Logistics Readiness Squadron goes west for training

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kristen Pittman
  • 403rd Wing Public Affairs

Around 60 Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 403rd Logistics Readiness Squadron here ventured out west to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada for their annual tour training May 29-June 12.

From issuing gear to fueling aircraft to providing transportation and everything in between, the logistics readiness career-field is responsible for a wide array of services conducive to readiness for just about any mission imaginable.

At Nellis, the 403rd LRS assisted the 99th LRS with their normal day-to-day operations as well as with an exercise which provided valuable training and experience for all involved.

“This was a great opportunity to get a lot of our Airmen signed off on required training objectives,” said Tech. Sgt. Joshua Cummings, vehicle operations member. “There were some facets of logistics at Nellis that aren’t available at Keesler, so that alone was very helpful.”

One of those training opportunities not available at Keesler was Nellis’s hydrant fueling system. Senior Airman Braden Walker, a fuels technician, said he spent a week-and-a-half in this particular section learning the ins and outs of monitoring the tanks and pumps that provide fuel for the base and dispensing fuels into tankers when necessary.

“It was great getting experience with tasks we don’t have available at home, and it was great to be able to put what I was already proficient in to use on a faster-paced flight line with a lot of different aircraft,” said Walker. “By the end of the two weeks I felt a lot more knowledgeable and was even able to teach some of our officers a few things about the hydrant system.”

For others in the squadron, the two weeks was a fresh glimpse at what the unit is capable of contributing to the Air Force as a whole.

After 8 years enlisted in weather operations, 2nd Lt. Amanda MacDonald, logistics readiness officer in charge of ground transportation, traffic management, and logistics plans, joined the 403rd LRS in 2020. Because of the pandemic, though, prior to the trip to Nellis she had only spent a total of 6 days with the squadron as the rest were spent doing distance learning.

“Honestly, it was a little overwhelming being new to the job and trying to learn my responsibilities and get to know people with such little time, so this trip was super beneficial for me,” said MacDonald. “I got to shadow one of the 99th’s second lieutenants and while he had only been in the position 6 to 8 months himself, he taught me so much.”

On the opposite end of the experience spectrum, Staff Sgt. Jeremy Nash, 403rd LRS vehicle management specialist, who has been with the squadron for 10 years, said this was the first time he’s been on a squadron-wide annual tour, and it was great because it allowed not only quality training opportunities, but also a great bonding experience for the unit.

“We never get the opportunity to spend this much time together as a whole squadron,” said Nash. “I really got to talk to and get know newer members as well as people I’ve ‘known’ for five to six years.”

The invaluable experience and ability to meet many required training objectives made the annual tour a success, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the hospitality of the active duty hosts, the 99th LRS. Cummings said they were one of the best host squadrons he’s visited, touting their preparedness for the reservists from arrival to departure, allowing maximum opportunity for job-related work and training.

“We have a saying in our area: ‘Without supply, you can’t fly,’” said Staff Sgt. Pierre Bass, 403rd LRS materiel management specialist. “To go out there with the whole squadron was good for the camaraderie aspect, bringing the unit together, and it allowed us to see how each moving part of the LRS gets the job done. We’re better for it which benefits the entire wing because without logistics, you’re not going to get very far.”