VTANG Readies for F-35 Arrival

  • Published
  • 158th FW

By Tech. Sgt. Garth Dunkel

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. – Airmen across the 158th Fighter Wing gathered at the traffic management office (TMO) of the 158th Logistics Readiness Squadron to assist with the Green Mountain Boy’s landmark induction of support equipment for the F-35 mission. Aspects of data compliance and inventory procedural guidance are some of the required tasks in effort to effectively support the Vermont Air National Guard’s new mission in the upcoming months.

The partnership between the 158th Fighter Wing consists of the visiting staff from BAE Systems, Inc., Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney who are assisting members through the technical phases of induction. On Wednesday, July 17th Vermont Airmen saw the vast majority of this phase in the process to completion following the divesting process, in which the last of the F-16 equipment shipped off-station the week prior.

Vermont Airmen worked diligently to uncrate various F-35 equipment, parts, and pieces so they can be accounted for and tracked in the new multipurpose autonomic logistics information system (ALIS), a contracted entity that was sourced by Lockheed Martin. Representatives from Lockheed assisted with this process as ALIS is unique to the F-35 platform as an all-encompassing entity to track tasks such as air vehicle maintenance, supply orders, inventory and tool accountability. 

Although the induction process is tedious, it is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirement to adhere to the mechanisms of compliance that this team accomplished together. 

“We provide a sustainment service to assist the servicemember in making sure they have everything they need,” said Mr. Tony Smith, a member of the F-35 Global Sustainment Operations Supportability Group. “The difference I’ve noticed in working with the Green Mountain Boys is they have been very proactive in this process!”

The induction process was slotted to take two weeks from unpacking to ready-for-use in maintenance. In two-day’s time, one hundred percent of the equipment had been unpacked and inventoried. Given the proactive and dedicated nature of the team, the traffic management office anticipates the induction to conclude earlier than expected.

Aside from the toolboxes slotted to arrive at the end of the first week, the efficiency of this process exceeded the typical timeline. All support equipment processes for this induction were expected to conclude before the middle of the second week.

“The team has been doing very well! Obviously, it’s a whole new system and until this week we have never seen ALIS, much less used it. So, we’re getting hands-on training as we’re inducting the parts and we have a great support team,” said Master Sgt. James Flinchbaugh, 158th Fighter Wing Traffic Management Office Superintendent. 

The internal and external collaborative exhibited in this process is a testament to the teamwork fostered at the 158th Fighter Wing. The best days of the Vermont Air National Guard are ahead!