21st Theater Sustainment Command shines at 2010 Army-level LSS awards program

By U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs
Oct. 7, 2010

Eric Gordon-Jones, a Lean Six Sigma green belt and a container manager with the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, converses on the telephone with a coworker at
Eric Gordon-Jones, a Lean Six Sigma green belt and a container manager with the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, converses on the telephone with a coworker at
his office on Panzer Kaserne, in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Oct. 10.  Gordon-Jones was recognized for winning the 2010 Army-level LSS Awards Program for the Non-Gated Project Team project titled “Equipment Deployment Storage Systems-U.S. European Command/U.S Army Europe Maintenance Program.” (Photo by Sgt. Frank Sanchez III)

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- The Army recently announced the winners of the 2010 Lean Six Sigma Awards Program, and the 21st Theater Sustainment Command made an exceptional showing by taking three of the 12 top-level Army awards.

The LEAP awards program recognizes outstanding organizational and team efforts to employ Lean Six Sigma methodologies. LSS identifies and removes the causes of defects and helps minimize variability in manufacturing and business processes within the Army.

The Non-Gated Project Team Award recognized the LSS team led by Eric Gordon-Jones, a LSS green belt and a container manager with the 21st TSC, for the project titled “Equipment Deployment Storage Systems-U.S. European Command/U.S Army Europe Maintenance Program.”

The project established a U.S. Army Europe container maintenance program using a design for their project, which was initiated due to the fact there was no theater maintenance program or funding that existed for the repair and transport of unserviceable transport containers acquired by USAREUR. The total financial benefit to USAREUR was a cost avoidance of $36.3 million dollars in savings.

“I never see it as a personal initiative. I see it as a command initiative. We already have a good standing reputation within the Department of Defense,” said Gordon-Jones. “Whether it is in a peacetime environment or contingency environment, we already have a proven track record. This award adds to our reputation.”

The Gated Project Team Award acknowledged the 21st TSC’s 1st Human Resources Sustainment Center for the project titled “Reception and Onward Movement Process at the Gateway Reception Center” led by Lt. Col. Michael Kolb, the former director of plans and operations for 1st HRSC.

The Gateway Reception Center in Frankfurt is the primary reception point for incoming Soldiers and Families arriving in Europe. During fiscal year 2009 the center processed more than 16,000 Soldiers and family members.

Transportation costs were more than half of the total cost, and analysis showed that buses were underutilized much of the time. The consolidation and elimination of bus routes led to a total financial benefit to the Army, which was estimated at $12.3 million dollars in savings and $480,000 dollars in cost avoidance.

The 21st TSC LSS team was also recognized with the Subordinate Level Organizational Deployment Award for its projects receiving top ranking among all the other LEAP award submissions.

“This is not an office award. This is award for the command. We really have a model program within USAREUR, if not in the Army. It totally exceeded our expectations, and it is nice because it validates the effectiveness of our program,” said Ronald Stanley, an operations research analyst for the 21st TSC.

Stanley said the LEAP awards demonstrate the 21st TSC’s commitment to finding new ways to improve performance and be more cost effective.

The 21st TSC will receive the awards at this year’s third annual LEAP awards, which are taking place at the Hall of Heroes inside the Pentagon, Oct. 15 in Washington, D.C.