The resilience of the 355th Logistics Readiness Squadron was put to the test after a severe monsoon storm swept through Davis-Monthan Air Force Base July 13, 2014.
The storm brought with it strong winds and heavy rain that led to flooding, downed trees and power outages base wide.
The most heavily damaged facility was the 355th LRS customer service building.
The air conditioners mounted to the top of the LRS customer service building were blown off by the storm’s high winds, which tore a hole into the roof and allowed water to pour in according to Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Lancaster, 355th Civil Engineer Squadron chief enlisted manager.
LRS Airmen had to vacate the customer service building, but not without a challenge.
“When we went in to move equipment, the water was falling down onto us and there was no electricity,” said Master Sgt. Shawna Brabandt, 355th LRS customer support section chief.
All mission essential equipment had to be moved to another warehouse for LRS to continue operations.
“We moved cabinets and computers and labeled them with our names so we knew whose they were,” said Airman 1st Class Jammell Jefferson, 355th LRS equipment management journeyman. “It was pretty hectic at first, but once everything got to the new location and we started setting it up, the dust started to settle.”
Aside from putting operations back online, the LRS customer service staff had to make an attempt to salvage any electronic equipment they could from the soaked labyrinth which was once the squadron’s customer service building.
“Our section was actually fortunate because our stuff wasn’t damaged, but Document Control’s computers, files and papers were damaged,” Jefferson said. “We actually had to lay all the papers and equipment out in the new warehouse to let them dry.”
Considering the loss of equipment, LRS customer service support was still able to resume operations in a reasonable amount of time.
“Some functions do have to piggy back off of computers so operations are a little bit slower,” Brabandt said. “We were able to completely restore operations within 24 hours.”
With a destructive display of Mother Nature in their wake, the 355th LRS customer service staff never lost sight of their mission.
“We never would’ve expected to experience something like this, but it was amazing how quickly everyone came together and it didn’t really matter what organization they were from,” Brabandt said. “The objective was to get everything moved and to get operations back up and running full throttle, and that’s what we did.”