JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
Dominant logistic capabilities that traverse the air and ground are key to the agility and lethality of a superior force. That’s what the transportation teams at the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center bring to bear by manning, training and equipping transportation personnel across the Air Force.
In recognition of National Defense Transportation Day on May 19, here’s a look at what AFIMSC’s logistics pros bring to the fight.
Commonly referred to as Port Dawgs, Air Transportation specialists give the Department of Defense the ability to move cargo and passengers by air anywhere around the world. The team responsible for training and equipping them is the Air Transportation staff from the AFIMSC Installation Support Directorate.
The Air Transportation staff oversees compliance, policy, training, standardization and innovation, as well as major command and functional area management duties, for the about 1,000 air transportation specialists across eight Air Force major commands, U.S. Space Force, and two direct reporting units.
“Our units include the air transportation functions responsible for deploying an Air Force wing, as well as the unilateral aircrew training sections responsible for training aircrews and airdropping supplies,” said Senior Master Sgt. Chelsea Owens, Air Transportation superintendent.
Driven to produce combat-ready Airmen, the air transportation staff recently standardized six vehicle quality training packages and 13 task training guides to ensure effective, standardized training across the Department of the Air Force. Functional managers developed seven new equipment packages for deploying transporters and moved the HAZMAT inspector refresher course to a web-based platform.
“Our recent successes include supporting an innovation effort called Project Kinetic Cargo. It is one of the six Air Force Spark Tank finalist entries, and it will save the Defense Department $2.7 million and 6,400 man-hours annually,” Owens said. “I've been at AFIMSC only nine months and I see the impact, and the difference we make every day across the Air Force and the air transportation field. It has become one of the most rewarding experiences of my career.”
Assigned to the AFIMSC Expeditionary Support and Innovation Directorate, the ground transportation staff serve commanders as primary strategic advisors for policy, training, standardization, compliance and innovation across the Air Force logistics functional community.
The team enhances mission effectiveness at 83 installations by providing guidance that standardizes work processes, tools and equipment, compliance, and training. Its members champion logistics mission requirements for the estimated 5,200 ground transportation personnel assigned throughout the nine Air Force major commands and U.S. Space Force.
The staff develops the education and training program that includes qualification training for enlisted members, ground transportation Air Force instruction and manual, and six policy directives. Team members conduct evaluations that assess program compliance at the installations, and create trend analyses and compliance-based products that enhance unit effectiveness.
“Providing expert guidance to our units across the globe is an incredible experience,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jaycee Roman, ground transportation’s chief enlisted manager. “Seeing and visualizing unique issues and concerns, and providing a solid path forward is exactly why we are here.”
The Expeditionary Support and Innovation Directorate team also manages and supports the major command functional managers and functional area managers across the Air Force’s ground transportation enterprise. They direct the manning, readiness and force development for the enlisted ground transportation career field.
“We ensure that commanders receive trained and mission-ready ground transportation warfighters by managing manpower authorizations, assignment reviews, career field and mission readiness training, and expeditionary readiness training,” said Senior Master Sgt. Anthony Dudley, Ground Transportation MAJCOM functional manager. "The Air Force seeks to enhance readiness and mold a lean, lethal and agile force capable of supporting global operations. Our managers are key to advocating the right workforce mix to sustain garrison operations and support theater requirements.”