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Air Force announces team excellence awards

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Air Force officials have announced the five teams selected for the 2008 Chief of Staff Team Excellence Awards.

The awards recognize teams that used a systematic approach to enhance mission capability, improve operational performance, and create sustained results.

Improvements made by the five award winning teams and the 15 other award nominees are expected to save the Air Force about $149 million in the first year, officials said.

"I applaud these teams for seeking new solutions and innovative processes that conserve our valuable resources - money, time and potentially even lives," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. "We should always examine our processes by asking the question, 'Why do we do what we do the way we do it?' You have been successful in not only asking that question, but also in answering it and for that I commend you."

The five 2008 award winners are:

-- The New Aerospace Ground Equipment Team at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. This team is also an Air Force Best Practice recipient.

-- The Huey Combat Mission Training Team at Kirtland AFB, N.M.

-- The Nellis Solar Power Team at Langley AFB, Va. This team is also an Air Force Best Practice recipient.

-- The Deep Purple Team (trainer manufacturing) at Keesler AFB, Miss.

-- The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Training Flight Team at Bolling AFB, Washington, D.C.

The judges also recognized the following teams as Air Force Best Practices: the Aircraft Maintenance Electronic Testing Team at Scott AFB, Ill.; the Air Force Reserve Command's Management Internal Control Toolset Team at Robins AFB, Ga.; and the Saber Driving Course Team, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.

"It certainly was a tremendous honor to serve on the judging panel and to see firsthand the ingenuity of our Air Force's men and women," said senior judge Maj. Gen. Wendell Griffin, the Air Force's chief of safety and commander of the Air Force Safety Center at Kirtland AFB. "Congratulations to all of the teams. In our book, all of you are winners!"