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News | Jan. 17, 2018

Warner distribution center completes years-long F15 stabilizer lot cleanup

By DLA Distribution Public Affairs

When the DLA Distribution Warner Robins, Georgia F15 Stabilizer Project Team received the task of revamping storage on the Air Force’s F15 Horizontal Stabilizers, they knew they faced a long road ahead.  

Previously stored in outdoor lots where they could be negatively impacted by the weather, the assets needed to be relocated indoors.  

However, multiple constraints made the project more challenging than anticipated.  For starters, the base had a limited number of F-15 stabilizer straps to physically move the assets; limited personnel who could work the project at one time; significant waiting time for the build of new wooden stands; no written procedures for disassembly and re-assembly of the stabilizer to the stand; and multiple safety issues. 

However, after two and a half years, the assigned seven-person team successfully moved 268 assets with a total value of more than $54 million from the outside storage lot to an indoor location.

According to team member and storage specialist William Crews, the team began by coordinating with the distribution center’s Packaging division, as well as with sister site DLA Distribution Albany, Georgia, to produce the needed volume of partial containers.  The task was an important one to tackle early on as each container required approximately 26 hours of build time.

In order to actually transport the stabilizers indoors on their new crates, the team required stabilizer movement assembly straps.  Unfortunately, host Robins Air Force Base was only in possession of two straps, which were owned and regularly needed by the Air Logistics Command.  To avoid interrupting ALC’s maintenance and production operations, the team had to wait six months for the remanufacture of a stabilizer movement assembly strap.

Once the team had the strap in its possession, it moved forward with moving the stabilizers onto the new crates and coordinated with Air Force maintenance areas to borrow the necessary equipment to move the stabilizers, including a specialized sling box mechanism and a forklift adapter.

Ultimately, over 30,000 sq. ft. of outdoor storage space was cleared and the warehouse was re-planographed to better accommodate bulk storage assets, increasing storage capacity by more than 85 percent.  

“I am very proud of this team.  They diligently followed through with the completion of this very challenging project, which will potentially save our customers a lot of money, while continuing to assist with our daily mission,” said DLA Distribution Warner Robins director Kent Wheeler.