JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
Two data-based inventory tools fielded by the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center are helping the Department of the Air Force deliver faster and more efficient logistics support across the Department of Defense.
The Workload Data Tool tracks workload data including cargo and passengers moved, training classes taught, and aircraft handled. The Unilateral Aircrew Training Inventory Tool tracks airdrop supply inventories and allows crosstalk between units.
The tools were developed by the AFIMSC Deployment and Distribution Division’s Air Transportation Team.
“Without these tools, air transportation Airmen wouldn’t have the manpower and resources needed to provide support to the DOD,” said Senior Master Sgt. Chelsea Owens, AFIMSC’s Air Transportation superintendent.
Workload Data Tool
The WDT is a standardized solution to collect air transportation traffic information each month on one SharePoint site. Prior to WDT, units tracked and entered the information manually into several locally produced spreadsheets and sent those to the AFIMSC air transportation staff for processing.
“They’d send us these reports, which we then would send up to the AFIMSC Expeditionary Support and Innovation Directorate, and then they would send them up to the Air Force Manpower Analysis Agency. That's how all of our units would get their manpower and resources at the end of each year,” Owens said. “Now, the individual units input their own workload data and it goes directly to AFMAA.
“It saves us 420 hours per year by not having to sort through every unit’s input and provides more accurate data, so air transportation Airmen get what they need faster to support the enterprise.”
The WDT also provides leadership with quick access to vital information, said Tech. Sgt. Dylan Rymer, section chief for the 325th Logistics Readiness Squadron Air Transportation Function at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.
“This tool tracks things like manning, TDYs and deployments,” Rymer said, “so when leadership needs information, it is easier to pull up the WDT rather than taking additional time to pull up different spreadsheets that don’t communicate with each other.”
Unilateral Aircrew Training Inventory Tool
The UAT inventory tool tracks the different supplies units need to build platforms to drop equipment out of planes, like parachutes and paracords, in support of air drop operations for the entire DOD.
Before AFIMSC introduced the tool, units were expected to track their own airdrop equipment without oversight from command or other entities, said Master Sgt. Drew Holsenback, aerial delivery manager for Air Mobility Command, Weapons and Tactics Division Branch at Fort Gregg-Adams, Virginia.
“There was no way of figuring out how many of any one item was available or needed in the Air Force, so contracts to purchase items only included Army numbers,” Holsenback said. “With the UAT inventory tool, AFIMSC and I can see what units have on hand and need, in real time, which facilitates collaboration with the Army on contract needs for the future.”
This crosstalk is also helping with the current shortage of air drop supplies across the DOD, Owens added.
“The UAT inventory tool allows units and AFIMSC to see if there are any surpluses of supplies in other units,” he said. “When we identify a surplus at one unit, we can facilitate getting the supplies moved to the unit in need so they can get back to the mission.”
With digital tools like WDT and UAT, AFIMSC continues to provide high-quality data analytics products to help Airmen and Guardians maintain Air Force and DOD lethality and readiness, said Linda Szabo, Deployment and Distribution Division chief.
“Our air transportation team is ensuring the Air Force has the right manpower and the right equipment in the right place to conduct the mission,” she said. “The data points the tools produce are already in use by AFIMSC, subject matter experts across the total force, logistic readiness squadron commanders and AFMAA.
“These tools have reduced the manual burden and workload on air transporters in the field and have saved hundreds of manhours throughout the enterprise.”