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Vehicle management flight keeps base moving

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Airman 1st Class Charles Glenn, an auto mechanic with the 30th Logistics Readiness Squadron, performs routine maintenance on a vehicle on Dec. 6. 30th LRS combines planning, supply and transportation skills into one organization with all resources to keep pace with the swift demands of deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Thomas)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Airman 1st Class Charles Glenn, an auto mechanic with the 30th Logistics Readiness Squadron, performs routine maintenance on a vehicle. 30th LRS combines planning, supply and transportation skills into one organization with all resources to keep pace with the swift demands of deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Thomas)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Working at an Air Force base, no matter what a person does, can at times require some sort of travel, and thankfully Airmen are provided with government vehicle's to complete mission essential tasks.

Just as important to mission success is the 30th Logistics Readiness Squadron's vehicle management flight, which has the responsibility of maintaining those vehicles.

"We are the focal point for the care of vehicles," said Staff Sgt. Melchor Perero, the assistant NCO in charge of vehicle management.

The flight is responsible for scheduling or contracting out needed maintenance, accident repairs, and investigating abuse, as well as setting up regular upkeep for the vehicles. The flight is the governing body over the 'vehicle control officer program,' which allows a unit to keep a vehicle at their unit for everyday use.

"We are in control of every vehicle asset on this base," said Airman Miguel Hernandez, a 30th LRS vehicle management journeyman. "That includes both GSA and blue fleet vehicles."

A bit of their job is checking to make sure that the operators of the vehicles are maintaining them properly.

"We understand that some jobs force Airmen to be hard on vehicles," Airman Hernandez said. "We just want to make sure they are not being abused by Airmen taking them to the shopette or using them for tasks unrelated to the mission."

One of those mission related tasks is the transportation of missiles and rockets that are used during launches at Vandenberg. The vehicle management flight has to deal with the vehicles that are necessary for that job.

"As a mechanic going from bases to base, the equipment changes," Sergeant Perero said. "At Vandenberg the unique equipment are the missile transportation vehicles; it takes some time to learn how to maintain them."

The flight not only has to worry about finding maintenance for the vehicles that are used to transport rockets, but they work on a variety of vehicles that vary in size and, more importantly, age.

"We have tractors that were made in the 70s to cars that were made in 2008," Sergeant Pererro said. "One is run by a computer, and the other isn't. It can get confusing at times."

With Vandenberg's assets being spread out over 99,000 acres, what this flight does is vitally important. Their mission has a direct tie to every mission that is performed at Vandenberg. Without transportation the base would not be very active in completing objectives outside of their work centers.