JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Eight C-17 Globemaster III aircraft based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, are quickly approaching the second anniversary of their assignment from the 3rd Wing to the 176th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard.
Now, the 176th Wing and numerous mission partners are undertaking a streamlined change in flightline supply operations.
In one of the newest total force integration associations of its kind, the 673d Logistics Readiness Squadron Materiel Management flight is conducting a complete C-17 aircraft supply turnover to the 176th LRS.
“The countless efforts of many have gone into making this feat an actuality,” said Alaska Air National Guard Senior Master Sgt. Joslyn Childs, 176th LRS Materiel Management superintendent. “To take on the massive amount of inventory, an increase in manning has been necessary – along with an innovative remodel of both a warehouse and a newly renovated 24/7 aircraft parts store. Embracing a total force concept, we have worked tirelessly together, towards the transfer of more than 5,000 line items which include 36,000 separate units from Boeing, worth $32 million, to be maintained between two locations.”
In addition to moving an enormous amount of aircraft parts, there is also the transfer of 22 vehicles and 52 equipment accounts without affecting the operation tempo.
As Alaska Air National Guard Senior Master Sgt. Paul Jenkins, a 176th LRS Asset Management chief inspector, finishes a 32-year commitment to his unit, he uses his experience to accomplish this final task.
“I input around 400 line items a day into the integrated logistics supply system (ILS-S) knowing every day brings us closer to our estimated completion date,” Jenkins said. “The biggest challenge now is keeping the flow of parts coming in and having two locations until the projected military construction of the new LRS complex.”
After the requests are entered by the 176th LRS, the 635th Supply Chain Operations Wing at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, must process and approve the items for shipment as part orders must be sourced and filled in order of priority safely to all U.S. Air Force or ANG C-17 aircraft world-wide.
Once an item is clear to ship, the 673d LRS Materiel Management storage and issue section pulls the order from the ILS-S; personnel retrieve the line item from the warehouse and take the parts to an inspection area for a quality assurance check.
“After we pull the order of line items, the inspection team checks to make sure each one has the right stock number, right quantities and are in the right packaging,” said Maggie Shaffer, a 673d LRS inspection materiel examiner and identifier. “At the same time, we also check to make sure the item’s shelf life is still good.
“Since the start of this transition, we have seen a huge influx of work, [so there’s] an all-hands-on-deck approach,” Shaffer continued. “On most days an average of 100 line items are ready for the 176th LRS ground transportation to pick up. We have seen days where more than 250 line items go out on a single day requiring several pick-ups and deliveries.”
In order to provide parts for all eight C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, the 176th LRS physical inventory element will now be keeping accountability of all parts, pre-positioning them so when the aircraft needs them, they are ready for issue.
“Although this is a huge task, we are working hard and doing everything we can to make the transition as seamless as possible. When everyone pitches in and does their part, things flow very smoothly,” Shaffer said.
Multiple agencies including the National Guard Bureau, Pacific Air Forces, 673d LRS, 773d LRS, 732d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 3rd Wing, Boeing, 635th SCOW, will continue to meet and discuss observations, recommendations and progress status until the final transfer is complete.
“It’s a huge undertaking, and without all of the units working together, this job wouldn’t be possible,” Jenkins said. “I am proud of the work everyone is putting in, and I have every confidence we will reach our goal.”