HomeNewsFeatures

The mobility machine

Airmen from Mountain Home Air Force Base unload cargo at Gowen Field Air National Guard base in Boise, Idaho, Aug 3, 2015. The installation deployment officer and Logistics Plans help coordinate supplies needed, cargo and transportation for deployments and exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica H. Evans/RELEASED)

Airmen from Mountain Home Air Force Base unload cargo at Gowen Field Air National Guard base in Boise, Idaho, Aug 3, 2015. The installation deployment officer and Logistics Plans help coordinate supplies needed, cargo and transportation for deployments and exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica H. Evans/RELEASED)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho- -- Getting the right personnel to the right place, with the right equipment, at the right time, for the right amount of money, seems like a lot to get right, but for retired Master Sgt. Calvin Miller and his team this is their everyday norm.

As the installation deployment officer with the 366th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Miller has a lot on his plate. Not only does he work with LRS, but he also acts on behalf of the Wing commander when it comes to directing, controlling, coordinating and executing deployment actions for both real-world and exercise scenarios.

While that may seem pretty cut and dry, each aspect has many pieces to it, making it a bit more complicated than most realize.

In simpler terms, he's involved in anything and everything deployment related. He has his hands in all things from the Wing down to the living will; from planning to packing.

With so much to handle, he credits his 22 years of service - 10 of which were spent in aircraft maintenance and the last 12 in logistics plans - and his amazing team for making his job doable.

"I have an outstanding team that I work with," Miller said, "The unit deployment managers, [installation personnel readiness], log planners, [individual personnel equipment], great officers [and] squadron commanders that support me."

Many people on base assume it's a one man show, failing to understand how the process actually works and assuming it's a simple pick and choose, when in fact it's not that effortless.

While some may know the name of Mr. Miller, the rest of the logistics plans team is unfamiliar to most.

"A lot of people are not quite sure how they get somewhere or how equipment gets somewhere," Tech. Sgt. Jamaal Jones, NCO in charge of the Installation Deployment Readiness Cell, logistics plans, with the 366th LRS said. "We're kind of the man behind the man."

With all the tiny details that go into deployments it's as if the team eats, sleeps and breathes logistics.

"It takes a lot of planning and a lot of forward thinking," Jones said. "We're always trying to think about something that someone else is not thinking about."

With a career that demands attention to detail and continuous dedication, stress is a given.

"There are times that it gets very tiring," Miller expressed, "Because it's like 'is this ever going to end?'"

Due to the amount of stress and complexity of the job itself, those in the career field need to possess a purpose, a fire and a drive within to be successful, explained Jones.

"You have to be a self-starter in this program, in logistics plans," Miller stated. "If you are reactive you're already way behind, so you have to be very proactive."

As for those who do have their purpose and give it their all, the rewards far outweigh the stressors, working as motivation for the team.

"I see a lot of rewards in it and it just pumps me up and makes me want to push that much harder," Miller said.

At the end of a draining day the team can sit back with pride, knowing they've given their all to support the Air Force mission.

"When I can sit at home at night and watch the news and see [that] what we're doing overseas is making a difference, I find that very [satisfying]," Miller said. "I know that we're pulling it together, we're making it happen."