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Counting sheep…and airmen: 386th Force Support Squadron tallies beds daily

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

How long can a person go without sleep? After 48 hours, cognitive performance worsens and the brain can experience minuscule moments of unconsciousness. After a week, experiments have shown significant behavioral and mental deficiencies appear, including hallucinations. Sleep is a basic necessity, and a comfortable place to reset is one of the core components of the 386th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron.

“I strongly feel that we are the heartbeat of this base because without us nobody would be sleeping,” said Master Sgt. Jared Weese, the 386th EFSS Lodging office section chief.

Besides ensuring everyone on base has sheets, pillows and other toiletries, the lodging office also assists with work orders when something within their facilities goes wrong. Their facilities, including latrines and laundry units, total around 200 buildings.

While most forward operating bases are austere in comparison, the lodging building is filled with colorful blankets, soft sheets and even the occasional television left behind by a previous airman.

“We are also in charge of maintaining accountability of the people on the base, [matching our numbers] with PERSCO,” Weese said.

As a typical first stop for those arriving on base, the small shop can get quite busy, averaging over 100 service members a day to in-process. Similarly, when members leave the base to return home they come to lodging to out-process by the droves.

“We handle transients too,” said Senior Airman Nathan Smith, a lodging specialist with the 386th EFSS. “Ali Al Salem is basically a hub for transients. So when our in-processing or out-processing calms down, the transient is always busy.”

Even on a slow day, service members are constantly rotating in and out of the building for work orders, cleaning supplies and any other unique issues they experience in their dormitories.

“You never know what's going to come through the door… I feel like we've heard them all but we're still hearing new ones,” Weese said.

“No day is the same,” said Master Sgt. Sara Christian, the secondary section chief. “You could come in and have one obstacle thrown at you that you have to figure out, and the next day, you could have something new. There's potential to learn something every day on this job, and I think a lot of that has to do with customer service.”

For the members here at Ali Al Salem, they can rest easy knowing that the airmen of the 386th EFSS strive to make their stay at The Rock a comfortable one.