RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas –
Randolph's vehicle dispatch service manages and serves just about every kind of vehicle one can think of, except boats or aircraft.
"Most people think of the base taxi and supporting [distinguished visitors], but that's just a small part of it," said Michael Cox, 902nd Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle control operations supervisor while walking through a yard with school busses, sedans, forklifts, box trucks, multi-passenger vans - all spotless and parked neatly."We do more than taxis, it's quite diverse."
The school busses have blue and white Air Force graphics on them while the trucks are dark colors. Some of the vehicles like the forklifts are olive drab. The sedans are in the usual colors one might see in any parking lot. The walled-in yard looks like a combination of an airport car rental agency, a heavy equipment dealer and a car wash, while being cleaner than any of them.
"We have the cleanest fleet in the Air Force," he said walking past a group of sedans parked under a car port.
The wheels of the sedans have none of the usual brake dust and road grime, no bugs on the windshields, no fingerprints. The trucks were clean with no grease marks, no dirt, as if they were on a car show display, but also ready to go to work. Vehicle dispatch has a five-ton, a seven-and-half-ton and a 10-ton truck in addition to the other vehicles.
Randolph vehicle dispatch is more than a military version of a commercial car and truck-rental agency and taxi service. They clean the commanders' cars, run the U Drive It service and provide wrecker service for government vehicles.
"We're behind the scenes," he said. "Anything logistical or movement, we provide."
Mr. Cox said vehicle dispatch is the Randolph point of contact for the General Services Administration vehicle misuse program. If someone sees a car being driven incorrectly, they can write down the license plate number and report it, but only for government cars.
"Everything on base we're involved in somehow," he said describing the far-reaching support his shop gives. The dispatch's duties range from shuttling pilots and instructors to Randolph's school children in the morning and afternoon to maintenance, to delivering parts for maintenance and supply.
Mr. Cox said they support more than 24,000 vehicle requests annually with 44 dedicated personnel.
"We have four drivers, three on the east side and one on the west side supporting flight operations," he said about the small trucks that shuttle people around the flight lines.
Vehicle dispatch runs three school busses in the morning and seven in the afternoon, to transport school children to and from Randolph Elementary. The busses are also used for the various tour groups visiting the base and events like the past change of command ceremony.
He said in addition to moving people around, they pick up aircraft parts and other things due in for maintenance from the tire shop and bring them to the non destructive inspection shop and back, for example.
"We're the ones to transport it from this shop to that shop," he said. "It's a service to keep the parts moving."
Mr. Cox said vehicle dispatch also works to meet the needs of individual Randolph Airmen if possible. However, the dispatch, asks for as much lead time as possible for scheduling.
Vehicle dispatch has a high standard as far as the cleanliness of their vehicles and their service. "We want them to remember if they had a good vehicle while at Randolph." Mr. Cox said. "We're proud of what we do and we want people to know it."
The base taxi is a free service for authorized personnel for official appointments, call 652-TAXI to schedule taxi service.
For information or scheduling of vehicles or support, including U Drive It, e-mail Randolph.firstname.lastname@example.org
. Vehicle Dispatch's hours of operation are Mon. - Fri. 0530 - 2200 and Sunday 0700 - 1600. They are not open Saturday.