OKINAWA, Japan (July 13, 2011) - Patrol Squadron (VP) 40 logistics specialists are using existing Navy logistics systems to improve the squadron's forward-deployed reconnaissance capabilities and readiness.
Advanced reconnaissance aircraft provide unique challenges to logistics specialists attempting to keep the squadron's P-3C Orions ready for flight.
On aircraft containing thousands of parts, a missing piece could ground the P-3C. Purchasing, shipping, and warehousing these parts at their forward-deployed location was challenging, but according to Logistics Specialist 1st Class Yu He, this is a challenge they overcame.
"I find myself multi-tasking even on a slow day," said He, a leading petty officer in VP-40's supply department. "On a ship, if you need a part, usually the ship can keep steaming ahead. With forward-deployed squadrons, if we need a part we probably needed it yesterday. Mission readiness could be affected if we don't get it promptly. To adapt we find innovative ways to work with the Navy's supply system. In most cases, we can attain parts within twenty-four hours."
VP-40 logistics specialists mention pride as a factor in their success.
"Working in supply is awesome," said Logistics Specialist Seaman Marriel Labasug. "I love being able to help keep our birds running smoothly. This squadron couldn't run without our help and I'm proud of what we do. "
Chief Logistics Specialist John Navarro mentioned the importance of computer software programs and networked supply systems as a major factor in their logistics readiness. Due to advanced software programs, logistics specialists can view the parts inventory of nearby squadrons and air bases. Supply departments can trade and move parts between locations seamlessly, improving overall efficiency and allowing independent commands to support one another.
"Getting parts can be difficult, especially in the time allotted," said Navarro. "Still, with the tools we've got, we get the job done. I like the challenge of logistics. My logistics specialists have a great attitude, too, and years of experience in their rating. It helps tremendously to have such reliable personnel."
VP-40 is forward-deployed in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan at the Kadena Air Base in support of Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. The squadron is tasked with a full spectrum of missions in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility.