In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Air Force bases are adapting new protocol to ensure the safety of their most valuable assets: the Airmen, civilians and their families that are assigned to the installations.
The Ground Transportation Operations Center of the 355th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., leads the way in taking measures to help mitigate the spread of the virus with their innovative efforts of creating a contact-less method to acquire their vehicles.
“We’re responsible for providing centralized, economic and efficient transportation for Davis-Monthan and its tenant units,” said Tech. Sgt. Chase Griffin, non-commissioned officer in charge of the 355th LRS GTOC. “With this pandemic, we have adopted and altered the contact-less U-Drive-It concept that will reduce the threat of COVID-19 and enable a faster and more efficient service. Even after we make it through this pandemic, we plan to continue this new concept and look for different ways to improve this process as a more efficient concept to better serve our customers.”
This new procedure creates numerous options for customers, while also allowing the Airmen of the GTOC to benefit greatly.
“This innovative concept allows customers the freedom and versatility to pick-up and drop-off at their convenience,” Griffin said. “It also creates minimal face-to-face customer interaction while focusing on manpower reduction, saving us 389 man-hours annually. Additionally, the extra man-hours will allow us to center our attention and manpower on Davis-Monthan’s other transportation requirements such as cargo/passenger movement, vehicle recovery and development of our ground transportation Airmen.”
While Davis-Monthan is first in Air Combat Command, and third in the U.S. Air Force to incorporate this process, it was first developed by the GTOC team of the 100th LRS at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, United Kingdom.
“The contact-less UDI concept was my vaccine to protect my team and customers during COVID-19 operations,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Gregory Laing, 100th LRS GTOC section chief. “We’re taking advantage of the times to modernize our daily practices and influence a change across our career field, protecting our Airmen enterprise-wide.”
As the Air Force continues developing towards a new normal, Airmen from the 355th Wing continue finding new and innovative ways to be safe while remaining effective and ready to support the mission.