Every Airman a part of the fight – a look at a few logistics Airmen

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- By Chief Master Sgt. Jack Johnson Jr.
3rd Air Force Command Chief

Over my 24 years of service in the world's greatest Air Force, I've realized that every Airman plays an integral part in accomplishing our mission, but that not every Airman knows this undeniable truth.

The truth is it is amazing what you do for our nation day in and day out - you are the most critical "weapon system" we have.

Our Air Force Chief of Staff, General Norton Schwartz, has said it best: "the value of your contribution to the fight is not measured by your proximity to the target."

No matter where you find yourself -- or what your duties are -- as one of more than 36,000 members assigned to 3rd Air Force throughout Europe, you are critical to making the daily mission possible.

Over the next several months, Lt. Gen. Phil Breedlove, commander of 3rd Air Force, and I will highlight a number of skilled communities that are invaluable to taking the fight to the adversary, but may not always be recognized.

To start, let's take a look at some of our logistics Airmen, specifically logistics planners, transportation professionals and supply management experts and see how just one part of the Air Force team is indispensable.

Let's consider their contributions from a slightly different angle.

What wouldn't get done without them?

Without logistics plans journeymen like Senior Airman Francis Anderson with the 435th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Ramstein, Unit Deployment Managers wouldn't get the required training to ensure their Airmen are ready to go to support contingency operations and AEF requirements. Logistics plans journeymen are the "middle men" in getting Airmen to, through and out the door of the Installation Deployment Readiness Cell and on an aircraft to the fight.

Without vehicle maintenance technicians like Senior Airman Robbie Poselli, also with the 435th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Ramstein, security forces patrol cars, light duty trucks, aircrew buses, staff cars and Humvees wouldn't be maintained and wouldn't be ready to support the mission when called upon. These vehicle maintenance professionals keep the wheels rolling and the engines running.

And who's behind the wheel? Vehicle operators like Airman 1st Class Ricardo Foxworth with the 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron at Spangdahlem, without whom we wouldn't be able to get people, cargo and countless other resources where they need to be, when they need to be there. From buses to tractor trailers to all-terrain forklifts, these warriors get it moving in the right direction to support the mission.

Without air transport journeymen like Senior Airman Anthony Cotta, also with the 435th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Ramstein, C-130 pilots and loadmasters wouldn't get the airdrop training they need to be ready to, for instance, airdrop supplies to U.S. Army units in Afghanistan when deployed downrange. These air transport professionals are vital in the preparation of airdrop loads for training purposes.

Finally, without mobility readiness spares kit warriors like Senior Airman Ibrahim Whittington with the 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron at RAF Mildenhall, maintenance personnel would not get the critical spare parts required for short notice special operation deployment contingencies. Supply management journeymen are the key link in ensuring issues, turn-in's and transfers of critical readiness spare assets are processed correctly through the supply systems and readily available for the warfighter.

Just think, three logistics career fields - logistics planners, transportation and supply management - alone make massive contributions to the 3rd Air Force mission.

Without each Airman in these specialties applying themselves each day to the job at hand, whether at home station or deployed, we would not be able to fight successfully today or tomorrow.

I'm proud of what you do - and you should be too.

Remember, the value of your contribution to the fight is not measured by your proximity to the target. No matter where we serve, we are all critical parts of a command at war.