By Mr. Ingo Höppner , German air force
/ Published September 14, 2006
HOLLOMAN AFB, NM --
The Supply Squadron of the German air force Flying Training Center consists of a total of 50 service members and 25 U.S. and German civilian employees.
The Central Force Level Stock Status Remote Computer Information System and main storage subunit is responsible for the provision of material supplies to the GAF FTC. To that end, the subunit carries about 26,000 stock control accounts to manage some 150,000 items of supply.
The Receiving & Shipping subunit receives and ships material to and from addresses in Germany and Canada, as well as locations inside the U.S. The movement and transport management subunit operates 72 vehicles, including busses, trucks, tractors and passenger cars and logged a combined total of more than 800,000 miles last year.
The munitions section is organized into four subunits. The munitions control center is responsible for the stockpiling, assembly and timely provision of all items of ammunition required to meet training flight demands. To meet its obligations, the MCC relies on three subordinate elements. The munitions assembly subunit provides for 3,500 practice bombs, approximately 200 cluster and high-explosive bombs, as well as 7,000 rounds of aircraft gun ammunition per year. The entire logistic management of the ammunition and explosives, be it flares or cluster bombs, is the responsibility of the ammunition storage subunit. In daily routine flying, use is also made of Sidewinder and Harm missiles and it is the responsibility of the guided-missile systems subunit to provide for the latter.
The First Line Maintenance Squadron informs Job Control about an aircraft being out of commission for technical problems.
Said aircraft needs to be repaired as quickly as possible in order to be able to have it returned to operations as scheduled. The CFLSSRCIS element will then check if the required parts are available. In the event it is found that said parts are out of stock, the logistic chain of supply needs to be started up.
Given such information, the commander or Logistics Group, will order the aircraft to be reported "Not Operationally Ready, Supply" and a request to be issued for the procurement of the missing parts through supply channels. With a NORS condition declared, a request for said items is electronically channeled to Germany, where the supply transaction will be brought underway within 24 hours. Immediately after having been entered in the books, the Main Storage and the receiving and shipping subunit are informed that mission-relevant material identified as NORS is underway. Both subunits need this information in order to be able to forward said items as fast as possible to maintenance and repair. This way it is ensured that the supplies will get to the user shops right after they have been taken delivery of. The very next day the required items will be well underway by commercial carrier to the U.S. Upon customs clearance and forwarding to the GAF FTC, receiving and shipping will take delivery of the materiel and pass it on from Main Storage to the user shops. After the materiel has been issued, the CFLSSRCIS element will take care of any paperwork that still remains to be done. The priority chain of supply ends with the aircraft being reported operationally ready.
Once this is the case, Job Control can go and schedule the aircraft for weapon-loaded flight operations. The munitions section is informed through the Aircraft Maintenance and Planning System about which type of weapons will be required for a given sortie. In our example, this shall be illustrated with the help of BL 755 cluster bombs. Given this information, the munitions assembly subunit has everything it needs to request the required items of ammunition and explosives from the neighboring storage subunit. As soon as the ammunition has been handed over, the cluster bomb is subjected to an incoming inspection. Now, assembly can commence. When fully assembled, the weapon needs to pass a final inspection before it can be sent to maintenance for loading onto the scheduled aircraft. With the weapons loaded, the aircraft ammunition and ordnance officer subjects the aircraft to a last check to ensure the correct installation of the external loads. It is not until then that the aircraft will be turned over to the aircrew.
On completion of the flight mission, chances may not be ruled out that the aircraft returns for whatever reason with an unsafe bomb. In this situation, an explosive ordnance specialist checks the weapon for handling and transport safety after the aircraft has landed.
When this is found to exist, the bomb will be put in storage in the ammunition section until authorization for disposal at the local demolition range is received from Germany.