AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar --
Airmen assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron celebrated the relocation of the Desert Depot here during a ribbon cutting ceremony Oct. 30, 2018.
The ceremony marked the completion of a two-year project involving a new $1.1 million facility and the movement of approximately 42,000 assets during a four-day period.
From boots to office supplies, 379th ELRS Airmen from the materiel management flight ensure Airmen can be outfitted with the gear they need.
“Flawless … that’s the word that comes to mind,” said Chief Master Sgt. Anitra Nesbitt, 379th ELRS materiel management flight chief. “I gave them a task and they took the bull by the horn. They did all the planning, preparation and the strategic movement of equipment. They took it and they ran with it. They made sure we got this facility stood up so that we can meet our customers’ needs. I can’t say enough how proud I am to be a part of this team.”
The Desert Depot provides base units with a variety of clothing, supplies and equipment supporting the day-to-day base mission, and serves approximately 160 customers a day.
Teamwork was key to the relocation of the depot. During the move several challenges emerged but, thanks to the team’s cohesiveness, they were able to overcome them.
“We needed shelving to put the assets on,” said Senior Master Sgt. Dawn Paul, 379th ELRS materiel management flight Desert Depot NCO in charge. “We had no contract to have someone actually come out to bolt down the shelves and no tools to bolt them down ourselves. That’s when two of my Airmen stepped up and took the initiative to get it done.”
Staff Sgt. Mario Lopez and Airman 1st Class Dustin Marin, both with the materiel management flight, worked together to find a solution to the problem. Together, they were able to overcome the obstacle after receiving tools from the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron.
“We tried around five different drills and none of them worked,” said Lopez. “I’ve never bolted down any shelves and had no experience but we overcame it and learned a new skill. We’ll keep on improving and make this better.”
Airmen also navigated asset placement, equipment transportation, and item accountability challenges. Looking back, Marin said he is impressed how the whole team came together to reopen the depot.
“You expect a lot of conflict and a lot of people sticking to their ideas, but we listened to each other, figured out what worked best, and when we had conflict we figured out a solution to overcome it,” said Marin. “It was very smooth. We put our heads together as to what should go where and overcame heavy obstacles with limited tools and equipment.”
With the new Desert Depot up and running, service members have a resource available where they can acquire essential equipment to keep their mission running effectively.
“It’s great, it’s ownership,” said Marin. “You feel a sense of pride coming in here now because you’re a part of it. You actually opened the door. There was a big help from the rotations before us to get it to where it is but we said ‘this is where the Desert Depot is now.’ We feel like we own a piece of this building.”