LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- Aircraft maintenance units at Little Rock Air Force Base recently turned toward implementing Torque, a software suite of tools and applications, as part of an effort to streamline processes and efficiency to improve productivity across the units and installation.
In an effort to align with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles. Q. Brown Jr.’s Action Order Delta: Design Implementation, Torque was first introduced within one of 19th AMXS’s smaller sections, allowing users to see firsthand how the software could potentially replace their dated databases.
Designed and developed by Kessel Run, the U.S. Air Force’s product development and programming team, the 19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron began beta testing the software in January 2021.
“We used our smallest shop as a testbed to assess what the capabilities were and how we could leverage it to our advantage,” said Master Sgt. Jose Piedra, 19th AMXS section chief. “Once we gained this understanding, we started onboarding all of our shops week by week.”
Piedra said the primary advantage of the Torque platform is the ability to pull and transfer data between various applications and integrate that information into a consolidated location, which is capable of updating in real-time due to the software’s modern technology.
Specific to LRAFB-based maintenance units, the upside to the new software is its enhanced personnel management function, which improved the ability to track appointments, manning, and qualifications of all maintainers within one system.
“It allows for synchronization of our entire team,” said Piedra. “Torque has many advantages including: allowing multiple people to login at the same time; access to full-time programmers that can add features; personal cellular device accessibility; and the data is stored on the cloud and is not dependent on government networks.”
Once the capabilities were clear and the 19th AMXS knew what they had, it was shared with mission partners across LRAFB.
“We linked up with 19th AMXS to see what the product looked like and sat in on some Zoom meetings with Kessel Run,” said Master Sgt. Nathan Horrocks, 314th AMXS section chief. “This familiarized us with the program and let us know what to expect. We have now been using the system for several months.”
Despite the advantages Torque provides TLR aircraft maintenance, Horrocks said funding beyond FY21 is not guaranteed and could lead to reverting back to their old systems.
“If Torque was no longer available we would have a couple of options,” Horrocks said. “We could pursue another application, which would cost more money, or revert back to our old systems, which took more time and was much less efficient.”
The advantages to using Torque is why Piedra and Horrocks want to see it stick around, because without it, they said mission efficiency suffers.
“Torque lowers the possibility of scheduling conflicts or overcommitting our people,” Piedra said. “With our old programs we would come into scheduling conflicts. Moreover, on some occasions the schedule wasn’t updated and we wouldn’t have the appropriate coverage. Torque allows us to all be on the same page and optimize mission effectiveness.”
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