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Supply chain team keeps Reapers flying

  • Published
  • By Daryl Mayer, AFLCMC Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio (AFLCMC) - The Air Force can't fight and win, if it can't fly.

Aircraft need constant maintenance.  It isn't a fault with engineering and design, it's physics.  Things just break.  So if you plan to conduct global operations, you need to have a global supply infrastructure to support it.

Tech. Sgt. Alejandro Piedrahita and Staff Sgt. Khayam Tahir, two AFLCMC NCOs stationed at Robins AFB, Georgia, operate the MQ-9 supply chain that keeps Reapers fit to fly, fight and win.

"We are the middlemen between the customer, like all the bases that have the MQ-9, and General Atomics [the original equipment manufacturer]," Piedrahita said.  "If has a problem with a certain part, they'll coordinate with our office and then we'll coordinate with General Atomics."

Whether the solution is to rush a new part or engineer a new solution, the team at Robins will ensure the needs of the field units are met.

A supply chain manager by trade, Tahir coordinates with several organizations to ensure the right parts get shipped.

"We make sure we have the part number and the stock number and everything uploaded into our system.  We make sure that is uploaded before we order anything or transfer anything and they will coordinate with ACC to see if they're authorized to have that part," Tahir said.

Working for AFLCMC was a new experience for both NCOs.  Piedrahita had prior experience maintaining electronic warfare systems on F-16s.  Tahir had worked in logistics units at a number of bases.  They've both enjoyed the opportunity to do something out of the ordinary.

"I'm just trying to get as much info as I can.  I'm just blessed to be here as well, because what we do is really important to the mission," Tahir said.

Piedrahita, who was recently selected for promotion to Master Sergeant, took the opportunity to complete his Master's Degree from Western Kentucky University.

To hear the full conversation, you can watch Leadership Log on YouTube at  You can also listen by searching "Leadership Log" on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Overcast, Radio Public or Breaker.