From Point A to B
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Every day government vehicles are used to get to and fro on Kadena. Airmen are constantly on the move – using these vehicles to transport flying aircraft, move munitions and maintain the infrastructure of the base.
All of this is possible because the 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron’s vehicle operations element ensures any vehicle in their care is able to get personnel where they need to be and get the mission done.
More than 100 active duty military members and their civilian counterparts make up the 18th LRS’s vehicle operations element. Their duties can range from shuttling children to school by bus in the morning, to transporting munitions to the flightline at night.
Vehicle operators like Airman Christopher Smith are qualified to operate up to 15 different types of vehicles on Kadena.
“We do a lot of cargo and aircrew movement,” said Smith, 18th LRS vehicle operator apprentice. “We also transport distinguished visitors wherever they need to go. “
Smith said he likes his job and feels he’s learned a lot.
“I never learned to drive a manual transmission before coming here,” he said. “I’m still learning, except this time it’s with buses and tractor trailers.”
Tech. Sgt. Pauline Stollar, 18th LRS vehicle operations control center NCO in charge, knows her Airmen do more than everyone sees during the daytime.
“Vehicle operators train night and day moving equipment quickly and safely, recovering wrecked vehicles, and also evacuating non-combatants during non-combatant evacuation operations,” said Stollar. “During exercises we also supply busses and tractor trailers and are also part of the typhoon recovery effort during emergency operations.”
Stollar said, “Without the manpower of the vehicle operators, supplies do not get to their destinations, maintainers don’t get their tools and aircraft can’t fly.”