MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, ND --
The 5th LRS (Logistics Readiness Squadron) office was relatively quiet. Word had come that a C-5 Galaxy that would be used to transport Airmen and equipment in support of a Bomber Task Force deployment to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, would be “moved to the right, at least 24 hours,” according to 1st Lt Erica M. Santo Domingo, Installment Deployment Officer for the 5th LRS.
Our contact with 1st Lt Santo Domingo was established through Capt. Preston Alder, a Weapons System Officer, who has recently been cross training as the Director of Operations for the 5th LRS “until their new DO arrives at the end of August,” shares Alder. Lt. Santo Domingo has been in Minot for eight months, and has been in the Air Force for three years.
To do a good job and be recognized by the unit you serve is certainly important, but Alder came in and instantly recognized that “There is a whole different world in the Air Force that I am getting exposed to with the Mission Support Group. I realize now how much work actually goes into getting the mission done. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that goes unnoticed,” he continues.
Besides 1st Lt. Santo Domingo, we were introduced to SMSgt. Mandy Jordan, Superintendent of Deployment and Distribution Flight. SMSgt Jordan has been in Minot for about seven months; however she has been a logistics planner in the Air Force for over 17 years.
With only about 2-weeks’ notice, the 5th LRS would orchestrate a second deployment, right on the heels of the April-May deployment of the 23rd Bomb Squadron to Al Udeid, Qatar.
For this mission, one C-5 Galaxy will be loaded with both passengers and cargo. Previous deployments have involved more planes, including multiple C-5’s and at least one 747.
When asked about the activity at Minot AFB as it compares to other bases, SMSgt answered that “the Air Force is different than it used to be. Where we are headed, it will be a different Air Force, a different level of readiness. We will need to train our people to be sharper, to be able to react more quickly.”
Both Lt. Santo Domingo and SMSgt. Jordan agreed that if the crew at LRS does not do their job, they could make or break the mission. They know going into a deployment that any mistakes could impact the mission greatly.
When not working on a deployment, the LRS maintains fives wing programs including the 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron special purpose shop perform that performs maintenance on various government vehicles at Minot Air Force Base.
There is a lot of planning that goes into a deployment, “but the execution and the actual loading of the plane is the easiest part. There are a lot of processes that have to take place before that to make sure the mission can be executed. That is probably the more challenging piece,” according to Jordan.
There is a pride and a “get it done attitude” that goes with being a member of the 5th LRS according to SMSgt Jordan, and the job is very rewarding when a plane flies off and they know that their job is done and done well.