fight for money that may never be seen. It is a great way to get what is needed out to the unit a lot quicker."

Units and people of Vandenberg with money saving ideas are encouraged to stop by the manpower and organization section in Building 11777, or contact Rhonda Gray at 605-6465 for assistance with the PECI program.