IMAs step up for critical workload

  • Published
  • By Jenny Gordon
  • Robins Public Affairs
There are many roles to fill in the Air Force Reserve - from the traditional reservist to the Air Reserve technician.

One role in particular is that of the Individual Mobilization Augmentee. Their efforts provide an invaluable resource that supports virtually every mission in the Air Force. The IMA workforce is as diverse as the jobs they perform.

At Robins, there are currently 171 IMAs assigned to carry out various duties in critical areas such as aircraft maintenance, acquisition, engineering, contracting, personnel and installation management.

IMAs are seasoned veterans who maintain their training and competencies to be prepared to support critical operations when the call comes. As its name implies, these men and women provide important experience and knowledge to the units they are assigned, and can be ready to work whenever and wherever their assistance is needed.

Master Sgt. Anthony McCranie is a former IMA with the Defense Logistics Agency, and is currently an air transportation craftsman with the 78th Logistics Readiness Squadron. A former member of the Army National Guard, the Rhine, Ga., native explained it's the flexibility of being an IMA he enjoys most.

"That's probably the number one draw for everyone," he said. "Instead of having one set weekend per month traditionally, we work with an active duty supervisor to schedule our training and annual tour.

"It's not a well-known program," he continued. "It's a very small part of the Reserve community. You see IMAs every day, but you don't know who they are. Many people may have heard of them, but don't really know what they do or where they fall within the Air Force."

McCranie has held a full-time civilian job here for many years and is a program manager with War Reserve Materiel, working in an area that supports deployment activities. As an IMA, he's a Reservist assigned to an active duty squadron.

A supply management craftsman with the 560th Aircraft Maintenance Squad-ron, Master Sgt. Geraldine Lovell will retire in September after 26 years of service. She was active duty Air Force for 12 years, and has served at Robins for the past eight after transferring from another unit as a traditional Reservist. IMAs work with civilian and military supervisors, and enjoy a flexible schedule under the approving nod of those they work for.

"My primary focus at Robins is to provide support equipment to the maintenance wing mechanics and technicians, and ensure they accomplish their mission to return aircraft to the warfighter on time and under budget," said Lovell.

James Depew is a civilian logistics manager in F-15s in the 409th Supply Chain Management Squadron. He recently deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, where he was responsible for reviewing, validating, verifying and coordinating financial and equipment-related transactions between U.S. forces, all coalition forces in country, and Afghan Defense forces.

"As an IMA, I came to Robins in 2003, and am currently with the GRU SOF office as the superintendent (chief master sergeant)," said Depew. "I've accomplished tasks from performing verifications and inspections for major modification programs to engaging in personnel management actions."

IMAs will continue to serve across the force. They will also continue to play important roles in the Team Robins of the future.