445th units complete AT in Japan

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Patrick O’Reilly
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The largest Logistics Readiness Squadron in the Air Force, located at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, was the destination for the 445th Logistics Readiness Squadron, two chaplains and a chaplain’s assistant on annual tour.


“The reservists and guard members who come here are truly total force partners,” said Lt. Col. Patrick Launey, commander of the 18th LRS in Kadena. “They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience not only from their military experiences but also from their civilian side. They bring a unique perspective and they also are able to translate those experiences and skillsets to help us out with the mission here.”


The 445th LRS provided personnel to several work areas within LRS, such as petroleum oil and lubricants, traffic management, vehicle maintenance, vehicle operations, logistics planning, quality assurance and supply.


“We came to support the 18th LRS and to get all our members trained,” said Senior Master Sgt. Lamon Pace, 445th LRS. “We have to be relevant. We have to be able to step in with active duty, backfill, and do what they do.”


The 18th LRS, comprised of 761 military and civilian personnel across four flights, supports the movement of six million tons of cargo and 9,000 passengers annually, issues more than 70 million gallons of fuel a year valued at $240 million, and maintains more than 2,000 vehicles valued at $140 million.


“Throughout the year we have different organizations come through, regardless of the size, across all our AFSCs,” Launey said. “With that tremendous experience they bring, we are able to integrate them directly into our mission here and they will get a lot of training and some experiences that they haven’t had before in their career or maybe that are unique to Kadena. We also have the opportunity to get some additional work done because the magnitude of operations here is very significant.”


The chaplains worked out of three different chapels, plus the morale welfare recreation center and anywhere else support was needed.


“We are here to train and to provide support for the 18th LRS unit here on base as well as our reserve unit,” said Chaplain (Capt.) Job Morales, 445th Airlift Wing Chaplain Corps. “We support personnel by providing information, chapel services, counseling, and assisting with morale.”


He also added that if there weren’t any provisions for a religion not supported here, they could accommodate for it.


“Every unit can benefit from going overseas or even stateside to travel,” said Morales. “Training is vital to the organization, not just at local station, but at another base as well.”


For all involved, each day brought opportunities for learning and growth.


“I’ve had a great time,” said Tech. Sgt. Precious Sims, chaplain’s assistant with the 445th Airlift Wing Chaplain Corps. “I’ve enjoyed the environment, people and the culture. It’s a phenomenal place to be.”

Kadena AB has a 13-hour time difference compared to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. This provided a challenge to the Airmen. After a three-day excursion from Ohio to Okinawa, they had to adapt to the time-change and overcome.


“There were some time adjustments that we got over,” Pace said. “Overall, we’ve done a good job with adjusting and completing the mission. The 18th LRS received us greatly. They provided everything that we needed.”