LRS D-Flight gets all the shipping right

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class James L. Miller
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of four articles on the 28th Logistics Readiness Squadron here at Ellsworth.

Any Airman that has gone through a permanent change of station, received mail on base, ordered a spare part or even deployed can thank the 28th Logistics Readiness Squadron Distribution Flight for making it happen.

The LRS D-Flight is comprised of Household Goods, Traffic Management Office, Vehicle Operations, Air Terminal Ops Center, and Plans and Integration. Their mission is ensuring rapid movement of parts and supplies to wing units and expediting outbound cargo and personnel anywhere in the world, at any time.

Going through a PCS can be stressful for even the most seasoned Airman, but the 28th LRS Household Goods shop provides services to ensure a smooth process – from conducting briefings to all base personnel before they PCS to providing entitlement information and answering any questions a service member may have. The traffic management office, or TMO, is responsible for all inbound and outbound shipments to and from Ellsworth.

“They are responsible for the entire process, from assembling or creating their own packages to the packing and labeling of shipments,” said Master Sgt. Brian Howell, the distribution section chief assigned to the 28th LRS.

Perfection is a goal for most shops, but it is the only option for TMO Airmen.

“We have to account for everything we receive,” said Airman 1st Class Justine Wilson, a traffic management journeyman with the 28th LRS. “If a shipment says there are 1,000 screws, we have to account for each one and make sure we have all 1,000.”

TMO would not be able to deliver their shipments on time without the Vehicle Operations shop, which is responsible for transportation of all shipments to units on base. They are also responsible for keeping vehicles ready to be dispatched in support of base units at any time.

“There are some jobs that work around the clock, and even if there is three feet of snow they need a way to get to work,” said Howell. “We keep those vehicles ready for when that time comes to keep the mission going.”

Another LRS shop that helps Airmen continue the mission wherever they go is the Small Air Terminal and Passenger Movement Shop. Their role is to provide expeditionary forces and equipment with timely and professional travel to and from the base.

“The weight of each person and pallet of cargo is carefully inspected and logged into our systems,” said Howell. “That way we can load the plane in the most safest and efficient way, all in a timely manner.”

Not all deployments and temporary duty assignments leave from Ellsworth on military air, and so often require commercial travel arrangements. This is where SATO, or the Scheduled Airline Traffic Office, plays a role. SATO ensures service members have a flight and lodging booked before they depart for their deployment or TDY.

The final piece of the Distribution Flight puzzle is the Plans and Integration shop.

“They are the brains behind most of our operations,” Howell said. “They take all of the information, such as personnel, packages, times, dates, and equipment, and make sure everything gets to where it needs to go, while making sure it gets there on time.”