ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England --
Fighter wings stay in constant motion. Sorties are launched, aircraft are maintained, and to keep this process moving, parts and equipment have to be available at a moment’s notice.
Like the circulatory system in a living animal, the 48th Logistics Readiness Squadron’s ground transportation element provides those parts, equipment and even Airmen the means to move to the places they are needed, when they are needed.
“We support any type of transportation, from aircrew transport, a [loaned vehicle] for TDY support or even moving equipment with a tractor trailer,” said the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the vehicle operations element. “We are the jack-of-all-trades when it involves the movement of Air Force assets. If you need seven issues for a cargo deployment function or 37 passengers with baggage moved, we are the section that can get it done as soon as possible.”
Ground transportation is divided in to two different sections: Operators Records and Licensing, where government owned vehicle licenses are issued, and the Vehicle Operations Control Center.
“The vehicle operations control center is the most important and demanding section within our career field, it is the heartbeat of vehicle operations,” said the NCO.
The VOCC is in turn in charge of vehicle dispatch, which is responsible for customer requests for transportation, and documented cargo operations.
“[Documented cargo operations] supports the wing by keeping the maintainers out on the flightline,” he said. “It’s our job to pick up and deliver parts for every aircraft on this installation. In the whole scope of the mission, we are here to make sure the maintainers have what they need to repair the jets, without any interruptions, to generate sorties.”
Since the start of 2017, documented cargo operations has moved over 439,000 parts with a value of $416 million. Since it started moving aircraft parts in need of repair in March, the section has saved the Liberty Wing $160 million in exchange costs alone.
“In the end, whatever mission the 48th Fighter Wing throws at us, we have no intention of slowing down,” said the NCO.