Materiel Management: Supplying combat airpower
By Airman 1st Class Rhonda Smith, 48th Fighter Wing
/ Published October 22, 2020
ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- The 48th Logistics Readiness Squadron Materiel Management Flight, also known as M-flight, maintains more than $200 million worth of assets, ensuring Liberty Wing units are supplied and prepared to deliver worldwide responsive combat airpower and support.
“It is essential to our mission readiness that we keep as many serviceable items as possible to readily support our aircraft and Airmen,” said Master Sgt. Bruno Mosqueira, 48th LRS M-flight storage and issue section chief.
The four sections of materiel management; customer service support, warehouse management, individual protective equipment department, and maintenance support, are vital to the Wing’s air superiority mission.
The warehouse management section oversees three facilities, collectively housing 1.3 million assets ranging from aircraft parts to training and deployment gear, ensuring 48th Fighter Wing Airmen have the necessary equipment to execute the mission.
“If one of the aircraft needed a specific part but we don’t have it readily on hand, then we would have to go through the ordering process, which could delay that aircraft from flying for an indefinite amount of time,” said Mosqueira. “So managing assets efficiently is critical to completing the mission in a timely manner.”
The individual protective equipment section maintains and provides essential training gear to every Airmen for use in readiness exercises that improve resiliency and preparedness, and enhance defense capabilities.
“Every Airman on base must have their IPE gear to be mission ready,” said Airman Ian Hunt, 48th LRS M-Flight IPE journeyman. “Each person receives a minimum in 13 items of training gear, totaling over 50,000 items that our section must keep track of while also maintaining the items we have in stock.”
The maintenance support section practices flexibility by embedding supply Airmen within various maintenance squadrons. This reduces the amount of time maintainers have to wait for parts, saving valuable time and money.
“This allows our maintainers to have parts they need instantaneously, not only at home station but also while at a temporary duty location” said Tech. Sgt. Rustie Aguilar, 48th LRS M-flight dedicated engine supply support NCO in-charge. “We had recently supported a TDY to an undisclosed location where there were 34 requested engines to replace but we only had 6 engine changes scheduled. If we didn’t have parts and tools readily available then we would not have completed our downrange mission.”
Materiel management maintains and supplies critical assets and equipment that ensure the Liberty Wing remains always ready to own the skies.