Navigating accountability challenges

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Katie McKee
  • 82d TRW Public Affairs

When met with the challenge of tracking over 5,000 Airmen in Training to provide accountability, Military Training Leaders began utilizing a software system called TCMax used in the maintenance world.

Tech. Sgt. Elissa Evans, 82d Training Wing MTL, was introduced to this system by another MTL, a crew chief by trade. Coming from a Security Forces background, Evans wasn’t familiar with this system, but saw the potential for it to impact efficiency.

After the old system was phased out, Airmen were using accountability cards to sign in and out of their dorms. This meant grabbing their card from a binder to leave the dorm and returning the card when coming back into the dorm causing delays in the Airmen’s strict schedules.

TCMax operates as a tool control system that manages lost, stolen, broken or misplaced tools. The system now acts as a virtual toolbox that tracks when students check in and out.

“Instead of having the system recognize toolboxes, we use bays and hallways,” said Evans. “The toolboxes are sorted by rooms and the Airmen are the “tools” within them. When the Airmen come in, they sign into their “toolbox” or room in this case and vice versa.”

With hundreds of Airmen arriving every week, the accountability process has to remain accurate and efficient. The versatility of TCMax allowed MTLs to use the technology and address immediate needs.

“The wing spent about $64,000 on this and it has been working phenomenally for us,” said Evans. “We’re working to have the data be stored outside of the dorms, so we can pull the information and accountability in case of an emergency.”

Tech. Sgt. Joshua Moritz, 362nd Training Squadron MTL, works with TCMax on a day-to-day basis and acknowledges the accuracy of the system. TCMax will also benefit the Airmen beyond signing in and out of the dorms.

“This is a tool and our dorm is full of crew chiefs,” said Moritz. “Airmen will get to interact with this system in their career field, so they are getting familiar with the basics of it. Our priority is the safety of our Airmen and TCMax accurately tells us whether or not an Airman is in the building.”