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Rising Technology: DLA Aviation at Warner Robins automates to support WR-ALC workload increase

  • Published
  • By Haley Janes
  • Robins Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Aviation at Warner Robins on Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, recently acquired state of the art automated storage aids that has Shop Service Center personnel optimistic about the future of delivery response time and ease-of-access to the crucial parts necessary for aircraft maintenance.

Made to replace the former method of storage utilizing racks and ladders, a series of five Vertical Lift Modules were recently installed in the F-15 and C-5 SSC operating in building 82. Employees and managers alike had positive thoughts concerning the new machinery, conveying benefits ranging from speed and organization to safety and ease-of-use.

 “By having more material readily stored in our Shop Service Centers, we’re able to more accurately and efficiently issue parts to our maintenance customers,” says Air Force Maj. Joshua Wilkerson-Bienick, operations officer, DLA Aviation at Warner Robins. “An order that could potentially be a four-hour wait, can now be completed in as few as thirty minutes.”

A key element to the Team Robins mission, DLA Aviation focuses on improving customer response times and parts availability while consolidating several storage areas in order to support the increase in workload at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex.

When asked about the influx of work to the WR-ALC, Wilkerson-Bienick said, “The increase in workload adds valuable opportunities for not only those currently seeking jobs but also the future prospects for those currently enrolled in our local colleges.”

The influx of work that has led to an increase in hires contributes to the symbiotic relationship that Robins holds with the off-base community, and has led to the success of Brig. Gen. John Kubinec, WR-ALC commander’s plan, the “1200 in 12” program, which has hired 1,200 technicians within a span of 12 months.

Since the base realignment and closure in 2005, DLA Aviation's deployment in 2007 has proven to be critical as a dependable source of parts and delivery. The installation of these automated storage aids will build upon that legacy and help propel DLA Aviation forward. 

Already, DLA has seen a decrease in delivery times, averaging 38 minutes, and they have also decreased the amount of space that was previously necessary to store parts. DLA has so far cut the required space to store parts from 17,000 square feet to approximately 7,000 square feet. These VLMs ultimately free up valuable rack space and enable DLA to store even more parts alongside its maintenance customers. 

This increase in storage space is the driving force behind quicker delivery times because material is stored alongside the customer as opposed to being held at the Distribution Center.  

The installation of the VLMs and other actions is anticipated to increase DLA Aviation’s storage roughly 110%, while simultaneously taking up less space than was previously allotted to storage. Additionally, these automated storage aids prioritize safety of the employee, who now only needs to push a button to be able to retrieve the required piece for the order.

Cheryl Holiday, materials expeditor leader, DLA Aviation at Warner Robins, is optimistic for the future of storage and delivery at Robins AFB.

“I’m hoping for expansion of the automated systems in most of, if not all, of our Shop Service Centers so that we’re able to optimize our spaces to stow materials and get them out to the customer in a timely manner,” she said.

Future plans include applying lessons learned in Building 82 and branching out these methods across other DLA facilities at Robins AFB as well as the new 402nd Commodities Maintenance Group move to Robins North.