Rotational Amnesia

Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan After 12 years of continued deployments, the Air Force is suffering from a case of “rotational amnesia,” said Lt. Col. Paul Cornwell, commander of the 451st Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron here. “What little turnover you get from your folks and whatever processes and procedures there are to standardize operations, that’s what you’re leaning on,” he said in a mid-July interview. “That gets about 90 percent of it; 10 percent is this: ‘What happened to this one item or why aren’t my books balancing out?'” Cornwell said one of his top priorities is figuring out exactly what the Air Force’s piece of the retrograde puzzle is—what equipment needs to move and when. To do that, his team is conducting what he calls “offensive redeployment operations.” He explained: “I’m not going to wait for the customer to come to me, I’m going to go out to the customer with my [traffic management office], my supply accountability, my aerial porters to help [squadrons] figure out how to best build up the pallets.” Once that’s complete, the actual movement of the equipment is scheduled; aerial porters must then account for everything upon arrival at the destination to make sure the books are properly closed. “It’s not easy,” said Cornwell.