NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Andrew Carnegie once stated, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
This statement couldn’t be truer in describing the 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron Cargo Movement Section who won the Air Force-Level Defense Packaging Award for the first time for their accomplishments in 2015.
“Our mission is to provide total force movement for Nellis AFB, support the large force exercises, force enablers, deployments and all the aircraft on base,” said Master Sgt. Lucas Brown, 99th LRS section chief cargo movement.
Just to name a few of their accomplishments in 2015, this 19 person shop, made up of 14 military personnel and five civilian employees, supported all missions within Nellis AFBs’ 25,000 square mile “live-fire” test range and provided the packaging/crating support directly responsible for over 163,000 remotely piloted aircraft flying and 9,500 combat sorties, enabling 50 raids, support of 59 Airmen in contact with enemies, 191 attacks observed, and the elimination of 1,500 targets.
“Most people just think of Traffic Management as household goods and passenger travel but cargo plays a major part in the wartime fight every day,” said Federico De La Garza Jr., 99th LRS cargo warehouse foreman.
The 99th LRS Cargo Movement Section provided a superior level of mission support and operational safety for seven assigned wings and 52 assigned tenant force exercises including Red Flag, Green Flag and U.S. Air Force Weapons School instructor courses.
In addition, they supported the U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration missions including the short-notice crating and shipping of Thunderbird parts and equipment preventing cancellation of air shows at Gary, Indiana, Keesler AFB, Mississippi, and at Francis E. Warren AFB, Wyoming.
While discussing with the men and women of the 99th LRS about what factors contributed to winning this award, the resounding answer was teamwork.
“The credit for this award really goes to my people,” said Brown. “My team comes to work, they are dedicated professionals, excellent logisticians and they just come in to complete the mission and do whatever it takes to get the job done, even if that means coming in on the weekend.”
De La Garza Jr. is a retired Air Force Master Sgt. and has been at Nellis AFB since 2004, he is also a two time winner of the individual Defense Packaging Excellence Award and shared the same sentiment as Brown.
“We all work as a team and help each other out,” said De La Garza Jr. “We look out for each other. We all come together and we communicate the best way to attack processing cargo and lean on people’s experience. It doesn’t matter how many people we have we get the job done. They say do it and we get it done.”
The Cargo Movement Section handled 1,534 truckloads of cargo, (over 20,500 line items) and over 80 ammo shipments while finding the time to handle receipt, packing, and shipping of 10,000 pounds of the Air Force Wounded Warrior sports equipment valued at $432,000 ensuring the event was an overwhelming success.
Winning this award means a lot to the men and women that are a part of the 99th LRS cargo movement section.
“This award just shows that no matter what the situation is they get the job done and it means a lot because these guys work hard and they should be lauded for their efforts, especially at the Air Force level, “said De La Gaza Jr. “A lot of the times, the Airmen might not see the everyday result of what they do but they see the big picture of the Air Force award and they get to say, ‘hey, I contributed to the Air Force and we won as a team.’ The whole thing here is team and not individuals. You will fail as an individual but will succeed as a team.”
With over 40 percent of traffic management personnel deployed at all times, this team thrived through expert training and cross-utilization of talents to help with mission support and readiness and made significant and lasting contributions to the Nellis AFB, Creech AFB and Nevada Test and Training Range team as well as to the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center mission.