325th LRS ‘Port Dawg’ advocates for innovation

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Stefan Alvarez
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Expeditionary Airmen have to work in less than ideal conditions across the globe. Certain deployed environments often don’t have the infrastructure that support ideal working conditions. Fortunately for the Port Dawgs, one Airman has a plan.

Tech. Sgt. Dylan Rymer, 325th Logistics Readiness Squadron air transportation function section chief, is all too familiar with the potential dangers of combat method bravo, which is used in austere environments and risky in nature due to the equipment used.

“I’ve done my fair share of engine running combat offloads,” said Rymer. “For combat method bravo, we use 55-gallon drums filled with water to help offload cargo. When you’re moving thousands of pounds of pallets and equipment, and they start shifting around, things can get a little sketchy.”

After years of performing and teaching combat method bravo, Rymer finally designed a solution that he wanted to make a reality to help his career field.

“My idea was to make a miniature version of our larger K-loaders that we have with rollers to offload cargo in a safer manner,” Rymer added. “Ideally these can fly with the cargo so when the aircraft lands in a barebones location we can do our jobs more efficiently without the risks of dropping the cargo or someone getting hurt.”

Rymer is still working towards getting his idea finalized and refined after submitting it. Although it has not yet been funded, his innovation has been noticed by various organizations.

“Once I noticed programs like AFWERX and Tesseract becoming more of a total force program, I went ahead and submitted my idea,” explained Rymer. “It wasn’t picked up for funding, but Tesseract reached out to me a few months later about my idea. They really bridged that gap between submitting something and [finding the funds] to bring it to fruition.”

In addition to receiving the unforeseen assistance from an Air Force innovation program, another Airman on Tyndall Air Force Base was able to lend a helping hand for Rymer’s innovation.

“Tech. Sgt. Shayne Brooks over at the Air Force Civil Engineer Center had a huge part in propelling the idea forward,” Rymer continued. “He was able to create the design digitally which was a huge help. The biggest take-away I’ve seen is to reach out to other members on base, members who are experts within a specific career field. They can offer advice and a second set of eyes into your project.”

Although Rymer has spent a lot of time working on his project, he hopes that his story will inspire other Airmen across the Air Force.

“Everybody’s idea does matter, from the lowest level all the way up to the top,” Rymer concluded. “My leadership was able to help me refine my idea and helped iron out the presentation so it’s easily understood by everyone. These programs are in place for everyone, and at the end of the day we’re all trying to accelerate change and make our jobs easier, safer and more efficient.”