ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga --
In early March, Robins Air Force Base began to send high risk personnel home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. By the end of the month the base had emptied to critical personnel.
One critical team from Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Warner Robins is the Delivery Response Team that ensures timely delivery of crucial Air Force maintenance supplies. The aircraft parts, referred to as “red-hot” parts, always get to the customer within a four hour timeframe.
“A small group of DLA Distribution employees are tasked with maintaining a high level of service to the Air Force’s programmed depot maintenance line,” said Gary Gatton, DDWG general supply specialist supervisor.
DDWG pulled members from its divisions to create this vital team.
“The team consists of five warehouse supervisors, three customer service representatives, three delivery drivers and numerous receiving warehousing and special assets distribution personnel that are responsible for red-hot deliveries seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.,” Gatton said.
The function of this team is to get crucial supplies to the maintenance workers performing maintenance on vital aircraft.
“There is a single person called the quarterback who monitors every red-hot material issue and contacts essential personal to guarantee on time deliveries,” Gatton said.
The quarterback is notified of red-hot parts via email.
“Upon receiving that email, I call the supervisor of the building to make sure the red-hot order is being picked and processed in a timely manner,” said Teyona Whitby, DLA Distribution Warner Robins distribution process worker and quarterback. “Once it has been processed, I receive a call letting me know it is ready. I then call an emergency supply operation center driver to pick up the material and deliver it to DLA Aviation Warner Robins.”
With over 3 million square feet in 22 warehouses spread across Robins Air Force Base, this small, agile team has an average delivery time of two hours.
“When maintenance mechanics need emergency parts to complete repairs, the amount of time it takes to deliver each one is critical,” Gatton said.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic grinding some operations to a halt in March, the DDWG Delivery Response Team kept those crucial supplies moving to Robins PDM teams.
“The small DDWG team combined with the DLA Aviation Warner Robins expeditors were able to deliver 100 urgent functional test red-hots in March at a 95% on time metric with an average delivery time of two hours on a six hour metric,” Gatton said.
In April the Team Robins mission kept going as the DDWG delivery response team kept delivering.
“119 urgent functional test red-hot aircraft parts were issued to customers and 419 high priority red-hot aircraft parts were issued to the PDM lines,” said Gatton.
The crucial aircraft parts are needed for aircraft to do the final test flight before being returned to the Air Force customer.
“I’ve been amazed by the progress that’s been made on the processing of these emergency parts,” Gatton said. “The whole process had to be built from scratch and tested for timeliness, and everyone has taken ownership of their portion of the process and reached the goal.”