CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
Bruised limbs, cracked knuckles and aching backs; covered in sweat, dirt and oil - all just part of the job for select members of the 27th Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron.
“It is like I always say, if your hands are not dirty at the end of the day, you have not been working,” stated Airman 1st Class Joshua Davis, 27th SOLRS fire truck mechanic.
The 27th SOLRS is comprised of four flights that provide a full spectrum of logistic needs for the 27th Special Operations Wing. This is accomplished through the efficient supply of material and fuels, expert management and maintenance of vehicles, performance of traffic management, and planning and oversight of the entire mobilization process to ensure accurate and rapid response in the wing’s commitment toward support of global operations.
While responsibilities for the squadron are vast, the vehicle management flight focuses on training all vehicle control officers, while shouldering the responsibility of keeping the wing’s enormous vehicle fleet serviceable.
Four core career fields exist within vehicle management: vehicle management and analysis, vehicle and vehicular equipment maintenance, fire truck and refueling maintenance and material handling equipment maintenance; with an additional 27th SOLRS career field cross flow of material management.
“These diverse fields mesh together to provide effective fleet management and efficient vehicle maintenance repair for the 27th SOW,” said Master Sgt. Ryan Adams, 27th SOLRS vehicle management and analysis section supervisor. “We have roughly 600 vehicles here that equate to an estimated $42 million fleet; the tempo of our wing’s operations keep our maintainers engaged in nearly every facet of Cannon’s mission.”
“From routine oil changes to complete overhaul and engine replacements, we take a certain pride and ownership of everything we touch,” he continued. “We focus on completing our part of the mission and doing it exceedingly well; part of the goal for us is ensuring every vehicle that rolls out of here can perform its duties, and effectively augment mission effectiveness – this is accomplished by our internal unit cohesion.”
Adams noted that this cohesion was tested during a severe snow storm the local area and base experience last month.
“That storm presented multiple challenges for our unit as much as the wing,” Adams said. “Our ability to keep somewhat aged assets mission-ready, with parts that are often difficult to find and replace, in order to clear the flightline, base roads and keep Air Commandos mobile forced us to think strategically and push our limits. Ultimately, I would say our team came out on top.”
“Our reach is a lot further than people would think,” he continued. “We play a major role in the generation of every sortie launched and recovered from Cannon. Think about it this way: We repair refueling vehicles, towing equipment, cargo loaders, munitions vehicles and fire engines…. If those are not repaired, aircraft are not getting the fuel they need, being taxied around the flightline, having pallets loaded, being armed, or on a runway that is safeguarded by emergency first responders. That is the big picture of vehicle maintenance; that is what we do.”
Editor’s note: This article is the third in a series highlighting group and unit contributions to the 27th Special Operations Wing and Air Force Special Operations Command missions.