HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah –
A successful support effort from 75th Air Base Wing workers helped deploy 388th Fighter Wing pilots, maintainers and support personnel on short notice.
With a normal movement of similar size, teams would have an abundance of time to prepare. They had a very small amount of time to get Airmen ready and on their way to Spangdahlem, Germany.
“We really had to think on our toes and innovate,” said Senior Airman Mary Jones, a logistics planner with the 75th Logistics Readiness Squadron. “We adjusted to the short timeframe and didn’t really have time to plan or discuss how we’d tackle things.
Installation Deployment Office Matt Buchanan said about 300 people throughout the base came together to help make the deployment process run as smoothly as possible.
“Handling a movement of this magnitude in the amount of time we were given is unheard of,” Buchanan said. “We came together and worked in a total team effort. I was blown away at how hard everyone worked and how smoothly it went. It was an impressive feat, for sure.”
Twelve F-35A Lightning II jets belonging to the 34th Fighter Squadron were sent to Germany to bolster readiness, enhance NATO’s collective defense posture and further increase air integration capabilities with Allied and Partner nations.
Dave Ayotte, a logistics management specialist in the 75th LRS, attributed the successful deployment to being prepared in advance.
“We practice these types of movements in exercises,” Ayotte said. “You don’t know what unknown variables you might face, but we exercise and prepare for as much as we can and it paid off. We used critical thinking skills to make smart decisions and quickly adapted to challenges. Overall, it was a great success.”
Ayotte, Jones and several others from the 75th LRS worked around the clock for several days to process paperwork of all deployers and issue equipment, and ensure cargo was packed and loaded properly and quickly. Others from the 75th Force Support Squadron kept individuals fed, and workers from the Air Transportation Function made sure jets were loaded, fueled and ready to go.
Jones said it was an invaluable experience that she said she enjoyed, but she is glad it’s over.
“It was a lot of fun but I don’t want to do it again for a while,” she said.
Editor's note: The original story can be viewed on the Hill Air Force Base website.