The 28th LRS: Equipping the fight
By Senior Airman Michael Jones, The 28th LRS: Equipping the fight
/ Published January 31, 2020
ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- The mission of the 28th Bomb Wing is to provide combat power for the nation anytime, anywhere, and the 28th Logistics Readiness Squadron helps make that happen.
Members of the 28th LRS operate through a variety of sections charged with supplying and equipping Airmen of the 28th Bomb Wing and its tenant units to complete their mission.
“We’re very involved with nearly every action on this installation,” said Maj. Saira McGan, the 28th LRS operations officer. “We’re the supply folks, the deployment folks; we drive the vehicles; fix the vehicles; and provide fuel to any plane that comes on this base.”
A main function of the 28th LRS is ensuring Airmen have the equipment they need and fixing that equipment, both in the U.S. and deployed locations.
Some of the main components of the 28th LRS are the distribution and deployment flight; vehicle management; and petroleum, oils, and lubricants, also known as POL.
“The role of [my team] is to provide logistical support for the 28th Bomb Wing – everything from storage and issue to direct flight line support, and issuing out gear to everyone going downrange,” explained Staff Sgt. Austin Spurling, the 28th LRS noncommissioned officer in charge of individual protection equipment. “Doing our job, we know that we impact the mission far more than you even thought was possible. When you see a [B-1B Lancer] takeoff you say, ‘Wow, I had a hand in that,’ and it hits you right in the heart.”
On the other hand, vehicle management provides a means of transportation, whether that be transporting supplies to various units or bussing personnel from one location to another.
“The function of vehicle management is to ensure all base organizations have safe and serviceable vehicles ready for them to use in the execution of their mission,” said Master Sgt. James Erwin, the 28th LRS Vehicle Management superintendent. “You get a great sense of job satisfaction when you fix a car and you see it go out the door and it doesn’t come back for additional repairs.”
Erwin added, his flight feels like a family, and commended its diversity.
“We’re all here for each other, regardless of rank and wherever we all come from,” Erwin said. “The things that make us different are the things that bring us together and make us a family, so I’m proud to serve with members of my family.”
Within the 28th LRS, close-knit relationships are commonplace, just like the relationship between transportation and fuel.
“POL’s role is to fuel Ellsworth B-1s and ensure that every government owned vehicle on base has [fuel] to complete their mission,” said Senior Airman Shontaeadrian Bills, a 28th LRS fuels knowledge operations journeyman. “When [my team and I] see B-1s flying, security forces cars driving around base, and generators running, we feel proud knowing that we had a hand in that.”
The 28th LRS has a vast and far-reaching impact on Ellsworth Air Force Base, whether it’s supporting the installation with the equipment and transportation they need, or providing the fuel that keeps the base moving.
“We are a critical piece in making those planes fly and getting the mission done,” McGan said. “We all take pride knowing that without us, this mission can’t happen.”