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Hammer Awards


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Hammer Time

Federal government reinvention is a "grass roots" initiative. It's the folks on the front-line--Federal employees at all levels--who are making the changes happen.

To recognize the accomplishments of these front-line employees, Vice President Al Gore established his Hammer Award.

The Hammer AwardThe Hammer Award is presented to teams that have made significant contributions to reinventing government. Before Federal Reinvention, government processes and red tape were so costly that buying a $6.00 hammer cost the government about $400.00. A common sense reply to that hammer of yesteryear, the award consists of an ordinary $6 carpenter's hammer, a ribbon, and a handwritten note. The hammer also symbolizes reinvention as the process of building a government that works better, costs less, and gets results Americans care about.

Since 1993, more than 1000 Hammer Awards have been presented to Federal employees, state and local employees, and citizens who are working to reinvent government.

"Hammer Time" will be a regular REGO feature showcasing Hammer Award winners who saved taxpayer money. In this Issue, we are showcasing The Air Force/NASA Hammer Award-Winning team.

A Little History

The Air Force's Cape Canaveral Air Station and NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida have, historically, been two adjacent -- but basically independent -- facilities.

Cape Canaveral Air StationCape Canaveral Air Station is the nation's primary location for launching a wide variety of unmanned space vehicles. KSC was formed in the early 1960's as the site for building and launching Apollo/Saturn V - the program that landed Americans on the moon over 30 years ago. It's now the launch point for NASA's Space Shuttle.

Eighteen different contractors, often with duplicate and overlapping responsibilities, carried out base operations and support at these facilities.


Partners in Reinvention

In 1997, the Air Force and NASA joined forces to set up a single set of base operations and support services for KSC, Cape Canaveral, and Patrick Air Force Base, home of the 45th Space Wing Command and headquarters for all the Air Force's Atlantic launches.

In a nutshell, the Air Force-NASA team merged Cape Canaveral and Kennedy operations and other functions into a single performance-based contract that profoundly changed the way they do business.

Cost Savings for American Taxpayers

The team estimates that, by combining services, the Air Force and NASA will save American taxpayers $557 million over ten years - a 20% reduction in operating expenses at Cape Canaveral, KSC, and Patrick Air Force Base.

Partnership between KSC/Cape CanaveralThis unique partnership also slashes red tape and paperwork while ensuring that KSC/Cape Canaveral remains the world's premier gateway to space.

"Hammer Time"

The result: The Air Force/KSC team received a much deserved Hammer Award from the Vice President for creating an efficient, streamlined National SpacePort that is customer-oriented, uncomplicated, modern, and economical. It promises to be a model for other agencies.

For more information about Hammer Awards and award winners, visit or contact NPR at (202) 694-0001.


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