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Total Force CATM Team Supports Cannon AFSOC Mission

  • Published
  • By Staff Reports

A pair of Air Force Reservists quickly answered the call when the active-duty 27th Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron and the 27th Security Forces Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, asked for help with cleaning, checking and storing a large stockpile of firearms.

Over the past 10 years, the 27th Operations Wing has been one of the Air Force’s most deployed wings, resulting in the 27th SOLRS and 27th SFS having a large backlog of weapons that needed to be inspected, cleaned and stored.

In November, Lt. Col. Enrique Vazquez, 27th SOLRS commander, reached out to Maj. Fleming Jeffers, action officer of the Logistics Readiness Division within the Directorate of Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection at AFRC headquarters to see if the Reserve had any Combat Arms Training and Maintenance specialists who could help Cannon reduce its backlog.

“Col. Vazquez is a great friend of mine,” Jeffers said. “He was my deputy flight commander as a first lieutenant when we stood up the Distribution Flight together in the 92nd Logistics Readiness Squadron at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, from 2008 to 2010. I was confident we had some sharp Reservist CATM experts who would be a perfect fit to help them, the 27th SOW and the Air Force Special Operations Command mission.”

Jeffers reached out to Senior Master Sgt. William Johnson, AFRC’s CATM program manager, who put out the call across AFRC.

“We had a number of volunteers right away,” Johnson said. “But with the help Cannon got from active-duty units, they only needed two of our Reservists.”

Master Sgt. Dustin Stout, assigned to the 442nd Fighter Wing, Whiteman AFB, Missouri, and Tech. Sgt. David Vazquez, from the 94th Airlift Wing at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia, joined Regular Air Force CATM specialists from Dyess AFB, Texas, Goodfellow AFB, Texas, and Luke AFB, Arizona, to form an eight-person team tasked with helping correct a deficiency that had been in place for seven years at Cannon.

“Those guys worked non-stop,” said Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Lipp, 27th SOLRS individual protective equipment noncommissioned officer in charge. “They cleaned and went through about 1,000 weapons in three days. It was impressive to see.”

The team also helped Cannon implement a better system for storing weapons using extended storage boxes, dubbed “coffins,” which can be sealed airtight to protect against the elements.

“Something that would take three or four people a week to do, turns into something that one person could conceivably do in an hour,” Lipp said. “That cuts down the inventory time by 86%.”

“This is a great example of cooperation between the Regular Air Force and the Air Force Reserve, each with common combat support logistics expertise supporting our mission,” Jeffers said. “It’s amazing that they went from a seven-year deficiency to being compliant within the span of three days. I’m super proud of outstanding efforts by the Total Force volunteer CATM team.”

(Information for this story was taken from a story written by Senior Airman Drew Cyburt from the 27th Special Operations Wing public affairs office at Cannon.)