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NEWS | Aug. 25, 2011

628 LRS supports upcoming ORE, ORI

By Airman 1st Class Jared Trimarchi Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

November's Operational Readiness Inspection is quickly approaching and exercises are helping members from Joint Base Charleston prepare. Mobility exercises and inspections test how efficiently the base can mass deploy Airmen for a real world contingency.

The 628th Logistics Readiness Squadron plays a major role in the base's ORI success, specifically the Materiel Management Flight within the squadron.

"The Materiel Management Flight plays a huge role in the ORE and ORI that many people don't get to witness due to the fact that we mainly work behind the scenes," said Staff Sgt. Charles Brown, customer service noncommissioned officer. "Without the team work and support from our staff, the minute details of deploying approximately 700 Airmen at once would never be met."

The Materiel Management Flight is made up of three sections: customer support and equipment, individual protective equipment and mobility readiness spare packages.

"In the customer support and equipment section, we track all pieces of equipment going to the deployed location," Brown said. "We are in charge of processing everything, from weapons to generators on the flight line. Our main mission is to ensure all assets are accounted for and every piece of equipment gets to where it needs to go."

Days before an ORE, equipment custodians work with customer service to request the equipment that will be needed during the fly away, Brown said.

"It is extremely important to mark equipment that is being used for the exercise," he said. "If a [Mine Resistant Ambush Protected] vehicle doesn't have proper deploying status for the exercise or a real world deployment, it won't be loaded onto a C-17. This can cause a delay, which can lead to an unsatisfactory grade."

Every Airman participating in the ORE has to get their individual protective equipment to ensure their safety during their deployment.

Brian Jones, the mobility bag manager from the Materiel Management Flight, said, "We have an important role in the ORE to outfit 700 players with field gear. We have to make sure everyone gets the proper size equipment: flak vest, helmet and chemical warfare suit. Though the ORE is just an exercise, we treat it as a real world threat. This is life saving gear, we can't afford to make mistakes."

Besides having size labels, all pieces of equipment have a shelf life, he said. "We spend many days ensuring all equipment is within its expiration date."

The individual protective equipment shop also deploys two Airmen to set up an armory at their given location, Jones said.

The individual protective equipment helps protect the troops, but the mobility response spare package shop ensures C-17s are always operational.

Airman 1st Class Chasity Davis, a mobility readiness spare packages apprentice from the Materiel Management Flight, said, "Our mission is to build an airplane parts store in a deployed environment. During the ORE we send two Airmen with kits full of spare parts to ensure aircraft maintainers have what they need in case a C-17 is in need of repairs."

"We can only take so many parts so before the ORE we spend a lot of time communicating with maintainers to make sure we take the right equipment," she said.

The next ORE is set for the end of October and Airmen have already started their daily duties preparing, Brown said. "Without the support from the 628 LRS and the Materiel Management Flight, OREs and the ORI wouldn't move as smoothly," he added. "We have some of the best Airmen in the world working in this squadron and we are ready for an 'excellent' in November's ORI."