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Can't fly without supply
Senior Airman Heidi Agustin, 354th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron combat oriented supply organization technician, checks supplies for serviceability Dec. 11, 2013, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. COSO technicians must keep track of hundreds of supplies to assist maintainers with their jobs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Zachary Perras/Released)
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Can’t fly without supply

Posted 12/16/2013   Updated 12/16/2013 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Zachary Perras
354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

12/16/2013 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- For a select group of Icemen, Eielson's mission of prepare, deploy and enable is one they contribute to directly by supplying the needed equipment to successfully accomplish it.

Airmen with the combat-oriented supply organization of the 354th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron play an integral role in assisting the maintainers who work on Eielson's Aggressor aircraft by ordering parts that will either replace or fix different pieces of the jet.

"We're very meticulous in what we do because the success of the maintainers often depends on how we perform," said Tech. Sgt. Karlisa Dawes, 354th AMXS COSO NCO in charge. "COSO is a vital part of getting the aircraft off the ground here."

COSO Airmen also check the serviceability of items and maintain the hazardous materials on the flight line. They work closely with maintenance Airmen, so it is absolutely important they understand what is needed.

"You almost have to know how to speak two different languages," Dawes said. "We've got to have a general idea of what it is the maintainers need when they come and ask for it, even if it's not what we'd normally call a piece."

This type of interaction keeps COSO Airmen on their toes, said Senior Airman Heidi Agustin, 354th AMXS COSO technician.

"There's more to supply than just ordering and counting parts," said Agustin. "You've got to be on your game and take initiative to provide the maintainers the opportunity to do their job to the highest ability."

For the maintainers who work closely with COSO, they know just how important getting the supplies is, whether it's day-to-day tasks or during RED FLAG-Alaska.

"Our job doesn't get done without COSO," said Staff Sgt. Patrick Fallis, 354th AMXS avionics technician. "It's just that simple - without them, we'd fail."

For Agustin, working at COSO has provided a deeper sense of belonging.

"It truly is amazing to work here - it makes me feel like we get to see the bigger picture because I understand just how important my job is," she said. "I really couldn't appreciate my significance until I understood that I was directly engaged with the mission here."

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