Behind the wheel with vehicle operations

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Sean Campbell
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
The sound of jingling keys fills the warehouse and echoing footsteps bounce off the walls. A vehicle operator hoists himself into the cab of the predetermined truck.

A key is turned and the engine rumbles to life. The exhaust can be seen in the cold January air.

The primary goal of the 92nd Vehicle Operations deployment and distribution flight is to transport flight crews. It is vehicle operations responsibility to bring crews to and from the aircraft, including anywhere else the crew might need to go, said Airman 1st Class Auston R. Reeves, 92nd Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operations journeyman.

According to Reeves, at the beginning of the day, vehicle operations checks what runs are occurring. Typically there might be three aircrew runs in a row broken up by a cargo or equipment move. Then the aircrews are picked up and brought to their briefings before bringing them back to base ops.

Aircrew transportation is not the only thing that vehicle operations does. They're also responsible for providing cargo support.

"Recently we moved a boom for one of the KC-135 Stratotankers out to maintenance from one of our supply storages," said Reeves. "We also move generators, plane parts, cad bins, personal bags and many other items."

For each job that vehicle operations accomplishes they have a specific vehicle. Two such vehicles are the 20-Ton Wrecker and the Rollback Wrecker. For what Reeves calls "wrecker runs," These are when an government vehicle has gone off the road or is incapacitated and needs to be towed somewhere.

"I love Wrecker runs! You never know what's going to happen during one," said Reeves. "Almost every single run is going to be different."

"One time I got a call about a blown motor on an F-550, so I took the 20-Ton. I was thinking oh an F-550 that will be easy I will just pick it up from the front and drive off.  I got there and it was a fire truck," he said.

During his time working in vehicle operations, Senior Airman Roberto Barragan 92nd Logistics Readiness Squadron dispatcher has found it to be a humbling experience." At the end of the day, it makes you appreciate the small things."