Osan LRS saves $300K while maintaining fleet
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- What happens when a government vehicle needs to be serviced, or is in an accident? What happens when the fire engines need to be repaired or security forces Humvees are damaged? What about when the aircraft are covered in ice and the de-icer breaks down, who fixes it? Or what about when vehicles have a defective part and need to be replaced?
Staff Sgt. Seth Barrett and Senior Airman Taylor Snider, 51st LRS vehicle maintenance technicians, recently met with a vehicle service representative to correct a defective part on 14 sedans, saving more than $300K in vehicle replacements.
"We spent a few hours working with the representative who showed us how to properly install equipment into one of the vehicles," said Barrett. "This will later allow us to install the same equipment into the other 13 sedans, rather than having to eventually replace them which would cost around $22K each."
The 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle maintenance shop has more than 80 military personnel and 40 civilians here to adequately care for, restore and maintain Osan's fleet.
"We have more than 1,100 government vehicles that we service here," said Barrett. "With such a large fleet, we have to learn how to troubleshoot and repair more than 60 different types of vehicles."
Osan is primarily a walking base, however, day-to-day tasks, the high operations tempo and the overall "Fight Tonight" mentality involve using vehicles to conduct work successfully.
"Our mission impacts everything here," said Barrett. "We fix any vehicle on this base that helps sorties happen or allow the mission to be carried out.
"When it comes to the de-icer, or providing goods to a place, we work on that," he said. "When it comes to a multi-stop vehicle that takes pilots or aircraft maintainers to their jets we repair those. We have a huge role here, whether it's directly seen or not, our mission, the mission of the vehicle maintainers, is very important."
At any given time, the vehicle maintainers can have from 50 to 100 vehicles in their lot waiting for repairs.
"Throughout the summer, we tend to work on winter vehicles, even doing complete rebuilds, to ensure they're ready for the upcoming season," said Barrett. "The regular day-to-day vehicles usually only come down for regular maintenance or repair."
Barrett continued, the job can sometimes be difficult for our newer Airman as well.
"I think our biggest challenge is learning all of the different types of vehicles to repair," said Airman 1st Class Jacob Samsel, 51st LRS vehicle maintainer. "Although, it can be a plus to know so many different varieties, there's a 'jack-of-all-trades' feel to our job as well."
The vehicle turnover rate can also be difficult to deal with sometimes, explained Samsel.
"What could normally take a few hours to repair, can sometimes take weeks or months, here," said Samsel. "With us being located overseas, we have to order parts that can take a while to arrive sometimes."
Overall, keeping Osan moving is the main objective.
"We get a sense of satisfaction in accomplishing each job," said Barrett. "When we have priority items come through it's a testament to the ability of our airmen to repair and return a vehicle to a unit before any effects on the mission are even felt."
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