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News | Dec. 23, 2022

QAS earns Defense Acquisition Workforce award

By Jason Kaneshiro DCMA Eastern Region Public Affairs

The 2022 Defense Acquisition Workforce Awards recognized a Defense Contract Management Agency quality assurance specialist for his cost-saving initiative.

Ronald Buonanducci, lead quality assurance specialist with DCMA Aircraft Propulsion Operations Pratt & Whitney, earned the Production, Quality, and Manufacturing category award.

“I have had the pleasure of working around some of the most talented individuals during 25 years with DCMA,” said Buonanducci, who was surprised by the recognition. “These are some of the most dedicated and experienced people you could ever want to work with, and to be chosen for the prestigious award is quite an honor.”

Buonanducci served 23 years in the Air Force and deployed four times to Iraq and Afghanistan as a Department of Defense expeditionary civilian.

“Having experienced the everyday needs of the warfighter in my past military career and deploying in support of military units overseas, I have had the clear understanding of just how important our efforts are to the individual warfighter,” Buonanducci said. “We have the unique responsibility to assure military members get a quality product delivered to the right specification, delivered at the right time, and at the right cost.”

The Air Force veteran said his team shares the responsibility of being good stewards of taxpayer dollars, and they seek any opportunity to save taxpayer money without compromising the quality of the products warfighters depend on.

Buonanducci earned the award for his work on implementing a component scrap review process. It returns components — once deemed as unusable scrap material — back to the warfighter as serviceable parts, said Air Force Lt. Col. Nicholas Battle, DCMA APO P&W commander.

“Ron was able to identify more than $35 million in government savings of scrap material returned back to the warfighter,” Battle said.

In one example, Buonanducci and his team performed an ad-hoc inspection of approximately 6,000 F100 engine turbine blades.  

“More than 3,000 of those blades that were deemed as scrap were instead found to be suitable to be returned to service,” Battle said. “Just this one instance saved the taxpayer more than $180,000 in component replacement costs, and became the foundation for the establishment of his team’s scrap review process.”

Battle said Buonanducci’s hard work and mission dedication are apparent in everything he does for the agency. 

“I’m so incredibly proud of Ron on his accomplishment of winning this prestigious award. It brings me much joy to know that such a nice and humble human being has won this award,” Battle said. “If you were to ask Ron how and why he won this award, I’m willing to bet you he would give all the credit to the amazing team he leads.”

The process of seeking to save scrap material that was pioneered at DCMA has the potential to be used across almost any program, Buonanducci said.

“Beyond just the monetary saving, there are less tangible benefits to the efforts,” Buonanducci explained. “It can take close to three years or more to procure a part through the procurement system, and through this review process, we can return a part to service in the most expeditious manner.”

Buonanducci said the quick turnaround time is a great benefit to the fleet and enhances unit readiness.

“Mission capability and readiness is one of the most critical goals for any military unit or wing commander,” Buonanducci said.