Colorado reservists make impact abroad

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Frank Casciotta
  • 302nd Airlift Wing

Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 302nd Logistics Readiness Squadron spent two weeks bolstering wartime readiness for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the U.S. Africa Command at the War Reserve Materiel Central Regional Storage Facility in Luxembourg.

The 11 reservists who went on the trip assembled and readied 50 Unit Type Codes. These UTCs are like Lego sets, but instead of having blocks to build a toy castle, they contain a wide variety of equipment and material used to construct forward operating bases in deployed locations. They are also worth nearly $2 billion.

“One day you have nothing. Thirty days later, you have an operational base,” said Senior Master Sgt. Carl Fink, the 302nd Logistics Readiness Squadron’s materiel management superintendent who coordinated the trip. “These UTCs have the stuff needed to build anything from a flight line to a kitchen. It just depends on what the combatant commanders overseas need.”

The War Reserve Materiel Central Regional Storage Facility is managed by the 86th Materiel Maintenance Squadron, which is stationed out of Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The massive compound holds more than 85 percent of the Air Force War Reserve materiel in Europe.

 “Working with this group of reservists has been one of the best experiences in my 20 years of service,” Master Sgt. Noel Arquisola, 86th MMS. “Their positive attitude, willingness to learn and work ethic were truly unquestionable.”

Integrating with different teams from the 86th MMS, the reservists assisted with a 300 percent asset build-up while simultaneously completing their own training requirements and certifications.

“You’re talking about putting a logistics team together in a very short timeframe to complete multiple tasks with little-to-no prior experience in the WRM realm,” said Arquisola. “Nevertheless, the team showed cohesiveness, focus and they were extremely productive. As true professionals, every individual from the 302nd LRS Materiel Management team performed impressively.”

Fink says he sought out the 86th MMS because of their unique mission and the training opportunity it provided to his Airmen.

“This is such an important mission for our career field that very few of our Airmen, including active duty, ever touch,” said Fink. “I wanted them to learn the WRM sustainment mission to see the impact it has on Air Force contingency operations and bare basing activities. Training is always the bottom line though and this was a great trip for that.”