IPE finds bug, saves big
By Senior Airman Ryan Lackey, 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 20, 2018
FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Knowing what equipment you have is almost as important as knowing what you don’t; both are top mission priorities of 92nd Logistics Readiness Squadron Airmen who comb through the numerous rafters of the Individual Protective Equipment warehouse at Fairchild Air Force Base.
IPE Airmen utilize the Integrated Logistics System-Supply, an inventory management program that accounts for every resource under their roof and shares that data with other warehouses across the Air Force. Fairchild Airmen recently found a bug in ILS-S that caused items to generate duplicate entries, resulting in inaccurate equipment counts.
“We decided to start fresh and do a full inventory in June after Fairchild updated to ILS-S,” said Jessica Parker, 92nd LRS supply technician supervisor. “We got everyone involved and finished the huge undertaking in under two weeks, but found evidence the system was producing false entries during that process.”
Parker’s team of Airmen confirmed and documented the problem, then pushed it to “Team-4,” a group that manages the inventory program from Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Alabama. The find was critical as many bases utilize ILS-S to track gear required for deploying personnel.
LRS Airmen employed a temporary fix to double-check inventory entries to ensure mission requirements are met while a more permanent solution is developed.
“Our management system handles not just inventory counts, but the entirety of the warehouse’s operations,” Parker said. “We handle all the equipment that Airmen take on deployment, from protective clothing to weapon issue, and the program tracks gear as it’s issued out to personnel or other bases. If we have a surplus or a deficit of gear, we use our networked inventory to support other bases or request support from those with extra.”
Because of IPE Airmen’s diligence, operations can continue smoothly across the Air Force.
“Accuracy is one of the cornerstones of the LRS mission,” said Maj. Chad Wharton, 92nd LRS commander. “Our team is charged with tracking hundreds of thousands of items for the wing, with over 33,000 of them in IPE alone. Considering IPE deals primarily with equipment our Airmen need in crisis situations, it’s doubly important our supply chain integrity is secured.”
LRS Airmen’s diligence and innovative initiatives to maintain inventory reliability has the potential effect of further increasing the integrity of the entire Air Force supply chain, saving valuable time and resources, Wharton added.