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6th LRS slowing the spread through innovation

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shannon Bowman
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges for many of the daily operations of MacDill. 

Over the past four months, most Airmen have supported the mission through teleworking.  However, many others have adjusted by implementing social distancing and stricter sanitization standards in their work centers, all while continuing to enable the unmatched air refueling mission.

According to Master Sgt. Adam Ingram, the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron Vehicle Management superintendent, being a customer service flight presents increased safety concerns for his Airmen.

“We work on nearly all of the vehicles on base, so there is a high risk of cross contamination throughout multiple organizations and our flight members,” said Ingram. “We mitigate these concerns by having COVID rules of engagement in place to help keep things safe and sanitized.”

Not only has the 6th LRS Vehicle Management Flight increased sanitization protocols, they have also retrofitted some of their vehicles with plexiglass barrier screens to help minimize the spread of the virus.

“Our peers at 6th LRS ground transportation recognized a potential issue of exposure to their drivers, and posed it to us to see if we could come up with a solution,” said Airman 1st Class Arfaneil Rebujio, a 6th LRS vehicle maintenance technician. “Staff Sgt. Zabala, one of our mechanics who is currently deployed, told me about this idea and asked me to help create a design that would block the air circulation separating the operator from the rest of the bus before he left.”

So far, modifications have been made to several of MacDill’s transport vehicles, including passenger buses used to transport aircrew from their squadrons to the flight line.

“We have installed the barrier screens on five of our 44-passenger buses and one on an eight passenger van,” said Rebujio. “I think it’s a great idea having them installed on our transport buses so we don’t risk the well-being of our operators.”

For the 6th LRS Vehicle Management Flight, teamwork has helped them overcome many of the challenges presented by COVID-19. They are fully committed to their safety procedures and those looking to the 6th LRS for services can rest assured that their vehicles are safe.

“It’s challenging because we have to interact with customers, but we have developed ways to interact, stay safe, and keep the mission going,” said Ingram.  “Our Airmen have developed a daily cleaning process to disinfect vehicles when they arrive to the shop and before we return them to the customer.”  

Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Airmen of the 6th LRS have remained resilient and have found ways to solve difficult problems.

“COVID has presented new challenges, but the out of the box thinking of our Airmen has truly shown,” said Ingram.  “In response to the virus our members have applied creative thinking which will protect our war fighters, and ultimately support our mission on an even bigger scale.”