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380AEW Article

Aircraft Parts Store Airmen Keep 'Em Flying at Al Dhafra

  • Published
  • By MSgt. Dan Heaton

Managing more than 12,000 line items of aircraft parts and equipment, the 15 Airmen assigned to the Aircraft Parts Store at Al Dhafra Air Base play a direct role in every sortie launched from the base.

“Every time I see an aircraft take off here, I know we played a part in that,” said Master Sgt. Kelsi Lilliberg, a member of the Minnesota Air National Guard deployed to Al Dhafra’s 380th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron. Lilliberg is serving as the flight chief for the Aircraft Parts Store, which maintains four separate warehouses full of aircraft spare parts.

Recently, a squadron of U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors were assigned to ADAB, meaning the APS Airmen were busy receiving several kits – containers full of all the parts and components an aircraft might need to continue to fly. That’s in addition to the kits the APS maintains for KC-10 Extenders, E-3 Sentries, MQ-9 Reapers and RQ-4 Global Hawks assigned to the base. 

“We stay in regular communication with the maintenance teams on the aircraft, so we have whatever part they need ready to go,” explained Staff Sgt. Shannon Kozikowski, the Flight Service Center Noncommissioned Officer in Charge.

Kozikowski is deployed from the 171st Air Refueling Wing, Pennsylvania Air National Guard. She’s been in the ANG for about 7 ½ years – enlisting on Sept. 11, 2014. Even with her busy schedule working in the APS, she managed to complete some college courses during her deployment and finish her Community College of the Air Force degree. 

“This deployment has been my first time in a leadership role,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot. Just about managing people and keeping this coordinated. It’s been a positive experience.”

Lilliberg said that despite the fact that the Airmen working in the APS came from a mix of active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, the team has worked well together.

“We put the focus on serving the customer and I think having that focus has helped our team to all be on the same page,” Lilliberg said.