MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. (NNS) -- It’s not every day that a simple fix to a problem can save you thousands of dollars, but for one Marine, his innovative solution did just that for Naval Aviation. His efforts were rewarded at a Boots on the Ground event aboard Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, Dec. 12.
Marine Cpl. Timothy Martin, an aviation hydraulic mechanic of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron (MALS) 26, was awarded the Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) Excellence Award. The award recognizes one or more Sailors, Marines and civilian employees for their contributions to Naval Aviation and for serving as positive examples of Enterprise behavior.
Martin was presented the award by Deputy Commandant of Aviation Lt. Gen. Stephen Rudder for creating a tool he developed to assist with the removal of screws from the brake keys of the MV-22 Osprey’s main landing gear wheels.
“Our Marines who work in our tire shop were having a hard time removing brake key screws because the screws would often get stripped while attempting to remove them,” Martin said. “I was working in our machine shop at the time and realized that there must be a better way to remove the screws. I made a plastic body and a metal screw and nut to fill the space in between the sides of the wheel half. This allows there to have adequate pressure applied to the heads of the screws. I measured its success in the amount of screws that were removed without the need for the machine shop to get involved.”
Serving his first enlistment, Martin said he joined the Marine Corps because “I always felt a calling to do something in the military service. I wasn't sure exactly what, but I knew that it was something that I was supposed to do.”
Rudder presented the award stating, “When they were talking about this before, I couldn’t visualize it, so we just had to come down here and see it. It was such a simple fix, but it is definitely special.”
Dubbed “The Martin” by Rudder, the tool has led to the expedient repair of 17 wheel assemblies and helped save 320 man hours and more than $229,000 in material costs.
The Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) is a cooperative partnership of Naval Aviation stakeholders focused on sustaining required current readiness and advancing future warfighting capabilities at best possible cost. It is comprised of Sailors, Marines, civilians and contractors from across service branches and organizations, working together to identify and resolve readiness barriers and warfighting degraders.