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NEWS | March 29, 2006

Bulking up: regional supply engulfs combat units

By Senior Airman Christian Michael 1st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Baseball players on steroids are bad. Regional supply squadrons on steroids are good.

As part of streamlining military functions toward better supporting warfighters across the globe, the Air Combat Command Regional Supply Squadron is becoming the Combat Air Forces Logistics Support Center, one day to serve all combat-related Air Force installations, and some not, with logistics support.

“We asked ourselves the question ‘What’s best for the fleet?’” said Col. Michael Meis, the ACCRSS commander. “We realized we didn’t need redundant systems around the world, we could standardize processes and provide a single face to both logistics customers and suppliers.”

Through that train of thought, the CAF LSC was developed.

The ACCRSS is growing to accommodate more people and an expanding global mission, now absorbing support responsibility from the United State Air Forces Europe RSS, to be followed shortly thereafter by the Pacific Air Forces RSS and the Air National Guard and Reserve.

Eventually, it will continue on to absorb CAF logistics support for the Air Education Training Command, Air Force Space Command. Essentially, ACCRSS is simply bulking up.Essentially, ACCRSS is simply bulking up.

“We’re basically an RSS on steroids,” said Colonel Meis. “We’ll be doing the same thing as before, but for more units and people.”

Colonel Meis emphasized that his unit will continue using the same six key processes as the RSS did.

They will continue working stock control, supply computer operations, equipment management, stock fund management, records management and the mission-capable items program.

Only now, they’d be doing it on a larger scale.

One of the benefits of doing everything on a larger scale, and by one group, is the continuity of practices and global vision for the needs of the Air Force.

“We have to make decisions on who gets what,” said Master Sgt. Marshaye Cooke, F-22 Weapons Systems Manager. “That’s in combination to consideration of shipping and operating costs, as well as prioritizing supply parts; this will make everything easier.”

It will smooth everything out because instead of having the separate major commands with their own RSS’s, arguing over who gets what, as has been the case, there will be only two, one for each overall function of Air Force operations -- one for Combat Air Forces, here, and one for Mobility Air Force, due at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. By having a single CAF LSC, all combat assets will be assessed equally.

“Right now, if a part is needed that’s located in USAFE, it takes a considerable amount of time to coordinate with two different time zones and get needed parts where they are required,” said Tech.

Sgt. Diane Langhorn, Bomber Stock Control noncommissioned officer in charge. “Once we become a LSC, we’ll assess and prioritize needs and get the assets to the warfighter.”

Sergeant Langhorn spends much of her time working to align functions and processes with USAFE before assuming responsibility of all USAFE assets.

The realignment is going to help in more than just materiel distribution to different MAJCOMs, said Sergeant Langhorn.

Let’s say, for example, that a combat unit deploys to the area of responsibility; right now, they’d have to coordinate through the respective regional supply squadron for support, which may or may not normally deal with combat requirements.

When the LSC is up, combat units who deploy to mobility bases will deal directly with us, the CAF LSC, and we will coordinate proper logistical support for them. That “streamlines logistical support. We’ll support all combat forces no matter where they are.”

To accomplish all of this, the RSS is expanding.

Now currently sharing a building with the 1st Logistics Readiness Squadron and in a few off-base establishments, they’re working on expanding offices through former warehouse space to accommodate more than a 100 percent increase in manning, totaling a $2.8 million in renovations.

While currently comprised of five flights, the CAF LSC structure will be made up of three divisions.

“It makes a lot of sense,” Colonel Meis said. “This is more efficient and will be easier for customers because they’ll only deal with one location. We can more effectively determine where things go according to the ability to see a larger picture.

“We’ll be able to provide overall fleet management -- that’s a real advantage.”