News: WRM provides storage for Afghan retrograde
Story by Senior Airman Jared Trimarchi
AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar -- U.S. assets to include War Reserve Materiel which are currently deployed to Afghanistan have started to depart to other countries within the U.S. Air Forces Central Command area of responsibility in support of the Afghanistan retrograde.
War Reserve Materiel are assets prepositioned for supporting wartime capabilities which include airfield resources, vehicles, munitions, fuel equipment, aerospace ground equipment and various parts for maintaining an air base.
Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, houses the biggest WRM storage in the AOR and has started to make room for equipment which is coming in from Afghanistan. The WRM here is maintained and stored by DynCorp International, which has been working with the U.S. in the Middle East since 2000.
"We are playing a huge role in the retrograde in Afghanistan and have started mapping our storage sites to compress certain areas and make room for the equipment coming in," said Master Sgt. (Ret.) Rick Belcher, DynCorp International WRM site manager at AUAB and a Lincoln, Ala. native. "Though we know we are going to be receiving equipment, we do not currently know how much of it will be sent here."
Besides storing equipment which will be sent in from Afghanistan, WRM will be tasked with inspecting, reconditioning and maintaining the equipment.
"When equipment comes in from Afghanistan it is usually in rough shape due to how much it was used in the country in support of (Operation Enduring Freedom)," Belcher said. "We don't let the equipment just sit here, we have to recondition and maintain the equipment to ensure if it is needed, it's ready to go."
A main priority of WRM is to build Basic Expeditionary Airfield Resources (BEAR) kits, which are industrialized bare base kits used to set up air fields in remote locations.
"BEAR kits have everything you need to set up an air base in the middle of nowhere," Belcher said. "They are huge kits which can support nearly 11,000 troops."
DynCorp relies on the work of 12 contracting officer representatives and two administrative contracting officers who are assigned to the Executive Coordinating Agency Detachment Six War Reserve Materiel to get the job done, Belcher said.
"The contracting airmen have been a key part in our mission and have helped us whenever we need support from the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing or the host nation," Belcher said. "They help keep us on our toes by auditing our work and ensuring our contract requirement is met."
Capt. Jason Lo, an administrative contracting officer from Det. 6 WRM who is assigned here and hails from Irvine, Calif., said, "DynCorp does all the work maintaining the assets and we have Airmen who are subject matter experts in their respective areas who audit their work and ensure the contract and mandatory publications are being complied with."
According to Capt. Karl Bolt, the WRM site manager who is assigned here and hails from Stockton, Calif., the WRM here received nearly 100 orders of equipment which were shipped out via airlift to various countries within the AOR.
"When mission essential equipment breaks and it needs to be replaced as quick as possible, WRM is tasked with getting the equipment ready to go," Bolt said. "Joint inspection teams ensure the equipment is safe to fly before it is airlifted to the warfighter or base. War Reserve Materiel can affect any airmen, no matter where he or she works, by providing working equipment which leads to getting the mission completed."