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103rd LRS Airmen keep wheels turning on mission readiness

By Staff Sgt. Steven Tucker | 103rd Airlift Wing | Feb. 19, 2020

EAST GRANBY, Conn. – Airmen in the 103rd Logistics Readiness Squadron’s traffic management and ground transportation sections play a key role in ensuring the readiness of organizations across Bradley Air National Guard Base.

“We receive, process, package and ship all the cargo going off base,” said Airman Starr Figueroa, 103rd Logistics Readiness Squadron traffic management specialist. “We also receive all the cargo coming into the base, process it into the system and deliver it to where it needs to go.”

Proper delivery of cargo has a ripple effect on mission readiness for the 103rd and other wings.

“We ship a lot of aircraft parts, so it’s important that bases receive those parts to fix their aircraft and carry out their mission,” said Figueroa.

New Airmen like Figueroa quickly develop many hands-on skills.

“My favorite part is being able to do things that I don’t normally do on the outside,” said Figueroa. “For instance, cutting wood and constructing shipping containers as well as driving forklifts and other types of vehicles.”

Traffic management Airmen construct shipping containers to Air Force specifications to ship items not transported in an average cardboard box, such as airplane wheels, said Figueroa.

Once the cargo is prepared, ground transportation specialists ensure safe delivery of items to the proper recipient. These Airmen are also able to transport much larger pieces of equipment.

“Just recently we had to pick up a scissor lift from a different Guard unit and bring it here in support of aircraft maintenance,” said Tech. Sgt. Alexis Carrero, 103rd Logistics Readiness Squadron ground transportation specialist. “We were able to deliver that equipment ourselves because we have people qualified to drive the tractor-trailer needed for transport.”

As functional experts on many types of government vehicles, including tractor-trailers and buses, ground transportation Airmen ensure vehicle readiness and train other members who need certifications.

“For vehicle inspections, we go through the checklist to ensure that the vehicle is in safe working order,” said Carrero. “You inspect all the fluids, belts, lights, air pressure, and other essential items so you’re not putting yourself or others at risk.”

Carrero takes pride in being a part of the overall mission at the 103rd Airlift Wing.

“I think it’s rewarding because like I mentioned before, we didn’t just pick up a scissor lift,” said Carrero. “We picked it up because they needed to perform maintenance on the aircraft and didn’t have the proper equipment to do so. So our part is important in the big picture.”