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NEWS | Aug. 24, 2016

502nd Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operations keeps JBSA moving

Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

Whether it’s transporting military trainees or distinguished visitors to where they need to go, or delivering parts to aircraft maintenance, 502nd Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operations is the unit ready to move Joint Base San Antonio personnel and equipment at a moment’s notice.

The 502nd LRS vehicle operations consists of 198 active-duty members, Department of Defense civilians and contractors who help serve 266 mission partners throughout JBSA. The department has 350 vehicles in its inventory, including buses, sedans, vans, trucks, tractor-trailers, wrecker recovery vehicles and forklifts.

Vehicle operations includes anything related to ground support and ground transportation at JBSA, said Todd Deane, 502nd LRS vehicle operations manager.

Deane said vehicle operations personnel help shuttle members of the JBSA community, including Basic Military Trainees and technical students at JBSA-Lackland, medical students at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and pilots at JBSA-Randolph and JBSA-Lackland, to their classes and training, and transports distinguished visitors – commanders and local dignitaries – attending special events at JBSA locations.

“The smaller part of our mission, but the one with the highest visibility, is the distinguished visitor support,” Deane said. “Whether it’s a congressman, senator or visiting general officer, all the ground support is coordinated centrally at JBSA-Randolph and executed at one of the three JBSA sites.”

Over the last 12 months, vehicle operations staff has moved more than 1.7 million passengers and eight million short tons of cargo, said Michael Cox, 502nd LRS vehicle operations supervisor.

With all the recent changes in command at JBSA, Deane said vehicle operations personnel have been quite busy.

“We are doing the immersion visits for all the group commanders and wing commanders and transporting them to all the functions and farewell tours,” Deane said.

Besides providing transportation services, vehicle operations license and certify active-duty members to operate specialized government motor vehicles, including tractor-trailers, buses, vehicle recovery vehicles and forklifts. Cox said each year more than 4,800 active-duty members and civilian mission partners receive certification training to operate a government motor vehicle.

Other functions of vehicle operations include car wash services for those units assigned government vehicles and the recovery of disabled vehicles that are transported to maintenance facilities at JBSA.
“We recover disabled vehicles anywhere within the local area – buses, trucks, vans and sedans – whatever is broken down,” Deane said. “We go out and do the recovery services on the side of the road and get the vehicles back.”

JBSA vehicle operations have flexible work hours to support their customers, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Deane said.
“Many times we have to assist customers with last minute support,” he said.

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, weather or aircraft recovery. In addition, vehicle operations coordinates the transportation of JBSA emergency personnel to an accident or disaster scene.

Despite an annual deployment rate of 30 to 60 percent of its military personnel, vehicle operations is able to provide full support to JBSA wing and multi-service mission partners, Deane said. Several of the unit’s personnel have served in combat zones, some of whom have been awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.