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Face of Defense: Supply Airman Helps Keep Afghan C-130s Flying

By Air Force Capt. Edith Sakura, 438th Air Expeditionary Wing DoD News Features, Defense Media Activity

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KABUL, Afghanistan, Oct. 22, 2015 — The Afghan air force has four C-130 Hercules airplanes, and U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Angel Gonzalez has a singular role as the C-130 maintenance supply liaison at Train, Advise, Assist Command – Air here.

The command comes under NATO's Resolute Support mission, and it orders supplies and inventory parts to keep the Afghan “Herks” flying in support of Afghan National Army’s operations across Afghanistan.

Gonzalez is assigned to the 440th Air Expeditionary Advisor Squadron and is deployed from Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

“I go to Bagram a couple times a week to speed-up the delivery of aircraft parts,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve all got limited resources with equipment, tools and building space, so a quicker timeline to get the maintenance teams their tools and parts is just good customer service because that’s what my job is … it’s working for the customer.”

Getting Aircraft Parts to Afghan Partners

He said his biggest accomplishment here has been working out a schedule and system where he can get parts in an expedient manner to support the maintenance crews.

“We don’t have a [Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory] at Kabul, so I need to get parts calibrated at Bagram, such as torque wrenches, gauges, tension wires, scales and various tools,” Gonzalez said. “I also check to see if any of my parts I ordered arrived. I do this at least twice a week to make the processes go faster.”

C-130 aircraft maintenance teams see this extra effort and appreciate the fast service so they can complete maintenance in a timely manner.

“He’s done some miracle work here,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Mark Klein, 440th AEAS metal fabrication section. “He doesn’t have to fly up to Bagram to get our parts, but he does it because it cuts about 10 days off of the shipping process. So, that’s been great, and we can get our work done without waiting around.”

Gonzalez and eight personnel from Bagram’s Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron, or ELRS, came to TAAC-Air to conduct a four-day inventory of the war readiness maintenance spare parts kits Gonzalez has in his inventory.

“Those kits are about $5.5 million and inventory hadn’t been done in a while,” Gonzalez said. “We found $1.7 million worth of parts that were technically lost or missing, and we put them back in the Air Force inventory. I’m happy to say it checked out 100 percent.”