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386th ELRS office trailers to receive an enduring transformation

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Natalie Filzen
  • 386 AEW Public Affairs

There are only so many times one can cross out a paragraph, white-out an incorrectly spelled word or mark up a document with red ink before it becomes easier to throw away the sheet and start fresh with a blank piece of paper.

The 20-year-old office trailers of the 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron are in need of more than just renovations–they need a whole new facility.

At the groundbreaking ceremony for the new aerial port administrative building, leadership gathered to commemorate the first day of construction. The new building will serve multiple functions as it will allow for a centralized location for its previously scattered personnel and a clean slate to allow for innovation at the front end.

Being physically separated can create hiccups in processes during incidents such as power outages. Whereas currently, a degraded operations plan would signal trailers to relocate and restore communications, housing personnel under one facility would circumvent this.

“For the Airmen, it's a tactical priority to make sure they have the resources to do their job, and when they come back from working on the line, they have good air conditioning and a place to relax,” said Capt. Jacob Arola, flight commander of the 386th ELRS Aerial Port Flight. “On a big picture level, it's a message to our area of responsibility that we're making an investment to show partnership. We're not just coming in and jumping in and jumping out of the country.”

From a communication and accountability standpoint, the goal is to streamline processes. The 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron will be involved in the construction of this facility to consolidate various cargo and cargo-related functions such as: Travel Management Office, Special Handling, Load Planning and Forecasting.

“This project is another step in the Ali Al Salem Air Base 20-year master plan, transitioning our facilities and infrastructure from expeditionary to enduring and innovating the Wing’s ability to providing world-class support to the warfighter across the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility,” said Lt. Col. Benjamin Carlson, commander of the 386th ECES.

“ECES will facilitate a significant quality of life and productivity improvement for ELRS, by providing better working conditions for people doing a tough job,” said Capt. Ryley Paquette, 386th ECES engineering flight commander.

The project design will add shower facilities to improve hygiene and morale during 24-hour operations or a high operations tempo, as well as an open-concept work area.

“I've got essentially six sections spread out, over 3,000 square feet in several different trailers,” said Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Silkworth, superintendent of the Aerial Port Flight, 386th ELRS. “Unifying the sections will allow us to perform more cohesively as a team. They'll keep each section in the know and what the other section is doing constantly. The way we have the interior set up, all the section leads will be sitting right next to each other. So from a continuity standpoint, that's fantastic. From a leadership standpoint, I'll be able to walk into one space and see all of my Airmen at one time.”

Silkworth was already involved with Air Force innovation at his home station, and hopes to bring it to this project.

“How can we incorporate [innovating processes] to a fixed, endearing posture here?” said Silkworth. “Facilities like this one are going to be key for that.”

The 386th ELRS have come forward with a vision, and the 386th ECES is committed to executing it. At the groundbreaking ceremony in May, they both shoveled the first mound of dirt on the site, heralding the beginning of construction.