NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain — The supply department of 725th Air Mobility Squadron may be a small unit, but it is a crucial and effective one.
The last standing Forward Supply Location in the Air Force, out of the seven that have merged within their main logistics readiness squadrons, the 725 AMS supply department and its service members are, in comparison, special.
“They’re kind of a ‘jack of all trades,’” said Senior Master Sgt. Angelo Erazo, 725 AMS FSL superintendent. “Everybody here will get a hand in what we do and that’s what makes us special. You’re not going to come in just doing one specialized activity.”
Though the 725 AMS provides en route support and maintenance for mainly U.S. Air Force C-5M Galaxy and C-17III Globemaster transport aircraft, FSL is stocked and prepared to support various transient aircraft that come through the installation.
When the FSL does not have a part in their inventory, they strive to meet customer demands by promptly locating and ordering the parts and inspecting them as soon as they arrive to ensure they are serviceable and ready to use.
They also carry additional and extra parts in their Mobility Readiness Spares Package kits for aircraft as back-up or to travel with in case of various emergency situations.
“They’re pretty much here for quick readiness response filled with ready-to-go serviceable parts,” said Staff Sgt. Raffinee Johnson, 725 AMS NCO in charge of inventory. “We keep them stationed here for if they need them packed up and shipped down range; just pick them up and put them on the plane and go. These kits are to prevent us letting the jet be on ground longer than it’s supposed to be.”
The department is operated 24 hours a day with the Airmen covering three different eight-hour shifts. Each member is trained in every task so they can take over for each other when they rotate around the day, swing, or night shifts or for when emergency situations may arise.
“We rotate it to make it fair; that way everyone hits every shift,” Johnson said. “Our NCOs make sure everyone is still accommodated, that way if they do need family care or their kids are in school, they make it fair for everybody.”
The 725 AMS FSL supply department employs only experienced Airmen who need little training and supervision once they arrive to the department.
“We don’t have any E-3s or below because once you come here you need to know your job,” Johnson said. “You’ll get a touchup, quick training for 30 days during your in-processing and then you should be good to go.”
The small team of approximately 15 people spread across a 24-hour schedule works readily to take on their tasks and achieves their mission because of their confidence in their leadership, teammates, and communication.
The 725 AMS FSL supply department looks toward the future and their effectiveness is proven through the constant flow of aircraft traveling in and out of Naval Station Rota.