The 448th Supply Chain Management Wing, which is considered to be the planning and execution arm of the Air Force Global Logistics Support Center, is vital to Tinker as well as the U.S. Air Force’s overall mission.
The Take Off had the opportunity to sit in on a “Tinker Talks” podcast that featured the 448th Wing Commander Dennis D’Angelo, where he pinpointed just how important the 448th is to that mission and gave a rundown of what the supply chain encompasses.
Can you give us an overview of what the supply chain is?
“In a nutshell, it is everything necessary to maintain our weapons systems throughout the Air Force. From there, the supply chain is broken up into two organizations: 448th SCMW and 635th Supply Chain Operations Wing at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. We often say that the [448th] is the wholesale element while the 635th is the retail element if we were to look at it from the Lowe’s or Walmart model. Here at Tinker Air Force Base, the 448th is broken up into the 848th Supply Chain Management Group and the 948th Supply Chain Management Group”
How important is the supply chain to the overall mission?
“It directly impacts the Air Force readiness effort. Without the supply chain’s ability to find the parts and provide them to the different units and organizations, the Air Force wouldn’t have the readiness it has today. The [448th] supports 50 countries for foreign military sales and has about $62 billion worth of buying power. We would fall in around 389 on the Fortune Global 500 list.”
With the 448th and its associate units having such a significant impact for the Air Force, would you also say the wing provides support to organizations outside the Air Force?
“In addition to touching the 50 countries we work with regarding foreign military sales within the United States military, we also touch the Navy and Army. We have arrangements to provide propellers for the Navy’s C-130 Hercules. The supply chain is in constant motion, working with other services to ensure success of the mission. We also work closely with the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency.”
What can you tell us about an initiative you are calling STEAM?
“We are taking science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and adding in artisan. Even though you’ll have highly technical skilled people who know how to use science, technology, engineering and math to develop weapons systems, artisans are needed to do the work. There are really great opportunities to be artisans and make a good living and give back to the nation.”
How do you see technology changing and helping the supply chain efforts?
“One area technology I see that’s really coming on board is Condition-Based Maintenance Plus. It will allow us to refine our predictive capabilities. CBM+ is unique in that it helps us determine where the failure will occur, so we can remove that part before that failure occurs. That will be big in allowing us to get ahead of the game, and also help us with obsolescence in the supply chain.”