“Shock and Awe” viewed from logistics prism

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Eduardo A. Quero
  • 86th Logistics Readiness Squadron
What images or thoughts does the phrase "shock and awe" give you? This phrase, originally included in a published paper by National Defense University in 1996, suggested its use to achieve rapid dominance with the goal to destroy or confound an adversary's will to resist with no alternative except to capitulate. The phrase was later used extensively by news media in pictures, videos and editorials during U.S.combat operations in Iraq in 2003.

Today, over 10 years after its popular use, I'd like to offer my interpretation of "shock and awe." I won't use long statistics to describe the LRS mission of providing the best logistics support to meet the 86th Airlift Wing mission, or describe our vision of being proactive and precise. Everyone knows how busy and challenging Ramstein is, instead let me try explaining "shock and awe" a different way...through the dedicated professionalism of the 86th LRS Airmen.

I'd like to introduce Airman 1st Class Brandon Weiler, a fuels technician from Las Vegas, who personally distributed more than 2 million gallons of fuel to 179 aircraft for Team Ramstein and played an integral part in the 6 million gallons of fuels we average a month here. Also, Staff Sgt. Katrina Perkowski, a traffic management specialist from San Antonio, who ensured the Air Force's largest traffic management office correctly processed about 21,000 travel requests last year for the KMC, and saved $283,000 by correcting nearly 500 travels booking errors.

How about Master Sgt. Tarrance Thompson, a materiel manager and unit quality assurance superintendent from Dallas, who devised a unique and clever compliance program--dubbed the "Blitzkrieg Plan"--where he took his inspectors in mass visits to ensure a constant and higher-level of unit readiness. As well as 2nd Lt. Greg Souder, the assistant installation deployment officer from Colorado Springs, Colo., who was the night shift IDO during key events at Ramstein like the noncombatant evacuation operations in Yemen and the repatriation of U.S. personnel after the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

As with many other organizations on base, the 86th LRS is fortunate to have very capable and experienced German workers who are the foundation of our operations. One of them is Petra Krossman, a supply technician and native of Jägersburg, who helped the unit better integrate office and warehouse operations, resulting in efficiencies that led to a 98 percent inventory accuracy rate for 6,205 aircraft spares and other supplies worth $720,000 dollars.

These are just a few examples to describe what I consider logistics "shock and awe." It may not fit the traditional definition or even your definition; everyone can formulate their own opinion, image or thought as to what this phrase means to them. In fact, I challenge you to find ways to "shock and awe" your workplace and Team Ramstein. For me, the phrase is embodied by the 500 plus military and civilian logisticians working together daily to execute the fuels, supply, cargo distribution and deployment processing for Team Ramstein.