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Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex contributes to major exercise

  • Published
  • By Mark Hybers
  • 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Air Mobility Command’s Mobility Guardian 2023 is wrapping up with more than 3,000 Airmen across the service participating, including three distinct missions from within the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex.

A multinational endeavor, it is being executed in the Indo-Pacific region this year, a clear shift from the exercise’s previous U.S.-based iterations with the purpose of understanding the challenges the tyranny of distance and contested logistics can present when it comes to delivering Rapid Global Mobility for the Joint Force and our Allies and partners.

The 76th Commodities Maintenance Group, 76th Expeditionary Depot Maintenance Flight team and the 564th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron played key roles in the exercise.

With Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles .Q. Brown Jr.’s directive to “accelerate change” in mind, the 564th AMXS was tasked with surging two KC-135 Stratotankers.

“We were pushing both aircraft out of gate 5 Post Dock when the tasking came down,” said Paul Brown, 564th AMXS Civilian Leader. “The post dock team quickly shifted gears and worked both tails with a heightened sense of urgency.”

Brown said the Block 45 aircraft has a shorter post dock time, but that didn’t stop the team from leaning in to surge the aircraft far ahead of the typical flow days.

“When the aircraft comes in, we assess what needs to be done and decide on the number of flow days it will take to get it back to home station,” said Brown. “We were very pleased we produced the second aircraft ahead of schedule. Both aircraft were well ahead of schedule – a great job by the team.”

The OC-ALC uses a gated constraints-based process known as Art of the Possible as they move aircraft through each phase of depot maintenance.

The 76th Commodities Maintenance Group (CMXG) received prior warning ahead of AMC’s mobilization efforts for MG23. The first action taken by the team was to evaluate supportability to meet the needs of readiness spares packages quantities and need dates for the deploying units.

The tasking for CMXG called for assets consisting of valves, turbines, converters and regulators, to support four mobility aircraft fleets. According to 76th CMXG Deputy Director, Michael Hostetter, the 448th Supply Chain Management Wing tasked them to produce the assets. 

He said the process implemented after receiving the tasking, was to review stock on hand, piece parts supportability, trained manpower and test equipment to support the required quantities.

“We applied Art of the Possible execution elements to develop process machines to ensure we could reach the quantities needed for the timing of the exercise,’ said Hostetter. 

He also lauded the effort by the team in the 550th Commodities Maintenance Squadron for completing the surge on the nine items and CMXG for meeting the surge requirement.

In addition, a crew from the 76th Expeditionary Depot Maintenance Flight went downrange and was tasked to repair a KC-135 Horizontal Stabilizer that sustained battle damage.

“We are exercising our aircraft battle damage capabilities on the Horizontal Stabilizer fixing multiple repairs,” said James Goerss, from the 76th AMXG/EDMX. “We are using approved, non-standard techniques in order to get the aircraft in flyable condition as fast as possible.”

Goerrs also said a lot of work went into getting his team ready and capable of getting into place with the necessary equipment.

“Our Unit Deployment Managers really stepped up to the task when it came to making sure everything was in order,” he said.  “There was a lot of coordination with acquiring a horizontal stabilizer from Tinker’s depot and shipping it to the location. Our team had to remain adaptable as the plans changed.”

Col. Brian Moore, OC-ALC Commander, was highly impressed by the entire team’s contributions to AMC’s largest Mobility Guardian exercise ever.

“Having stepped into the commander role during the middle of this exercise, it was great to see how the team executed in all three areas,” Moore said. “AMC Commander, General Mike Minihan noted the importance of the Mobility Air Forces and it’s great to see how well our team fits in to supporting this critical mission set.”

MG23 was executed in the Indo-Pacific region this year, a shift from the exercise’s previous U.S-based iterations. A multinational endeavor, MG23 featured seven participating countries – Australia, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States – operating approximately 70 mobility aircraft across multiple locations spanning a 3,000 mile exercise area through July 21. MG23 employed 3,000 personnel in direct support of the exercise, and expects to support more than 15,000 U.S. forces, and Allied and partner participants associated with other exercises this year, seven times that of MG21 and nearly three times that of MG19.