Creative Thinkers Wanted

A member of the 460th Civil Engineer Squadron at Buckley AFB, Colo., wondered why the back of street signs on base needed to be painted brown. His idea not to paint the signs’ backs—leaving them their “natural” galvanized color—has saved the base more than $10,000 in 2012 alone, stated Air Force officials in a June 26 release. This case is an example of the Innovative Development through Employee Awareness program that rewards airmen for devising creative ideas that bring monetary savings to the Air Force. “In today’s constrained fiscal environment, savings and redundancy-reductions are all the more important,” stated Derek Hamby, who oversees the IDEA program at Schriever AFB, Colo. Airmen with the creative ideas receives a percentage of the Air Force’s first-year savings or some set dollar amount, depending on the type of idea. Hamby said he thinks “young airmen are vital to the success of this program” because “they come into the Air Force with fresh ideas” and a different perspective. (See also a past idea.)