Everything an Airman Needs

The Expeditionary Theater Distribution Center at Manas AB, Kyrgyzstan, provides airmen with all the force protection gear they will need when going downrange in Afghanistan. The Manas ETDC has more than $7.8 million in chemical gear, $8.5 million in body armor elements, plus the odd cold weather gear and sundry individual equipment items. It is one of three such “wholesale outfitters” in Southwest Asia that save the Air Force millions of dollars during each air expeditionary force rotation, reports Air Force journalist MSgt. Mitch Gettle. Airmen arriving in theater pick up their gear at an ETDC, but leave it behind when they rotate out. Logistics readiness airmen ensure the gear is still usable, checking and tracking shelf life for each piece. USAF began setting up this mobility bag drop system in 2005, and early estimates pegged the savings at about $30 million per AEF.