From the Frontlines: Staff Sgt. KariLee Thomas

  • Published
  • By Heidi Hunt
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Each American Airman is a 'part' of the Air Force's vision for building a model command. Staff Sgt. KariLee Thomas, 509th Logistics Readiness Squadron aircraft part store supervisor, was a necessary component in that process during her last deployment to Southwest Asia.

Sergeant Thomas departed this Air Force Global Strike Command base July 4, 2010 and returned Jan. 8 and worked flightline supply as a night shift supervisor.

"My duties consisted of supporting the Global Hawk, U-2s and AWACS aircraft with the parts they needed to complete their day-to-day mission," said Sergeant Thomas. "In a deployed environment you work many aspects of supply in one section."

While deployed, Sergeant Thomas' responsibilities in the flightline supply section consisted of working the flight service center, mobility readiness spare packages, inventory and customer service.

"The importance of my job was simple ... I provided the parts needed to keep the aircraft flying," she said. "On my shift, I worked to finish any tasks from the day shift and completed customer orders.

"My team and I conducted inventory almost daily to improve the warehouse and better serve our customers," she said.

Sergeant Thomas was also the night shift 'due-in for maintenance monitor' and worked closely with production superintendents from different maintenance squadrons to ensure they turned in their DIFM assets in the allotted two-day time period.

"I was also in charge of monitoring the product quality deficiency reports and worked closely with quality assurance to get the assets shipped back to the appropriate agencies for inspection," she said.

While her deployed duties were similar to those at Whiteman AFB, she supported several aircraft instead of just one.

When not on shift, Sergeant Thomas used her time to work towards her Community College of the Air Force degree in logistics, completing three credit hours.

She also volunteered with base organizations and in the community combing her work ethic with her educational progress.

She spent time supporting the 5/6 council, helped improve base morale and mentored Airmen, assisted with the combat dining-in and was the representative for her flight's combined federal campaign.

"Sergeant Thomas is an incredibly motivated individual who is always willing to make any sacrifice to complete the mission," Staff Sgt. Peter Hill, 509th LRS APS NCO in charge. "She epitomizes the Air Force Core Values and is an indispensable member of the aircraft parts store."

Sergeant Thomas said she missed her family and six-months of her daughters' life, while deployed, but was proud to support the fight against terror by helping the reconnaissance mission succeed.

"I feel I have a real purpose in my job while I was deployed and would do it again," she said.