Distribution flight makes materiel move

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jason Wiese
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
The coming and going of deliveries, crisscrossing of forklifts and trucks, and pages upon pages of documentation can boggle the mind, but for the 90th Logistics Readiness Squadron Distribution Flight, that is all in a day's work.

"It's pretty crazy how intense it is and how you don't really see it," said Airman 1st Class Jarret Redhair, 90th LRS Packing and Crating. "A lot of people don't see the movement of supplies and how it actually affects you."

Airmen working at the warehouse in Building 1284 handle about a quarter of a million dollars worth of materiel movement daily, he said. When big-ticket, usually Minuteman III ICBM-related items, are moved, the dollar amount can be into the millions.

Multiple sections in the flight work together to orchestrate the movement of materiel, including inbound, outbound, and packing and crating.

"I receive cargo into the warehouse through different carriers," said Senior Airman Susan Kicker, 90th LRS Inbound clerk, "anything that's destined to come to F.E. Warren. We check the documentation for it and make sure everything is not damaged, broken or past its expiration date. We check to make sure the quantity is right, and once we check that everything is good, we process it in our computer system."

The system generates documents telling the warehouse where the cargo should be distributed to other base organizations, she said. From there, 90th LRS Vehicle Operations transports the cargo to where it needs to go on base.

"If we didn't do our job right, people wouldn't get the items they need to do their job," Kicker said.

When items come in that are not needed in a specific unit, they will go onto the shelves, or to stock, Kicker said.

When the 90th LRS has stocked items that another base needs, they can ship the items to them, improving their missions and furthering nuclear deterrence.

"For example, if Minot [Air Force Base, N.D.] needed something that we have, then they'll request it from us, and outbound will ship it out to them," Kicker said.

Outbound technicians, like Senior Airman Carl Lane Jr., take these requests and arrange the shipping.

Most of his time is spent arranging shipping for outbound cargo, Lane said. This entails contacting carriers with the capability of delivering the type of cargo and selecting the most cost-effective carrier.

The packing and crating technicians ensure outbound items are properly packaged for transport. The 90th LRS Warehouse has a full woodshop technicians use to create and repair containers necessary for delivery.

They have the capability to properly label, package and select the appropriate carrier type for shipping hazardous materiel, Redhair said. To do so, they attend hazardous materiel school in Virginia.

Doing their job properly requires extensive knowledge of governing Air Force Instructions, Lane said.

Redhair told a story of a passenger airplane carrying corrosive materiel that was not properly secured and began to eat away at the fuselage, which could have had disastrous results.

"That could have killed everyone on board," he said. "That's how important [our work] is."

If mistakes are made by the distribution flight Airmen, it can adversely affect the mission by delaying the delivery of needed materiel to work centers and incurring additional costs to the 90th Missile Wing, Lane said. This is why warehouse personnel check their work very thoroughly.

The results speak for themselves -- the 90th LRS has had no write-ups for discrepencies in years.

The distribution flight's work can be felt in every work center. Anything that comes on base, from office equipment to deployment readiness items, the 90th LRS has a hand in its reception, Kicker said.

"If it wasn't for logistics, no one would get anywhere, because the parts wouldn't arrive," Redhair said. "Trucks wouldn't move and planes wouldn't fly."

Any time Airmen have the necessary equipment to complete their missions, they should know they have logistics Airmen to thank.