OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. --
OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Cape Cod, Mass. - In the Air Force there comes a time for most people when you have to pack your bags, say good bye to loved ones and deploy overseas. When that time comes you’ll have a full appreciation for the Airmen who plan your trip and make sure you get over there and back safely.
At the 102nd Intelligence Wing the people assigned to manage the deployment process are the men and women of the Plans and Integration section of the Logistics Readiness Flight, otherwise known as logistics planers or by their office symbol LGRDX.
“Our office deals with all of the foot traffic for deployments including personnel, equipment and supplies,” said 2nd Lieutenant Christian Dinoia, 102nd Intelligence Wing Installation Deployment Officer. “We’re the coordinators, the facilitators that make sure everything is tied together, from flights leaving the country to integrating Airmen into their new units overseas. We also do a lot of work supporting domestic operations like the recent movement of personnel to Puerto Rico for the Hurricane Harvey relief effort.”
Speaking about the deployment process Senior Master Sgt. Jeffery Boeder said, “Most people see the end result, but they don’t see who did it or how it was done.”
While stationed at their home units LGRDX personnel work in two phases, steady state (getting ready for deployment) and execution (sending people and equipment out the door).
In preparation for deployments one of the key responsibilities for logistics planners is to train and empower the Unit Deployment Managers. The UDMs are individuals within each unit who are assigned to make sure that everyone else in the unit is deployable. “They’re the conduit to their unit, unit commander and unit members,” said Boeder. “They’re critical to the success of a deployment since there are so many individual facets to manage. They make sure that all of the deploying members do everything they need to do and have everything they need prior to leaving.”
While in steady state operations logistics planners manage tools that assess their units’ state of readiness. The Air Expeditionary Force Reporting Tool Report, better known as the ART report, takes a monthly snapshot showing real time deployment readiness based on available manpower and equipment.
Logistics planners also maintain the Base Support Plan that outlines the full capabilities of the installation. “The Base Support Plan is something that organizations like FEMA would look at during times of national crisis,” explains Boeder. “They would open it up to see what our capabilities are to support a domestic operation, and it addresses all of our capabilities from manpower to housing.”
Part of the planning LGRDX does involves reviewing and maintaining all of the agreements that are in place with outside agencies on an installation. Here at the 102nd Intelligence Wing we are responsible for one of the largest support agreement programs in the Air National Guard. “Because we provide utilities for Joint Base Cape Cod we have agreements with all of the organizations that are here. We also have agreements with all of the agencies that send equipment to our PMEL (Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory) shop,” said Mellissa Jackson, 102nd Intelligence Wing Support Agreement Manager. “The support we provide includes 63 agreements and totals over $5M of reimbursable funds on an annual basis.”
Not only do logistics planners make sure everyone else is ready to deploy, they ship out as well. Their job shifts from primarily steady state operations here at home to focusing on the execution of movement and the integration of personnel and equipment they’re responsible for. They collect Airmen at their deployed locations, prepare them for onward movement, coordinate that movement, and make sure they are received by their gaining unit in the theatre of operation.
102nd Intelligence Wing logistics planner Technical Sgt. Christopher Pereira recently returned from a six month deployment to Qatar and Afghanistan as part of the 955th Air Expeditionary Squadron. He supported over 640 Airmen who were jointly tasked with other branches of the military in the region. “We were in charge of their theatre wide movements,” said Pereira. “Getting them from Qatar into Afghanistan and then their movement within Afghanistan. Not everyone was in Bagram; they were in other remote areas and bases throughout country.”
Speaking about his work while deployed Pereira said, “A lot of that planning that you put in when you’re stateside you get to execute while you’re in a deployed environment. You’re not only part of the big picture planning, but you’re part of the detailed execution as it takes place.” Pereira went on to explain his role working at Bagram Air Base, “Because of the mission we were supporting in Afghanistan I was able to travel via helicopter to visit our squadrons’ airmen for moral visits and to provide face to face transportation and movement guidance, briefing them on expectations and answering any questions they had. So that was really cool to be able to travel, support the mission and help the members in that way.”
The Plans and Integration office is a critical component of 102nd Intelligence Wing. The expertise they provide keeps us ready to fulfil our mission at home and abroad. They keep leadership informed of our readiness and make sure we are where we need to be, “ready for the Warfight.”