Robins LOA community talks joint logistics

  • Published
  • By Wayne Crenshaw
  • 78 ABW/PA
Only 10 people from Robins could go to the Logistics Officers Association Convention in Las Vegas, but they brought a condensed version of the gathering back here Friday.

In a "mini-conference" at the Robins Conference Center, approximately 75 members of the LOA's Middle Georgia Chapter heard some of the key points discussed at the event in October.

"We wanted to take some time to bring some of that information and messages back," said Capt. Nicholas Moore, president of the local chapter.

The national organization is made up of 3,200 military and civilian logistics personnel. The theme for this year's conference was "Connecting with the Joint Logistics Environment."

Brig. Gen. Lee Levy, commander of the 402nd Maintenance Wing, gave the first presentation of the conference and talked at length about the theme of the national event. He said Air Force officers have an increasing need to learn to work with other branches of the military in joint assignments.

"When you have the opportunity to work in a joint environment, you are not there to necessarily represent the Air Force," he said. "You are there to make the best decisions for that commander so he or she can execute national taskings. So whatever you have on your chest is kind of irrelevant."

He also said that officers should take note of a move toward joint bases, which means that they could at some point be at a base commanded by someone from another military branch.

He said learning to speak the language distinct to each branch is an important part of effective joint operations.

"Interestingly enough, where we have our biggest disconnects in our joint logistics community both inside the DOD and outside the DOD is language," he said. "We don't have a shared language. We all have different words and use those words in the ways that the other team doesn't understand."

The conference lasted four hours and included a welcome by Maj. Gen. Polly Peyer, commander of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center.

Other sessions, including some breakout sessions, touched on active-duty force development, civilian force development and high velocity maintenance.

Moore said the local LOA chapter is working to reinvigorate itself and give members more opportunities to hear from top leaders.

The Middle Georgia Chapter of the LOA also sponsored a breakfast Tuesday with a prominent keynote speaker, Debra Walker. She is a former Robins employee and now serves as deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for Logistics, in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Logistics.

She said nothing gets done in the military without logisticians. She also noted that with an aging aircraft fleet and unique challenges in Afghanistan and Iraq, the role of logisticians is more important than ever.

"The good thing is, logisticians, you have a bright future," she said. "If you look at our mission, if you look at our aircraft, our supply chain processes, everything we give to the fight, there is a lot of work to do."