12th FTW team tackles problems in use of AIR Card

  • Published
  • By Robert Goetz
  • Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs
A 12th Flying Training Wing Continuous Process Improvement team recently brainstormed ways to address inefficiencies in a program that requires the use of a federal government credit card to purchase jet fuel at off-station locations.


The CPI team, which met March 15-18 and March 23, identified 11 possible solutions, or countermeasures, in response to an Air Force Audit Agency analysis of the Aviation Into-plane Reimbursement Card program that revealed problems such as inaccurate and duplicate transactions as well as purchases that exceed an aircraft’s fuel capacity.

CPI event facilitator David Bernacki, 12th Operations Support Squadron lead Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals weapons system civilian simulator instructor, said some of the countermeasures incorporate automation and new technologies for efficiency to ensure savings.


“The process will ensure stewardship of Air Force resources by validating the accuracy of transactions worth millions of dollars,” he said.


CPI team member Angi Werley, 12th FTW Maintenance Directorate resource adviser at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., said she believed the best countermeasure “would be appointing a wing refueling document control officer who can devote time and energy to the program and ensure that the wing is properly billed for its aircraft fuel usage.”


Among the other countermeasures identified were using electronic processes to expedite the forwarding of fuel receipts to the WRDCO, appointing a squadron-level RDCO to collect receipts, acquiring a software program that reduces receipt verification time by 95 percent, ensuring all fuel receipts are maintained in accordance with Department of Defense and Air Force directives and restricting the AIR Card limit to not exceed the maximum fuel capacity of each aircraft, Bernacki said.


Another CPI team member, Rachel DeMone, 12th FTW Maintenance Directorate resource adviser at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, said a key to improving efficiencies with using the AIR Card is “standardization of squadron practices in regard to receipt control.”


“The team felt it was imperative to assign RDCOs at the squadron level to ensure a sound flow of receipts for validation,” she said. “Formal assignment of the 12th FTW WRDCO is pending, but the team created an interim process to guarantee billing systems and receipts are reconciled prior to acceptance of payment. The appointed WRDCO will champion wing guidance in the form of an operating instruction to fill procedural gaps in the existing Air Force Instruction 11-253, which governs off-station purchases of aviation fuel and ground services.”


DeMone said the audit, which covered the period Oct. 1, 2014, to Aug. 31, 2015, revealed deficiencies such as 116 duplicate transactions valued at $120,000, 10 transactions valued at $13,000 that exceeded the aircraft fuel capacity, 682 fuel charges against unassigned tail numbers valued at $28,000 and missing receipts valued at $92,000.


In addition, the lack of designation of a WRDCO equated to no validations of 39,792 transactions.


“Based on the number of missing receipts, it was projected that 26,529 of 39,792 transactions, valued at $19.5 million, were not validated for accuracy,” DeMone said.


Bernacki said the audit covered 12th FTW flying operations at JBSA-Randolph, NAS Pensacola and the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.


The CPI event featured Col. Michael Snell, 12th FTW vice commander, as champion and Col. Matthew Isler, 12th FTW commander, as process owner. Champions dedicate resources, assets and people to an initiative, while process owners lead an organization or group, a team lead and other members.


CPI team member Lt. Col. Keith Eveland, 99th Flying Training Squadron assistant director of operations, said the event resulted in “some new processes that will close the gaps found in our current process.”


“The team worked well together to solve a complex problem that affects accountability for a large portion of the wing’s mission and resources,” he said.


DeMone said she foresees action plans stemming from the CPI event “that will positively change the way we are doing business while saving the government thousands, if not millions, of taxpayer dollars.”