52nd LRS IPE section prepares for inventory system upgrade

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- To safely operate in a combat environment, all Airmen must ensure they have the individual protective equipment necessary for mission success.

The 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron Individual Protective Equipment section is ready to keep Airmen supplied with all the chemical gear needed for deployments and exercises.

However, to keep Airmen properly equipped, it is necessary to track the wherabouts of protective gear.

When tracking the issued equipment, the 52nd LRS's IPE section enters every piece and who received it into an archiving system called the Mobility Inventory Control Asset System.

This year, each base's IPE section will be required to migrate their local MICAS databases to a centralized web site located at the MICAS Operational Support Office in the Gunter Annex of Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

Thirty-one bases are scheduled to begin the migration process July 5-22, including bases from the U.S. Air Forces in Europe, U.S. Air Forces Central and Pacific Air Forces. Prior to accomplishing this task, these bases must accomplish a 100 percent inventory of equipment.

"We are required to do an annual inventory, but in this case we're doing a command-directed inventory because our accountability system is migrating from a computer base to a web based system," said Tech. Sgt. Kenton Ellis, 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron individual protective equipment NCO in charge.

The new web-based system will differ from the older MICAS system by automatically archiving IPE items with a specific ten-digit number associated with each Airman on base.

With an inventory list of approximately 500,000 IPE items valuing roughly $26 million, the IPE section's Airmen must take their time in the process and pay close attention to detail.

"We're all hard workers," said Airman Brooke Wilson, 52nd LRS IPE apprentice. "We handle it all well and we take our time to make sure we do it right."