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AFLMA in the fight: supporting transformation, analysis, and deployments.

So how did Air Force Logistics Management Agency (AFLMA) maintain its level of performance while deploying a major portion of the staff? It turns out the staff at AFLMA practices what they preach. Part of what AFLMA brings to the fight is the ability to understand and, more importantly, apply Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century and other LEAN practices along with the ability to critically analyze data to make informed decisions. By conducting numerous efforts focused on fine-tuning the study process, Agency members streamlined the management overhead and introduced procedures to ensure each project stayed on course.

Over the course of 2008, seven AFLMA officers were deployed to the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR). Five of the deployers were logistics readiness officers (LRO), one was a contracting officer, and one was an operations research analyst. Here are their stories:

Lieutenant Colonel Kirk A. Patterson deployed for 365 days to the Air Force Central Command (AFCENT) Combined Air Operations Center. He was the Chief, Requirements Section, Air Mobility Division (AMD) and one of three officers and three enlisted personnel who schedule movement for all passengers and cargo throughout the AOR in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. His primary responsibilities were to lead and train a team of 90 AMD personnel responsible for intratheater movement of passengers and cargo throughout the USCENTCOM AOR; to prepare and publish the command's 5-day cargo and passenger preview and daily air tasking order for 50 C-130, C-17, and IL-76 aircraft; and to interface with Joint and combined components to ensure effective and efficient logistics throughout the AOR. During his time at the AMD, Lieutenant Colonel Patterson spearheaded the movement of 308 Afghan commandos in response to a prison break. His team' s effort helped to suppress a Taliban uprising. He also coordinated and planned the immediate movement of more than 500 Allied combat troops that greatly facilitated the suppression of insurgent activity after a major uprising in Iraq.

Major Chris Boone deployed for 6 months as the operations officer for the 586th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron in Kuwait. The unit provides the Air Force's only line-haul convoy mission, supporting Joint Logistics Task Force (JLTF) 28 and providing 50 percent of the JLTF's line-haul capability. The unit has two medium truck detachments (MTD) that perform convoy missions throughout Kuwait and Iraq. Each MTD is made up of approximately 160 personnel, representing 8 different Air Force specialty codes. The Airmen operate and maintain approximately $70M worth of Army equipment: 140 up-armored M915 tractors, 140 M872 trailers, and 4 heavy expanded mobility tactical truck (HEMTT) wreckers. The M915 tractors are equipped with electronic countermeasures and passive infrared defense against improvised explosive devices (IED) and explosively formed penetrators (EFP). The average convoy operation involves 40-plus vehicles, takes 9 to 18 days, and is commanded by an Air Force technical sergeant. Over the past 3 years, the unit has operated 1,105 combat convoy missions spanning 65 million miles, encountering 300 small arms, IED and EFP attacks, and has had 3 personnel killed in action and 8 personnel wounded in action. The average round-trip convoy carries 253 pallets of supplies, the equivalent of 42 C-130 missions. From April to November 2008, the task force transported 647,900 tons of equipment into and out of Iraq, of which 302,250 tons were delivered by the Air Force.


Major Shirley Crow served 6 months as aerial port flight commander for the 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron, also in Kuwait. Her team of 2 officers and 83 air transportation specialists operated one of the busiest aerial ports in the AOR, moving an average of 65,000 passengers and 8,000 tons of cargo, mail, and baggage each month in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. During her tenure, the port expedited the movement of 175 mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles to bases in Afghanistan. Identified as the Department of Defense's highest priority, MRAPs are replacing up-armored high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWV) in the AOR because of their increased capability to survive IED attacks and ambushes. The port also supported the movement of more than 2,000 State Department passengers and more than 50 light-armored sedans and sport utility vehicles for the US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. In cooperation with US Army, Navy, and Marine Corps personnel as well as contingents from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force, Republic of Korea Air Force, and Royal Australian Air Force, the aerial port provided support for Joint and coalition operations throughout the AOR.

Major Gerald Morris deployed for 365 days as the deputy A4 for the Coalition Air Force Transition Team (CAFTT), which is being redesignated as the 321st Air Expeditionary Wing. His job was primarily a headquarters staff position that supported the mission to train and build the Iraqi Air Force in two ways: first, by training and advising the Iraqi Air Force headquarters staff and secondly, supporting the CAFTT personnel who advise and train the Iraqi Air Force units at Kirkuk, Taji, Basrah, Rustimiyah, Al Kut, and New Al Muthana Air Base (Baghdad). The Iraqi Air Force A4 staff works on supply, transportation, fuels, foreign military sales, and civil engineer issues. Their core function is assisting CAFTT base support units and advising Iraqi Air Force headquarters with logistics support. They provide guidance to resolve logistics issues for the Iraqi Air Force throughout the AOR by ensuring problems at the bases are being routed up to the headquarters staff via Iraqi channels. The advisors at the bases and the CAFTT A4 work in parallel to Iraqi channels to help Iraqi Air Force organizations communicate with each other and develop their own staffing system. These parallel efforts involve a variety of issues such as dining facility support, custodial support, supplies, uniforms, water, vehicle maintenance, and generator maintenance. The CAFTT A4 staff also provides guidance to develop credible Iraqi Air Force logisticians by providing oversight for developing training pipeline and technical school courses. They steer development of Iraqi Air Force logistics capabilities and have developed a strategic plan and identified capabilities that the Iraqi Air Force needs to develop in order to operate without US Air Force assistance.

Captain Dennis Clements deployed to Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq for 365 days as a contingency contracting officer. Kirkuk is home to one of the 15 regional contracting centers under Joint Contracting Command-Iraq/Afghanistan (JCC-I/A). The JCC-I/ A operates in a truly Joint and dynamic environment with representatives from all the Services as well as State Department, foreign dignitaries, and local nationals working together. Their focus is now shifting to the reconstruction of Iraq. The transition to Iraqi self-reliance requires the establishment of effective contracting and procurement processes within the Iraqi Ministry to build and sustain self-sufficient security forces and economic stability. In support of the economic stability portion, Joint Contingency Contracting-Kirkuk awarded a $1.79M contract for the purchase of 3,711 metric tons of grain for livestock producers who are currently without an economically viable source of livestock feed. The grain sustains the viability and improves the overall health of the livestock, which will enhance market prices and boost the economy in rural and agricultural areas near Kirkuk. Another contract worth $699,250 was awarded for the Provincial Reconstruction Team to pave a road in Hawijah, Iraq, to improve transportation within the city and develop credibility with the local populace. Under the same program, JCC is in the process of awarding a $437,500 contract to upgrade the transmitter and antenna for the local television station, IMN-TV. The upgrade provides the province a neutral media outlet that can broadcast provincial specific programming dedicated to the citizens of Kirkuk. In support of the troops in the area, JCC has awarded a $14.9M requirements contract for the printing and delivery of the Stars & Stripes newspaper to Kirkuk, Tikrit, Mosul, and Erbil Iraq, providing the newspaper to troops at forward locations.

Captain John Flory deployed for 4 months as an operations research analyst supporting the Allied Forces Central Europe Combined Air Operations Center AMD. His responsibilities were twofold. His primary responsibility was reporting all data pertaining to the state and effectiveness of air mobility operations (operational assessments). An important component of this was combining multiple, disparate information sources into a single sight picture of air mobility operations. Also important was his development of new measures of effectiveness to track mobility attributes that were previously overlooked. He was not only responsible for weekly reports to senior leadership, such as the combined force air component commander, but was also the AMD data touch point for the data requirements of outside units as well as other Services. Captain Flory's other major responsibility was evaluating future AMD strategy and courses of action to mitigate long-term, potential mission impacts. This included evaluating diverse topics such as possible actions to compensate for a reduction of air assets, as well as increases in mobility requirements.

Captain Elise Strachan served 6 months as the Commander, 332d Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron, Detachment 1 at a base in western Iraq. The primary mission of Detachment 1 is to transport cargo supporting military operations throughout Al Anbar province and consists of 50 Air Force personnel to include air transportation, vehicle maintenance, aerospace ground equipment maintenance, command post and transient alert. Detachment 1 personnel work alongside Marine Corps, Navy, and Army counterparts to coordinate the seamless flow of both cargo and personnel. Detachment 1 is also a leading participant in the Theater Express Program in which commercially contracted carriers transport cargo throughout the AOR on behalf of the Department of Defense, augmenting American military or grey-tail assets such as the C-5 or C- 17 with contract aircraft such as the Russian IL-76 or AN-124. From September 2008 through March 2009, Detachment 1 saved Air Mobility Command $33M by maximizing usage of the Theater Express Program, thus quantifying the magnitude of this critical force multiplier.

Major Shirley Crow, AFLMA
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Author:Crow, Shirley
Publication:Air Force Journal of Logistics
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Jun 22, 2009
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