BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La., May 22, 2019 —
Editor’s note: This article is the first of a three-part series centered around the theme of “doing the best with what you’ve got” and how it relates to innovation, lethality and mission success.
The 2nd Logistics Readiness Squadron weapons vault houses more than 1,000 weapons and 14,000 weapon accessories that are set aside for Airmen during specific tastings such as deployments.
Roughly nine months ago, the team tasked with oversight of the vault spearheaded a transformation to the long-term storage facility that has saved more than 100 man-hours in the past year.
“We’ve cut down on inventory time and the way we track weapons is easier now,” said Staff Sgt. Jonathon Hunley, 2nd LRS weapons armory supervisor. “When the quality assurance office would come down for their annual and semi-annual inspections it was around a two to three-day process. Now, that entire inspection can be completed in two hours.”
Before, the vault didn’t have a specific organization when it came to the weapons. Even though they were secured and tracked, the storage process wasn’t as effective or efficient as it could have been.
“We used to have to print out all the serial numbers and search through paperwork and racks of weapons to find what we were looking for,” Hunley said.
The fix however, did not come in the form of a newly built facility or new computer system for tracking, but a rearrangement of what was already there.
“The weapons are now all arranged by detail number, so they are all in a specific order,” said Tech. Sgt. Erica Hood, 2nd LRS individual protective equipment assistant NCO in charge. “All we have to do currently is pull our report and we know which weapon is attached to which detail number and the exact area that it is in. The weapons are more manageable now.”
The improvements were made for more than just internal operations. Since the weapons main purpose are to be used for deployments, the reorganization also enhances interactions with customers, Hunley said.
“We have a map that basically mirrors exactly what’s in the vault,” Hunley said. “With the new arrangement, we are now able to serve Airmen faster, more efficiently and with less setbacks.”
In total, the readjustment of the vault took two months to complete; however, the impacts are expected to continue improving present and future operations, according to the 2nd LRS team.
“Sometimes solutions are found through buying new systems, facilities and tools,” Hunley said. “Other times they can be found by assessing what is available and figuring out a way to make it work.”