News: 100th LRS quality assurance team ensures safety first
Story by Gina Randall
RAF MILDENHALL, England - At times people often view checklists as a chore - something they do because they have to.
But checklists can be vital in ensuring airmen and civilians are kept safe. They’re a reminder of how to carry out a task properly and efficiently. When people complete the same tasks day after day without using checklists, they may become complacent and forget the simple steps to ensure they accomplish the task correctly.
In the 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron, it’s the job of the quality assurance team to ensure its members complete their daily tasks safely, efficiently and in compliance with both U.K. and U.S. regulations and checklists.
“One of our jobs is to evaluate the health of our unit for the 100th LRS commander and to augment the 100th Air Refueling Wing inspector general during compliance inspections,” said Nelson Andrade, 100th LRS Quality Assurance manager from Homestead, Fla.
Andrade said he is extremely proud of his team and the sacrifices they make in order to carry out their tasks to the best of their ability.
“When augmenting the wing IG they work extended hours,” Andrade said. “With preparations prior to an inspection and the debrief at the end of the inspection, my team’s work days can average 14 hours.”
Working such long hours may mean stress could be high and lead to low morale. However, Andrade said his eight airmen are extremely committed to helping other airmen carry out their mission, and as a result they recently won the 100th ARW/IG “2013 Inspection Team of the Year” award.
The QA team’s primary duty is to ensure each of the 450 members of the 100th LRS stay safe while completing their duties.
“Our job is to ensure our squadron is in compliance with Air Force regulations and we are completing our mission safely,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Rodrick Farris, 100th LRS QA evaluator from Slaton, Texas.
Farris has been in the role for six months, and he enjoys the satisfaction the job brings.
“I enjoy seeing the mission grow to completion,” Farris said.
His team goes out and confirms members of the unit are efficient in completing their duties. When conducting daily inspections, he ensures Airmen are following their checklists and all safety regulations, and he is passionate about making sure people stay safe.
“We inspect so others can carry out their job safely,” Farris said.
The job is not always easy and the team often faces challenges in an ever-changing Air Force.
“One of the challenges of an evolving Air Force is there are changes implemented constantly that we need to evaluate,” Farris said.
Although this challenge may seem daunting to some, for the 100th LRS QA team it’s welcomed and the team will continue striving to ensure Airmen accomplish the mission safely and efficiently.