647th Logistics Readiness Squadron tests standard operating procedures to support warfighting readiness

  • Published
  • By Story by Daniel Mayberry
  • NAVSUP FLC Pearl Harbor

The 647th Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) tests new standard operating procedures (SOP) to issue gear during the Tropic Tempest exercise from Nov. 3-5.

The new SOP highlights the 647th LRS’s operational capabilities and meets the public health requirements of JBPPH’s current health protection condition (HPCON) levels in place.

Under the current HPCON, military and civilian members serving on JBPHH are limited in their capacity to gather in groups. This has caused units to rethink how operations are to take place in order to meet mission requirements, and a team with the 647th LRS has the responsibility to issue individual protective equipment (IPE) to Airmen that are scheduled to deploy. Traditionally the issuance of IPE required Airmen to form a tight line inside a warehouse as they received their gear in an assembly line style manner, but this year a new SOP was developed.

Instead of bringing Airmen to the warehouse to collect their IPE, the deploying unit delivers a passenger and equipment manifest to the 647th LRS. This manifest includes the number of personnel, their individual sizes, and their required gear that is to be delivered to the supported unit. Then material handlers assemble bags, broken down into three separate categories: A-bags (combat loads), B-bags (cold weather gear), and C-bags (chemical protective equipment). As bags finish their loading, quality checks are performed to ensure accuracy and hand-receipts are created for inventory purposes. Once the process is complete, the gear is loaded onto pallets for delivery onto aircraft.

The 15th Wing’s annual Tropic Tempest exercise was the first real test of the new SOP. The exercise is used to test the Wing’s ability to rapidly deploy Airmen wherever the mission demands. During of the three-day exercise, the 647th LRS loaded 192 bags for 96 Airmen onto three pallets. Improvements to the procedures were made in real-time during the exercise. On day one, it took an average of 14minutes to complete a single bag from the moment it received for processing. By the end of the second day, that time was reduced to roughly four minutes.

Compared to the traditional method of IPE issuance, it is estimated that man-hours were reduced by nearly 50% from last year’s Tropic Tempest exercise.

“Exercise Tropic Tempest helps ensure Airmen are in a constant state of readiness and no matter the threat, are always prepared to deploy,” said Staff Sgt. Chuck Phanouvong, 647th LRS IPE supervisor. “We are maintaining war readiness and operational efficiency is increasing.”

As the exercise concluded, other areas of improvement for the SOP were identified that could reduce the amount of cargo space needed on aircraft by consolidating bags onto a single pallet.

“The HPCON is forcing us to develop new processes of delivering protective gear to our mission partners,” said David Baker, 647th LRS materials handler supervisor. “Through this process we’ve discovered ways to continue to improve efficiency in our teams.”

The 647th LRS is aligned with Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Pearl Harbor. NAVSUP FLC Pearl Harbor is one of eight FLCs under Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP's mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter.