86th LRS protecting Airmen around the clock

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Michael Stuart
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Protecting the USA is a non-stop effort. In order to do so, our service members need to have the proper equipment and protection when deployed to various locations around the globe.

The 86th Logistics Readiness Squadron individual protective equipment team ensures Airmen are properly issued the necessary gear used in deployed locations.

"Our overall mission here at IPE is to provide all of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa with protective equipment including chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive gear, Kevlar helmets, individual body armor and weapons," said Tech Sgt. Jorge Fernandez, 86th LRS individual protective equipment NCOIC.

The IPE team track, record and manage all the equipment issued to Airmen on Ramstein. The IPE team serves service members of all ranks, in-processing and out-processing.

"The gear we are issuing saves lives," said Senior Airman Zachary Kettner, 86th LRS IPE journeyman.

Providing customers with faster service was the driving force behind them winning the 86th Airlift Wing Innovator of the Month award in October 2014.

According to the team, after a year of coordination with the Air Force Material Command, the 86th LRS IPE team finalized the installation of a $244,000 mechanized material handling system. The system equipped USAFE's largest mobility armory with a new weapons racks mounted on a mobile storage system. The innovation reduced the time it takes to issue a weapon to a service member from 25 minutes to ten minutes.

"At the end of the day you get the personal satisfaction of helping anyone from Airman Basic all the way up to a General because you know what you're doing will make them a lot safer when they are downrange," said Fernandez.