by Mike W. Ray
72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs
1/10/2014 - TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – The deputy director of the 76th Commodities Maintenance Group in the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex was named the outstanding Aircraft Maintenance Civilian Manager of 2012.
Mike Mowles received the Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez Award on Jan. 7, 2014, from Lt. Gen. Judith Fedder, deputy chief of staff for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support at U.S. Air Force Headquarters. The presentation occurred in the Tinker Club Ballroom.
Marquez is a retired deputy chief of staff for logistics and engineering for the Air Force. The eponymous award is intended to recognize officials in the Air Force who excel in technological maintenance. The award recognizes base-level military and civil service aircraft, munitions and missile maintenance personnel who perform hands-on maintenance or manage a maintenance function.
Mowles was “pivotal” in the development of a honeycomb cutting and recore capability that helped extend the KC-135 Ruddervator life by more than 15 years, his citation reads. This capability also reduced labor standards by half, from 135 hours to 67, and “ultimately achieved $1.2 million in annual cost savings.” Mowles also drove the execution of more than 30 improvement events across 30 shops, “as well as deploying nine point-of-use autocribs.”
In addition, he pushed KC-135 boom production to new heights by implementing modular flow, overcoming contractor shortfalls, eliminating mission-incapable backorders, “and in the process smashed previous monthly records,” the citation reads.
“This is an incredible honor for a country boy from western Oklahoma,” Mowles said to the more than 100 military and civilian personnel who gathered for a Mentoring Lunch. “All I have ever tried to do here is the very best I could … to try to make Tinker more cost-effective than it was when I got here.”
As deputy director of the 76 CMXG, Mowles is responsible for approximately 2,000 personnel and 20 major production facilities that manufacture, repair, overhaul and test more than 175,000 aircraft and missile components each year. CMXG is the Air Force technology repair center for all air accessories, constant speed drives, fuel controls and oxygen-related items.
Mowles has risen through the ranks. He began his civil service career in 1985 as a welder. He joined the Commodities Maintenance Group in 1992 as a sheet metal mechanic and was promoted in 1996 to sheet metal supervisor over the B-1 Horizontal Stabilizer Shop. Three years later he was promoted to sheet metal supervisor over Manufacturing, and in 2004 he was promoted to a Section Chief.
In 2011 he was named director of the 551st Commodities Maintenance Squadron, and was elevated to deputy director of the 76 CMXG last May.
Besides his associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration, Mowles received 6 Sigma Executive training in 2006, Lean for Supervisors training in 2007, and 6 Sigma Green Belt training in 2010.
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