Aircraft parts store: No one flies without supplies
By Airman 1st Class Alexandria Lee, 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 17, 2018
RAF MILDENHALL, England -- The 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron is one of the largest squadrons at RAF Mildenhall, and is the beating heart that keeps the Bloody Hundredth’s mission going.
RAF Mildenhall is one of the few bases with an aircraft parts store open 24 hours; leaving no room for a pause in the mission with a constant pulse for overseas and stateside bases requirements as well.
“Our daily mission is to provide logistics support to anyone on the flightline," said Tech. Sgt. Carlise Miles, 100th LRS NCO –in -charge of the aircraft parts store. “When an aircraft has broken components and a maintenance shop needs parts for repairs, whether overseas or stateside, we make sure we get them as soon as possible.”
The store’s main focus is to maintain assets that support the CV-22 Osprey, C-130 Hercules and the KC-135 Stratotanker. They store a variety of items and equipment, from toilet paper that is stocked in the aircraft to the propellers that lift the CV-22 Osprey. The APS also provides materials and parts for some transient aircraft that arrive at RAF Mildenhall.
“We have to know the parts, whether for aerospace ground equipment or aircraft maintainers, we have to know what we are issuing to make sure the part is up-to-date,” said Senior Airman Barnell Thomas, 100th LRS APS Journeyman.
The Airmen keep their inventory up to date by a computer database and a radio-frequency identification system. Requested items are first found in the computer database, which tells the Airmen the item location in the warehouse. The system also helps them stay up-to date with training and any needs the parts may require, from shelf life to handling instructions.
"I didn't know exactly how large of a role we would play as part of the mission, starting out after tech school," said Airman 1st Class Gabrielle Halliburton, 100th LRS APS Journeyman. “We stock everything. The parts store's main purpose is providing flightline support to the aircraft maintenance crew’s, 24-hours a day, seven-days-a-week.”
The aircraft parts store also provides aircraft with mobility readiness spare part kits. The kits are air-transportable packages of spare parts configured for rapid deployment in support of conflict or war. Each package is tailored to support a specific scenario, for a specific type and number of aircraft for the first 30 days of a deployment.
“We are the backbone to every mission flying out of RAF Mildenhall. An aircraft doesn’t leave without the help of APS,” Thomas said.
“We help continue the projection of airpower through unrivaled air refueling across Europe and Africa with every successful mission,” Miles said.