B-1 bomber gets the best from 28th LRS

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
The B-1 bomber took its first flight in 1984, and although it was originally an aircraft meant to last for 10 years, the long-range bomber still flies strong to this day with the help of many squadrons and their expertise.

One unit that assists in keeping the multi-purpose aircraft soaring through the sky is the 28th Logistics Readiness Squadron material management flight whose key duties are storing, shipping and issuing out B-1 assets to the maintainers of Ellsworth, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and the fleets deployed around the globe.

"Our job is important," said Senior Airman Jessica Stainbrook, 28th LRS aircraft parts store journeyman. "I like to refer back to the saying, 'can't fly without supply.' If we couldn't store the parts for the B-1 bomber to get up in the air it wouldn't be able to accomplish its mission. So that's why we make sure we have all the assets here, serviceable and ready to issue out at a moment's notice."

The material management flight stores more than 31,000 parts which equals to about $3 million, and warehouse inspections are conducted to make sure that everything is in the best shape for the bombers to use.

The unit depends on everyone to work together to get the mission accomplished.

"Without a doubt it takes a team to accomplish a mission," said Airman 1st Class Jacob Milatz, 28th LRS aircraft parts store technician. "When it comes down to it, everyone has different levels of experience. You cannot expect one person to know everything and leave them to take the fall for something that could have easily been avoided with a team."

The teams are broken into three main sections: a storage and issue team who stocks and distributes mission supplies to vehicle maintenance, civil engineering and communications; the inventory team who ensures their stocks are maintained and assets accounted for at every warehouse across the base; and the individual protective equipment team who manages all of the mobility supplies for the base.

Everything is inspected routinely, including the mobility readiness spare packages, which are ready to deploy or send out at a moment's notice and contain items such as hydraulic pumps, pre-cooler blowers and electrical units.

"They have to be 100 percent prepared at all times," Stainbrook said. "The tempo downrange is a little different than home-station. Especially being in Al Udeid, Qatar, because the heat causes us to go through more parts."

Other factors, such as sandstorms and mission requirements, play roles in determining the workflow for the flight.

"The B-1 is a beast in the air that always accomplishes the mission with pizazz," Stainbrook said. "We're always there to make sure it gets fixed as soon as possible if it breaks down, and get it back to flying into the fight."

Stainbrook commented it can be a lot to handle sometimes, but she doesn't let it get the best of her, especially as someone who has been deployed.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my deployment!" Stainbrook said. "I like to stay busy, and I fully believe that what makes your job are the people you work with. I had a good crew of people that went with me to help support the aircraft maintainers there."

Stainbrook said thanks to Ellsworth's leadership, she always remembers the importance of her role.

"We take pride in our job here," Stainbrook said. "We know the B-1 is accomplishing the mission because of us."