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AMC terminal streamlines check-in process

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- As part of Air Force Smart Operations 21, members from the 733rd Air Mobility Squadron here saw the need to streamline the check-in process and have recently added a second security gate.

With the addition of a second gate, travelers can now check in for flights an hour later than usual.

According to Master Sgt. Justin Sturn, 733rd AMS passenger operations superintendent, a faster check in process benefits all Team Kadena travelers.

"When we had only one gate, it created a two and a half hour bottleneck," said Sergeant Sturn. "By adding the second gate, we've reduced the check-in process to an hour. Now people can come in later and it has become a huge convenience for all our passengers."

Another benefit from the improved check in process is more time spent with families. With less time spent during the check-in process, travelers can spend more time with their loved ones prior to departure, said Sergeant Sturn.

Travelers wishing to spend even less time checking in can now go through the check-in process the evening prior to their flight.

"Starting today, passengers can bring their bags and check in the night prior, choose their seats and save even more time," said Sergeant Sturn. "By taking advantage of that, passengers can show up the next day for their flight and be on the aircraft in an hour."

The addition of the second gate and changes to the check-in process were the results of suggestions made by 733rd AMS members.

"Under the AFSO 21 initiative, we asked all our members to take a look at their processes and find non-time value items which we could eliminate and make the process faster," said Sergeant Sturn. "This is AMC's new way of looking at things called 'LEAN logistics.' One of our Airmen even suggested moving the kiosk out to the foyer area so people can use the computers away from the Space A counter and eliminating another bottleneck.

"We also reduced the delivery time of luggage for our arriving passengers," Sergeant Sturn said. "We went out with a stopwatch and found places where we could speed up the process. Because we were able to eliminate time-wasting parts of the process, we reduced the two-hour wait for luggage down to approximately 30 to 38 minutes."

"Another area we're looking to improve is reducing ground time for our aircraft and giving them a faster turnaround time," said 1st Lt. Victoria Davis, 733rd AMS air terminal operations center flight commander. "The biggest thing about all these improvements is the fact we've got great leadership that values their people and allows us to take chances. We're continually finding little ways to make big improvements."

Members from the 733rd AMS are not the only ones with the power to make suggestions.

"We have a suggestion box for any member of Team Kadena to use," said Sergeant Sturn. "If anybody has a suggestion, they can use the suggestion box or speak with one of our staff members at the counter. We're open to suggestions and we'll look at every suggestion submitted to us."