KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) --
The 81st Logistics Readiness Squadron supported a joint exercise, Neptune Guardian, with the Navy and Coast Guard, April 6-11.
In early March, the sister services reached out to the 81st LRS to provide them with ground and air transportation support, a request the 81st LRS had no problem completing.
“We have a group of highly motivated and knowledgeable Airmen who were able to support as soon as we received the call,” said Tech. Sgt. Timothy Talkie, 81st LRS Ground Transportation Operations Center noncommissioned officer in charge.
During the exercise, the 81st LRS acted as a one-stop shop for ground and air transportation as well as munition requirements.
“If the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard had to source outside agencies, it would have cost the government and taxpayers more money,” Talkie said. “For this operation it was required to have personnel with base and flight line access, and with the specialized equipment they brought, Team Keesler was able to offer the security and proper movement for their equipment.”
Before the exercise started, the air transportation team coordinated with the 81st Operations support flight for aircraft parking plans, arrival and departure times as well as bus and box truck support for transportation to the unit’s final destination.
“Opportunities like this do not come around very often for the 81st LRS,” said Tech. Sgt. Brian Teachout, 81st LRS Small Air Terminal NCO in charge. “I think it’s very important for us to participate and provide great customer service to our sister services.”
The team was responsible for transporting 74 passengers with 1,480 pounds of personal gear as well as unloading three over-the-road trucks containing spare helicopter blades and parts, rolling stock, mobile maintenance equipment and two Internal Slingable Units totaling over 40,000 pounds of cargo,” Talkie said.
Beforehand, the 81st LRS munitions flight was responsible for making sure Keesler’s Munitions Storage Area fit the U.S. Navy’s munitions requirements for the exercise as well making sure they had enough manning.
“We had to gather workload requirements anticipated during the exercise,” said Jimmie McClish, 81st LRS Munitions Accountable Systems officer. “Since the munitions area is contractor operated, changes in daily workload and duty hours are major considerations. All of this had to be coordinated with our U.S. Navy counterparts, Vectrus and the administrating contract officer.”
With the munitions flight constantly monitoring all munition and explosives entering or leaving Keesler Air Force Base, this exercise proved to be seamless for the team.
“Once the aircraft arrived, we received the ammunition which required storage and issued it as needed during the exercise,” McClish said. “This was truly a joint effort and in the end it turned out to be a very successful exercise.”
The 81st LRS worked closely with each other and the sister services to complete the exercise, an experience which brought back many memories throughout Teachout’s Air Force career.
“Some of my fondest memories in the Air Force are when I was able to work in a joint environment,” Teachout said. “These opportunities are great for our Airmen, to use skills that aren’t a part of the normal day-to-day Keesler (AFB) mission and see the bigger picture outside of Air Education and Training Command.”