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Focus on the 7th Logistic Readiness Squadron (7th LRS)

  • Published
  • By Lewis Lambert
  • 7th Logistic Readiness Squadron

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- For 20 years, the Air Force has tried to create a more perfect logistics process by combining several disparate functions into one squadron.

On Aug. 29, 2002, when the 7th Logistics Readiness Squadron stood up, the motor pool; air terminal functions; petroleum, oil and lubrication, or fuels; supply; vehicle repair; and transportation missions were not yet merged.

Today, the 7th LRS is one single-focused enterprise that accomplishes many missions across these diverse functions. The squadron is the result of the amalgamation of all those organizations. It was not an easy task to create one-from-many, especially when the many represented different cultures and different skills.

What do the men and women of the 7th LRS have in common? How do they coexist in an environment where career fields are dissimilar but everyone must function as one squadron that supports America’s Lift and Strike mission, which only takes place here at Dyess Air Force Base. Several things come into play. First, focus on the mission; second, innovation; third, develop people within their own career fields; and fourth, create a culture of inclusion that embraces diversity.

Under squadron commander Lt. Col. David Musgrave’s leadership, there is accountability by his leadership team. His messages are delivered in person during commander’s calls and monthly breakfasts with his Airmen. Senior NCOs conduct their separate NCO calls, and the squadron has its own squadron and spouse social media pages. The 7th LRS also engages in squadron functions such as roller skating, paintball and barbecues. Leadership is involved with the squadron 24/7 year-round.

“POL is detached from the command team by location, but it is an extremely important part of the LRS mission,” said Staff Sgt. Brandon Stamford, a fuels specialist responsible for training newcomers. “Communication from leadership makes us feel part of the squadron even though we are physically separate.”

The squadron consists of four flights… the Deployment and Distribution Flight, responsible for ground transportation, traffic management, plans and integration and air terminal function; the Fuels Management Flight, responsible for fuels operations, facilities, quality compliance, and fuels information service center support; the Material Management Flight, responsible for customer service, B-1 and C-130 decentralized material support and B-1 aircraft parts store; and the Vehicle Management Flight, responsible for heavy (repair) shop, light (repair) shop and fleet maintenance and analysis.

The major force that drives cohesiveness, accepts diversity of thought and acknowledges the differences in people is leadership, both officer and enlisted.  If you were to select several 7th LRS NCOs at random, it would be unlikely any two would be from the same flight. Yet, all the NCOs and SNCOs regardless of their job specialties, have to be mentors and leaders of all the airmen in the squadron. Consequently, there has to be a lot of crosstalk among the senior leaders to ensure uniformity of messaging.

To bolster his team’s uniformity, the commander gave his squadron its own identity.

“I call my squadron the Hydras,” Musgrave said.

The Hydra is a many-headed serpent found in Egyptian and Greek mythology. The modern version of Hydra first appeared in August 1965 as a fictional villain group appearing in Marvel Comics. The fictional organization's motto references the myth of the Hydra, stating that if a head is cut off, two more shall take its place, proclaiming their resilience and growing strength in the face of resistance.

The 7th LRS is a multi-headed squadron that is resilient and strong in the face of daily challenges. Like a tree during a storm, its branches will bend but not break because they are attached to an unyielding trunk.

By executing its commitment to support the Dyess mission, the 20-year-old merger has proven to be successful and the 7th LRS continues to make Team Dyess a winning team in the Heart of Texas.