Guided tour gives community leaders look at how labor, management work in military environment

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Vann Miller
  • 78 ABW/PA
An inside look at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center on Wednesday presented an opportunity for community leaders to discover how labor and management relations bring about a greater contribution to the war effort.

Community leaders from the 21st Century Partnership and the Warner Robins Chamber of Commerce obtained a unique perspective on how Team Robins makes working at Georgia's premier industrial complex so successful.

The ALC tour was designed to show community leaders depot maintenance areas and how it is an environment where innovative programs and initiatives are "Fostering Leadership In People." These programs aim to help units address common labor/management issues.

"We have a great team built on great relationships, with everyone working towards the same goal, and that is world-class support for the warfighter," said Capt. Nicholas Moore of the 402nd Maintenance Wing and labor management team connector.

At one of the stops, a 560th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron representative shared his viewpoint on one labor and management initiative and its result with a program that he and his team believe in.

"The dedicated crew program was a tool we (maintainers) asked for," said George Hoffman, flight chief. "As a result of working with our leadership, we've organized into dedicated teams working on aircraft. And now we're seeing improvements in our process and a greater team effort.

Hoffman commented that one thing his coworkers know is team work, and that they succeed or fail as a team.

Another important message reiterated during the tour was the emphasis placed on communication and partnership. The community leaders saw examples of how the base handled some of the very same issues commercial industries may encounter.

"It's important we show our community the world-class support Team Robins provides to our warfighters on a daily basis," said Moore. "Everyone knows Robins provides great job opportunities and it's a huge base. But we need to continuously showcase why it's a great place to work."

At the start of the tour, community leaders observed six Robins employees receive a customized coin and be recognized as the first recipient of the FLIP award. The award recognizes the efforts members make to improve labor/management relationships.

One of the F-15 Rewire facility visitors mentioned that it had been close to 30 years since she had been in an aircraft hangar. "Seeing the work they do gives me a better understanding of what it's like," said Mary Larralde, Personnel director. "One thing that impressed me most is the sense of pride in what they (the maintainers) do. The pride and ownership leads to passion to do a good job."

In that same F-15 facility, the visitors got a chance to see one individual who was excited about the Voluntary Protection Program. Bennie Perkins III, 561st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aircraft systems technician, lit up when he described the communication efforts his shop employs to ensure worker safety. With a book of photos and a bulletin board of safety information, Perkins gave multiple examples of management working out issues with the labor force.

This tour was the first of many, according to the captain. "Our efforts to open the gates to Robins will allow our community to see what's going on and to see the impact Middle Georgia has on our Air Force and DOD."

"By maintaining the open dialogue with our community leaders, we can show them the importance of this Middle Georgia industrial base," he said.

Ultimately, the tour offered community leaders an intimate understanding of what makes Robins a great place to live, work and play. Future tours are currently scheduled for next spring.