JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
If a C-17 Globemaster III departs Joint Base Charleston for a mission and happens to encounter maintenance problems during the flight, maintainers won't have to go far or wait long to make repairs. This is because they are already equipped with the necessary repair parts on board the aircraft to fix the issue.
The 628th Logistics Readiness Squadron Mobility Readiness Spares Packages section is responsible for ensuring the 437th Airlift Wing's C-17s are equipped with the necessary repair parts before they depart on a mission. The section manages MRSPs or kits, which are air transportable packages of repair parts and related maintenance supplies required to sustain a C-17 for a specified period of planned wartime or contingency operations.
The MRSP section provides logistical support to the 437th AW's 56 C-17s valued at $11.3 billion, said Master Sgt. Dechanta Wooten, 628th LRS/MRSP non-commissioned officer-in-charge.
Before a mission is tasked, the MRSP section's job has already begun.
Each month, MRSP Airmen conduct an inventory of the 18 MSRP kits valued at more than $35 million.
"Attention to detail and accountability are very important," said Airman 1st Class Antonio Harris, 628th LRS/MRSP apprentice. "We have to make sure these kits are at 100 percent or aircraft maintainers won't have the necessary parts to repair the C-17s."
To move these kits, the Airmen must also be qualified to operate forklifts.
"Kits can weigh anywhere from three to four thousand pounds," said Harris. "When a kit is needed, we move it via forklift to the 437th Aerial Port Squadron, 437th AW, to be loaded onto a C-17."
Four of the 18 assigned kits are designated to directly support the 437th Maintenance Group. One of the kits is always on the alert bird, an aircraft which is always on standby for emergency deployments. Another kit is designated as a standby or back-up kit.
The other two kits are for extreme backup cases, according to Harris.
"At any given moment, when one of the alert birds has to depart on an emergency mission, the 437th MXG will physically have one of our kits onboard to assist them (for a duration of one year)," said Wooten. "This in turn averts any mission delays. We provide that 'direct' logistic support to the flight line."
This direct logistic support increases the number of flying missions executed by the 437th AW.
"To know that we are depended on to help keep these aircrafts flying is very satisfying," added Harris. "You can't fly without supply."
At the end of the day, the MSRP section helps contribute to the 628th LRS mission of enhancing rapid, global mobility and sustainment for America's armed forces by providing supplies, equipment, vehicle, war reserve materiel, port services and fuels valued at more than $500 million to JB Charleston.