MALS-12 avionics begins move to new facility aboard MCAS Iwakuni
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 began its move to their new facility aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Jan. 6, 2014. The transportation of gear started with the avionics division of MALS-12 moving their mobile facilities, also known as vans.
“All of (the vans) are configured differently, so when we move them over to the new location, we have to put them together in a certain order,” said Staff Sgt. Jeremy Stuempert, assistant mobile facilities coordinator with MALS-12.
Mobile facilities technicians began by separating several vans and staging them in easily accessible locations for Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 to use heavy equipment vehicles to move the facilities.
Stuempert said the avionics division of MALS-12 is projected to take the most time. Where other divisions utilize anywhere from seven to 45 mobile facilities; avionics has 134.
“We’ve been planning on and off for about a year and a half to two years now,” said Stuempert. “For layouts and such, it’s been since September. That’s when we really hit it hard and it’s been a constant stream of revisions, layouts, safety and revisions, along with making contact with (the Provost Marshal’s Office) and all the outside entities, like (MWSS-171) to get all of them over here.”
Stuempert said that avionics is planning to take two weeks for the move, but are hoping they can complete the mission sooner.
Considering flight operations are the lifeblood of an air station, completely uprooting the avionics division of MALS-12 while staying mission capable is a complicated move to perform.
“The most important part is the deployable capabilities that the mobile facilities actually offer, and getting those safely moved to the other side and making sure all those capabilities are maintained as far as not damaging any equipment,” said Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Collins, mobile facilities coordinator with MALS-12. “Maintaining support to the flight line went into the planning. We planned a half and half type deal; pick up half the house and get it running while the other half is still running here.”
The Marines doing the most moving of the mobile facilities are from the 6499 Military Occupational Specialty, which was created via MARADMIN 450/11 in October of 2011.
“You have a newly created MOS within the last three years; brand new Marines doing big things,” said Collins. “This is what they were specifically pegged for. The Marine Corps created an MOS just to take care of these mobile facilities and the ancillary equipment that goes along with them. This is a big deal for them and the Marine Corps. To see these guys doing this is the culmination of a lot of hard work for a lot of people.”
MALS-12 is scheduled to continue moving into their new facilities for the upcoming weeks.