It all started when Master Sergeant (MSG) Alex Krikon, a non-commissioned officer in the IAF, saw that expensive military equipment was being thrown out simply because it was not being used. Realizing that some people in the Air Force might need or want the spared equipment, he and his friend, 2nd Lieutenant Yivgeni Dickerman, established “Give and Take”, an Ebay-like website for the use of all NCOs and officers in the IAF.
“Give and Take” was launched in March, and its concept is simple. There is a lot of unused military equipment that ends up in military recycling centers around Israel. On the other hand, there are many officers and NCOs who look for certain equipment and have trouble finding it. “Give and Take” offers an opportunity to trade expensive equipment — one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Any officer or NCO in the IAF can upload details of equipment to the website, and in return, an officer or NCO who wants the equipment can contact the owner and pick the equipment up from him.
So far, the website helped to save more than 1.5 million NIS worth of equipment, and currently there are postings for another 800,000 NIS worth of equipment. MSG Krikon estimates that by the end of the year, the website will have saved the IAF about two million NIS.
MSG Alex Krikon explained about how it all started.
“In 2001, when I was still in regular service, I got a new job and with it a closet that contained a lot of military equipment that once blonged to a soldier serving in the same job. The closet was passed between soldiers who received the job. I had it in my room, but I never used it. In 2004, the head of my department decided to clean the department, and decided to throw away some of the shelves of the closet and the equipment on them. The equipment was worth 10,000 NIS. I knew that someone in the Air Force must need a closet and the equipment, but no one bothered to check, and all the equipment was thrown away.”
“Earlier this year, a friend of mine told me that he was having a problem with some vacuum pumps. He was looking for someone who had a spare pump, and I offered to help. We started looking, and got to a soldier in the IAF who told us that he had two functional pumps, but two weeks before he received an order to throw them away, as they were unused for two years and were taking space. That’s when I realized that I should try to do something.”
“I spoke to my friend, 2nd Lieutenant Yivgeni Dickerman, who understands computers, and we built the website together,” Krikon continued. “We showed it to the head of the department, who liked it and told us to continue building it. It was finally launched in March, and a link was sent to every officer and NCO in the IAF.”
“Give and Take” is built on the IAF military network “Milky Way”, and is available for any officer and NCO in the Israel Air Force. So far, 55 pieces of equipment were exchanged, including hard-to-find items that are 20 years old.
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