Maintenance incentivizes FOD walks with Golden Bolt

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Rachel Coates
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

The 23rd Maintenance Group uses a unique incentive to help Airmen during their foreign object debris walks at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.

A FOD walk requires all members in a work center, usually around the base’s flightline, to clean and perform a visual sweep of their areas. This check ensures there’s no debris left that could be sucked into an aircraft, causing damage, mission failure or even death.

These FOD walks are efficient and systematic, but the 23rd MXG uses the Golden Bolt program to further incentivize Airmen to keep their work area and flightline clean. They paint a bolt gold, hide it somewhere and wait for a keen-eyed Airmen to spot the debris.

“It’s something that’s been around for a while, and I’ve seen it at every base I’ve been to,” said Tech. Sgt. Gregg Rosado, 23rd Maintenance Group wing FOD monitor. “Someone throws out a bolt painted gold and whoever finds it during the FOD Walk, receives an award – here at Moody, the wing deputy commander is able to provide them with a one-day-pass for finding it. It’s a great tool for checking the awareness of people conducting the FOD walks.”

The opportunity to claim the prized Golden Bolt happens a few times a month during the scheduled inspections of the flightline and back shops. Leadership places the Golden Bolt in different spots throughout the units’ areas to keep people guessing where it could be, and the heightened search for it keeps Airmen sharp on what could become a mundane task.

“We understand that FOD is one of our biggest threats,” said Staff Sgt. Kevin McCoy, 23rd Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Propulsion craftsman. “Conducting these FOD walks not only helps to ensure that our mission of providing safe and reliable engines is carried out to the best of our ability, but also ensures the safety of those people relying on our engines when they get to their final destination.

“One of the most important things we can do as leaders is give back to our Airmen for all they give to us through their hard work and dedication,” McCoy continued. “Finding the Golden Bolt allows leadership to give back to them through time off to spend at home with their families or just some rest and recovery time helping them to continue supporting the mission and continuing to be the Air Force’s most valuable asset.”