144th LRS logistics plans: First in, last out
By Senior Airman Klynne Pearl Serrano , 144th Fighter Wing
/ Published January 31, 2016
FRESNO AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Calif. -- The 144th Logistics Readiness Squadron logistics plans office plays a vast role in the success of the 144th Fighter Wing's mission. The logistics plans office implements plans moving personnel, aircraft, cargo and other military assets downrange and for training missions.
"We're like conductors of an orchestra," said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Arturo Cano, 144th LRS logistics plans superintendent. "We have [many] supporting entities that help us support the mission, and as conductors, we make sure everything that needs to be done is getting done--making sure people are getting where they need to be."
The logistics plans office helps ensure the 144th FW's pilots, maintainers, their equipment and cargo make it to certain training locations in order to maintain their proficiency and readiness. "We're the first ones there and the last to leave," said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Micaelah Aleman, 144th LRS logistics plans NCO in charge. "Well before the training is scheduled to take place, we have already conducted a site visit to ensure our plan is appropriate for the specific location. And after the training exercise is done, we ensure all personnel, aircraft, cargo and other military assets are transported back home."
As logistics plans specialists, Cano and Aleman ensure that nobody and nothing gets left behind, deploying coming back home.
Cano and Aleman coordinate very closely with other units in the 144th Fighter Wing and other military installations as well, to ensure their plans go through. Though the plans don't always go as planned, Cano and Aleman still make sure the mission is getting done.
"We have to be able to think on our toes in case something goes wrong," Cano said. "Often times we are at the mercy of other entities: the aircrew, jets, etc... We have to be able to be flexible and be able to come up with a solution on the spot."
Aleman had to deal with an issue like this when the 144th FW trained at the Weapon System Evaluation Program, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. "Everything was good to go," Aleman said. "We had all the airlift secure, all the cargo was prepped and the passengers were ready to go. Then one of the airlifts became hard broke, which meant it could not fly and was grounded until further notice." Aleman had to get in contact with the National Guard Bureau, in hopes to get a replacement aircraft to take her passengers and cargo back home.
"We had to reshuffle everything," Aleman said. "A couple of the 144th's fighter jets had broke shortly after this, so they weren't able to leave either." While Aleman was trying to figure out a solution to her problem, Tyndall AFB was deploying real-world. This caused for limiting factors on Tyndall's capability to help the 144th get home.
Though there was a 24-hour mission slip to the right, Aleman was able to get all passengers and cargo home. Some passengers and cargo were on the C-17, a few pieces of cargo were ground pounded home, and a few other passengers flew home commercially. Aleman had to coordinate all of these transports.
"There's just a sense of not just relief, but success when stepping on the last aircraft taking off and knowing everyone else and everything else is already on their way home," Aleman said. "It's an indescribable feeling when the mission is complete and knowing thing to do with it... first in, last out."