Right Parts, Right Uniform the Focus for Supply Airmen

  • Published
  • By TSgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
Making sure people have what they need to get the job done. That's the mission of the supply operations in the 127th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich.

"People need the right parts to maintain aircraft and they need the right uniform items to look good," said Technical Sgt. Val Johnson.

He's been part of the supply department of the 127th Wing at Selfridge for more than 20 years. At one time or another, he's worked in just about every aspect of the operation. For the last several years, he's been one of the people working the counter in the Individual Equipment Issue section. That's where Airmen go to get their uniform items and certain protective equipment.

"It takes training, dedication and a focus on customer service to be good in supply," said Johnson. "To me, customer service means that we make sure our Airmen have what they need to fulfill the mission. That's our mission."

Staff Sgt. Ernest Martinez has worked alongside Johnson for the past eight years in the supply section. All totaled, he has about 14 years of military service.

"One of the things about working in the supply section, is we touch all parts of not only the wing, but the entire base," Martinez said. "So you are always interacting with people."

Since Selfridge is home to units of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Customs & Border Protection, as well as several supporting agencies - all in addition to the Air Force - Johnson and Martinez said they come in contact with people in many different uniforms.

"You try to treat them all the same," Johnson said. "Get them what they need and get them on their way."

The 127th LRS is one of the places on Selfridge where the joint service nature of the base is best on display. Sailors from Naval Operations Support Center-Detroit work together with Airmen from the Michigan Air National Guard, receiving and sorting supply items.

Most of the Airmen - and the Sailors - are traditional members of either the Air National Guard or the Navy Reserve, meaning they perform their military duties about one weekend per month and for two weeks of active duty per year. Johnson, as an example, works in the criminal justice system full time, while also serving in the Guard.

"You know, it is just a great group of people you get to serve with out here," Johnson said. "People have a focus on service and we work together to get the job done."