Guard's 111th LRS at the forefront of AF compliance among looming deployments
By Tech. Sgt. Andria Allmond, 111th Attack Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 31, 2016
HORSHAM AIR GUARD STATION, Pa. -- With the 111th Attack Wing here facing its most diverse deployment cycle in more than two years, the 111th Logistics Readiness Squadron is currently supporting its Guardsmen in Air Force compliance.
Next year, approximately 70 Wing members are arranged to fulfill world-wide activations to support the Air Force mission - an unachievable task without vigorous work by the Wing's LRS team.
"We serve as the gatekeeper to ensure that everyone has fulfilled all the deployment training responsibilities, requirements; so, once they get where they're going, they don't get held up and they know what to expect," said Senior Master Sgt. Jeffrey Olavarria, 111th LRS readiness flight superintendent. "In other words, we manage and facilitate a smooth deployment process."
The 111th LRS is one of the first units to kick start a deployer in that process.
For example, upon receiving an activation notice, Guardsmen must first ensure that they order the correct uniform and equipment items via LRS supply technicians. Administratively, logistics planners, also known as loggies, plan and coordinate the movement of assets-- to include the members. Throughout the months leading up to deployment, the LRS will continue to serve in both managerial and procurement roles until the member arrives on location. Sometimes, the 111th LRS continues to assist a member in fulfilling equipment requirements even after they are in country.
According to 111th ATKW Commander Col. Howard Eissler, the vision is to be the most effective Wing in the Air National Guard by promoting a culture of mission excellence, Air Force compliance and Airman wellness. The LRS members here are strategically placed to foster a Guardsman's ability to attain and remain Air Force compliant - especially within the total force arena.
"It's all about communication with us," said Senior Master Sgt. Joe Sommers, the 111th LRS operations compliance function superintendent. "As soon as we get the lists of who's deploying, we ensure that nobody falls through the cracks. We are in constant communication with the member to see where they're at in the process and ensure that they are staying on track with what they need to be compliant and effective."
And while concentration on compliance appears to peak during times of activation, the 111th LRS run a continuous program to keep all Wing Guardsmen meeting active-duty requirements.
"It's not only about the deployers," said Sommers. "LRS is unremittingly committed to our role in making sure that every Guardsman on this installation is ready to go in the event they get called upon to deploy."
Sommers stated that his goal is for members to be ahead of the game when they are tasked to fulfill a state or federal mission. So, LRS isn't just spinning up members to get them out the door; they are in a nonstop state of maintenance and improvement.
Olavarria said that loggies hone in on the minute details of moving people and assets. They continuously work to cut out inefficiencies and focus on the best way of accomplishing the mission.
So, within the 111th ATKW, Air Force compliance is not limited to proper equipment, computer-based training and work center requirements. According to Olavarria, it's ensuring that every Guardsmen is indistinguishable from their active-duty counterparts - a role he takes personally.
"I've had that one-on-one discussion with people," said Olavarria. "'You represent our unit, our Wing and the Air National Guard. And it's important to do that with pride.'"