Military notebook: C-17 partnership wins Department of Defense award

September 30, 2012 

The Department of Defense has honored the partnership between Boeing and Robins Air Force Base that supports the C-17 Globemaster cargo plane.

The partnership won the 2012 Secretary of Defense Gerald R. Beck Performance Based Logistics Award in the system level category for global sustainnment of the aircraft, according to a story in Friday’s Robins Rev Up.

The C-17 Globemaster III Combined Program Office employs 196 civilians, contractors and military personnel.

The team ensures the availability and reliability for 239 C-17s at 18 main operating locations for the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and NATO.

Through several initiatives, the team was credited with reducing cost per flying hour by 10 percent.

Performance-based logistics awards recognize government and industry teams that demonstrate achievement in providing warfighters with exceptional operational capability, the story stated.

“It is a pleasure coming to work every day with such dedicated and professional men and women. They are what make this the number one PBL sustainment program,” Col. David Morgan, chief of the combined program office, said in the release.

The award will be presented Oct. 30 at the Aerospace Industries Association Fall Product Support Conference in Charleston, S.C.

McMahon explains Robins

Robins Air Force Base is a vast installation made up of many organizations, and it can be hard for those outside the base to understand exactly how the base functions. At his first meeting as president of the 21st Century Partnership on Thursday, retired Maj. Gen. Robert McMahon put it in simple terms.

He said it’s important for members of the community to understand how the base works, and he said the best way to do that is to think of the base as one might think of Atlanta.

Col. Mitchel Butikofer, commander of the 78th Air Base Wing, serves the same function as the mayor and city manager of Atlanta, he said. The Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex is to Robins what the Coca Cola Co. is to Atlanta, and the many other varied units on base would be like the many varied businesses of Atlanta, ranging from very large to very small.

McMahon began the meeting by talking about his transition from commander of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center to his new job. To illustrate the difference he talked about his efforts to obtain a gift bag for a present to be given at the meeting to retired Maj. Gen. Rick Goddard. It was Goddard’s last meeting as senior adviser to the partnership, and McMahon needed a bag for the gift.

As a two-star general, he said, all he would have to do is tell a staff member to go buy it. When he turns to the staff now, he said, he has to look in the mirror.

So he went to a store the night before to get the bag, but when he arrived at the meeting someone noticed that on one side it said “Happy Birthday.”

“The reality is when I look around, I’m the staff, and I didn’t know there was two sides to the (darn) bag,” he said.

Fortunately, a partnership member ran out and got another gift bag before the meeting began.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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