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NEWS | Nov. 7, 2014

438th SCOS ensures aircraft readiness globally

By Airman 1st Class Areca T. Wilson 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Hard work, dedication and focus are few of the characteristics which goes into ensuring U.S. Air Force aircraft are mission ready as it takes a village to guarantee even the smallest part is provided and accounted for. Many are unaware of the U.S. Service members working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the world's greatest Air Force is always prepared.

At Langley Air Force Base, the 438th Supply Chain Operations Squadron conducts 24/7 operations while supporting 62 global sites and over 2,000 combat fighter aircraft with a total active integrated force of 175 personnel.

"We are tasked with providing global logistic support to the warfighters both at home stations and in deployed locations," said Raymond Goodwin, 438th SCOS deputy director. "We are the single point for retail supply chain management. For every requirement we are responsible for locating, procuring and tracking assets--we are a cradle to grave organization. We are also responsible for ensuring the key component parts are in place in a deployed [environment.]"

Although the 438th SCOS does work in the field of supply, their mission differs from that of logistics readiness squadrons.

"The main difference between [both squadron types] is that at LRS they touch property, they work in the warehouse and on the flight line," Goodwin explained. "[The 438th SCOS] is a regionalized center and the Airmen work with a keyboard and a telephone.

"An advantage is LRSs are able to see the fruits of their labor because whatever part they give to, for example, maintenance personnel they can see when the jets are flying," he continued. "For us, supporting 62 global sites worldwide, we don't see that tail number or the part installed in the aircraft, all we see are requirements."

To complete their daily tasks, Airmen of the 438th SCOS work hand-in-hand with several organizations to include the Defense Logistics Agency, Air Logistics Centers and original equipment managers.

"Our total focus is strictly getting aircraft off the runway, it is trying to make as many fighter jets fully mission capable," said Goodwin. "We identify the requirements and see who can fulfill our needs the fastest so we can get that part to the customer."

In addition to coordinating with the aforementioned resources, assets are also sometimes required to move from base to base in mission critical situations.

"I use a multitude of systems to track those parts so I'm always updating them," said Goodwin. "At the 438th SCOS, we are information brokers; we provide information from satisfying the customer's requirement and telling them where that part is to bringing it to them."

Goodwin is confident his squadron plays an important role in ensuring aircraft are always prepared for the fight.

"We support jets and their support equipment to make sure the key components are on hand in the event something breaks," he said. "Without us, aircraft will be unable to fly and therefore can't defend our country, making us vulnerable."