JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas. —
The 502d Logistics Readiness Squadron slogan, “Supporting Those Who Serve,” exemplifies the squadron’s vehicle operations element.
“We have a hand in every type of ground transportation that goes on around Joint Base San Antonio,” said Master Sgt. Jimmy Boulware, 502nd LRS vehicle operations superintendent. “From transporting our troops all around JBSA to supporting distinguished visitors to delivering the ammunition to JBSA-Medina Annex and JBSA-Camp Bullis, we have a pretty robust and varied operation.”
In order to provide this wide-ranging support to 266 mission partners, the vehicle operations element’s active-duty members, Department of Defense civilians and contractors utilize more than 350 vehicles, including buses, sedans, vans, trucks, tractor-trailers, wrecker recovery vehicles and forklifts.
“We have such a diverse fleet,” Boulware said. “We have vehicles all the way up to 15-ton tractor trailers and our Airmen pride themselves on their ability to drive anything.”
The diversity of the fleet reflects the high quality training vehicle operators must go through, Boulware added.
“All of our training is on par with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators,” he said. “Anyone who comes through can earn their commercial driver’s license.”
In addition to playing a part in all daily ground transportation across JBSA, vehicle operations is a member of the JBSA Emergency Operations Center, coordinating the transportation for the evacuation of active-duty members, civilians and JBSA personnel from an area during an emergency, whether it’s a fire or aircraft recovery. Vehicle operations also coordinates the transportation of JBSA emergency personnel to a disaster scene or major operation, said William Cope, 502nd LRS ground transportation supervisor.
“We’re always moving and we’re usually the first ones to start working on a special project,” Cope said. “We’ll work around the clock whenever we’re needed to get the mission done.”
This mindset was on display in August 2017 when the 502d LRS provided support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other organizations in multiple hurricane relief operations.
“They were burning the midnight oil, for sure,” Cope said. “Picking up troops, bedding them down and getting them to chow was just some the support provided. We also provided support loading the supplies and gear to keep the operation flowing smoothly.”
The vehicle operations element supported these three large-scale hurricane relief efforts, all the while maintaining daily operations and supporting those who serve.