SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. –
Deep in the 375th Security Forces Squadron supply warehouse, past pallets of dog food, UTVs, ATVs, and boxes of holsters - a white cube sits against the wall, standing out like an iceberg in the middle of Times Square.
The cube, 20 feet tall by 50 feet wide, is able to split off into separate aisles filled with stainless steel handcuffs, fire retardant uniforms, plate carriers, weapon cleaning kits and countless other items Defenders need.
Like the cube, the SFS supply team is split into different sections directly impacting the mission of Defenders across Scott Air Force Base and on deployments around the world.
By issuing, inspecting and maintaining equipment behind the scenes for the 230 SFS Airmen, supply team members such as Staff Sgt. Brittany Harris, 375th SFS supply NCO in charge, helps fuel mission success.
"We need to make sure we send them out the door with the most up to date gear and supplies that they need so that they can function in those locations," she said.
The significance of one waterproof notebook or a pair of boots being able to be put in the hands of a Defender is not lost on Harris.
"When you look at the bigger picture, you realize how important it is. Sometimes our handcuffs will rust after being in the rain if we have been out in the rain a lot. Just switching that out, so when they do detain someone they can quickly put a cuff on with no problems, is nice knowing that you are making an impact. Making their jobs a little bit easier makes me feel better."
Besides working the equipment side of supply, the team also works deployments for the 375th SFS and inspects and maintains the vehicles they use.
For Senior Airman Tamrick Massengill, a SFS vehicle control officer, it comes down to attention to detail.
"The little things can become the big things," he said.
With the high stress put on the vehicles, everything from the air pressure of the tires to the fluid levels are vital to maintain longevity for the vehicle.
"With our vehicles running more than normal cars do, we tend to burn oil more," said Massengill. "Over time, maybe one eight hour shift isn't too bad, but most of the time these same vehicles are running from 6 a.m. to 6 a.m. the next day."
Being able to make sure Defenders on shift are able to respond to what's thrown their way embodies Massengill with something more powerful than the horsepower of the engine: a sense of purpose.
"When I do make those changes like adding mobile radios that flights have requested, I do have that sense of fulfillment."
Piece by piece, vehicle by vehicle, the supply warehouse team ensures that by taking care of the equipment, they are able to take care of the people.
Editor's note: The original story can be viewed on the Scott Air Force Base website.