Logistics planning: a universal mission

  • Published
  • By Capt. Teresa Sullivan
  • Cooperative Cope Thunder PA
At Cooperative Cope Thunder 06-3, if aircraft are flying, people have a place to sleep and equipment to do their jobs, the logistics planning team has accomplished their mission.

Getting personnel and assets to the right place at the right time is a universal undertaking, so the joint-combined environment poses few challenges for the team.

“It’s all the same whether you’re foreign or from the U.S.,” said Tech. Sergeant Brad Powers, 35 Air Expeditionary Wing chief of logistics planning, and the one who manages logistics for more than 800 deployed personnel and their associated equipment here at CCT.

Logistics planners are responsible for getting all personnel here, bedding them down, equipping them with gear and then getting them all back home again. First in – last out is their motto.

“We got here two days ahead of time prepared to receive all the forces and their equipment, assign rental cars and government vehicles,” sergeant Powers said. “And we will stay here a few days afterwards to make sure everything is re-deployed.”

While at CCT, the AEW logistics team works closely with representatives from each unit, ensuring people and equipment are transported to their destination. Each AEW participating squadron has a logistics liaison who coordinates with Sergeant Powers, the lead planner.

“There is a lot of good cooperation among the U.S., Canadian, Swedish and Japanese forces,” Sergeant Powers said. “They’ve all been very responsive and work hard. With the outstanding support we have received from the logistics experts from the Red Flag Alaska support staff, logistics has run very smoothly.”

For example, the Swedish Air Force transported 100,000 pounds of equipment for four full days, making stops in Iceland, Greenland, Scotland and Canada to get here.

“This was a pretty huge step for us,” said Capt. Jorgen Haag, Swedish Air Force movement and transportation officer for the TANGO RED Gripen squadron. “This is the first time we’ve traveled to the U.S. for an exercise, so it’s a new experience for us.”

Capt. Haag is responsible for all of TANGO RED’s equipment to include packing it, loading it into containers and scheduling airlift for it and the team of personnel who assist.

And when their logistical duties are finally complete, they’ll start the process all over again, according to Sergeant Powers.

“The reception phase went as well as a large-scale reception can go and next week we’ll do this all over again in reverse, getting everyone and everything home safely and expeditiously.”