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81st LRS wins 3rd straight AETC award

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

The 81st Logistics Readiness Squadron won the Air Education and Training Command LRS Non-flying Unit of the Year for 2016 for the third year in a row.

Members of the 81st LRS were awarded for their ability to complete the day-to-day mission as the largest traffic management office and second largest mobility platform in AETC while revamping and instituting processes to improve the overall unit.

“General customer service to meet direct mission support of all of our customers is just one of the things we put in our package for the award,” said Emmette Bush Jr., 81st LRS logistics manager. “We refined our support agreement process and got rid of a two-year backlog. We also included the work that our Airmen do in vehicle management, process changes with inspecting each vehicle and our support for Hurricane Matthew.”

The squadron not only completed the daily mission of serving seven military bases spanning 29 counties during 2016, but also provided direct support to base first responders during severe weather events on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

“We had five flash floods throughout the year so the support of our 81st Security Forces Squadron defenders was crucial,” said Bush. “Our support to them is huge because it means they can traverse the base during those difficult weather conditions.”

Along with revamping the equipment custodian process, instituting town halls to relay important information, providing training to the more than 40 government civilians and boosting the Key Spouse program to further reach and support families, the 81st LRS commander and first sergeant created a Work With You Program to interact with Airmen at their work place.      

“The commander and the first sergeant instituted the Work With You Program to gain a better glimpse into what their Airmen do at work each day,” explained Bush. “This program will allow the commander and first sergeant to go out once a month to work in a duty section within the squadron. They will be hands on and work side by side with the Airmen to help build a stronger bond with them.”

This award is a testament to who each of the Airmen, military and civilian, are and what they bring to the fight each day, according to Bush. It’s one thing to just do a job every day, but the 81st LRS Airmen complete the mission while finding ways to improve the unit.

“I couldn't be more proud and inspired by our Airmen,” said Lt. Col. Melissa Rativa, 81st LRS commander. “If anyone in the 81st Training Wing wants to see what dedication to the mission looks like they should stop by any of our areas and watch the hard working Airmen of the 81st LRS. I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of such an excellent team as I get to watch our Airmen work hard, innovate and take care of each other day in and day out . . . this award, which recognizes the tremendous efforts of the squadron, just makes sense to me.”