15th AMXS, Hawaiian Airlines ohanas make improvements on the flight line

By 2nd Lt. Amber R. Kelly-Herard 15th Wing Public Affairs


Their uniforms, aircraft and missions may be different, but they share more in common than they know.

Despite sharing the same flight line, the 15th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and Hawaiian Airlines maintainers never met until now.

The 15th AMXS hosted Hawaiian Airlines as part of a continuous process improvement event to talk shop about maintenance, both military and civilian.

Last month, Master Sgt. Juan Osuna, 15th AMXS section chief, hosted a CPI event focusing on tools with 15th Wing Black Belt, Leo Green, who invited Pacific Air Forces Master Black Belt, Jeff Gilbert. Gilbert knew just the person who would also be interested in the 15th AMXS, his wife, Sarah Gilbert, who works at Hawaiian Airlines, and also happens to be a Master Black Belt.

“We learned the military and airline industries have many things in common, therefore, it is a huge benefit to be able to showcase our best practices and do some cross-tell with our civilian counterparts to see if we can learn anything from how they do business,” said Osuna.

Several employees from Hawaiian Airlines and Air Force and Navy CPI experts from across Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam toured the 647th Logistics Readiness Squadron for an in-depth look at the base supply process, visited the 15th AMXS tool and supply departments and ended their visit with a C-17 static display tour.

“We have different tools and are different organizations, but it is nice to get out of our own world and see that military and civilians deal with the same issues,” said Sarah, Hawaiian Airlines maintenance and supply transformation Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

“The military’s use of data and technology is efficiency at its finest,” added Joe Bolton, Hawaiian Airlines director of continuous improvement. “They get the process right because they care about their job and are so passionate.”

Jeff explained some examples the 15th AMXS showcased include the supply parts machine that reduces required storage space and supply errors, the laser engraver that reduces engraving time, and the tool room software and TVs that reduce inventory errors and associated costs.

“These events are important because they allow Airmen from several functional areas an opportunity to see, up close, other organizations and how they do business,” said Jeff. “Airmen from supply and tooling were able to interact with their counterparts at Hawaiian Airlines and learn about similar processes from the commercial industry.”

Next month, Hawaiian Airlines will host the 15th AMXS to share their best practices for phased inspections.

Editor's note: The original story can be viewed on the 15th Wing website.