Behind the scenes: traffic management specialists play critical role in mission readiness
By Tech. Sgt. Steph Sawyer, 142nd Fighter Wing/Public Affairs
/ Published March 28, 2019
PORTLAND AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, ORE. --
Tech. Sgt. Romulus Kocsis is a full-time traffic management specialist for the 142nd Logistics Readiness Squadron at Portland Air National Guard Base. As such, Kocsis is responsible for the shipping and receiving of supplies, directly effecting mission readiness and success on a local and world-wide scale.
The warehouse that Kocsis works out of is part of a network of warehouses belonging to the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the largest supplier of goods for the Department of Defense. They balance shortages between warehouses world-wide, so a lot of the orders Kocsis fulfills are coming from or going out to different bases spanning all branches of the U.S. Military.
“Wherever there’s a need for something that we have in the warehouse, I have to process it according to priority,” says Kocsis. “On top of that we have the local mission: the F-15s--all the parts…if they break and need replacing or shipping, we also support that.”
Kocsis’ job requires a considerable amount of diligence and attention to detail. Because they process incoming and outgoing supplies from all over the world, traffic management specialists must adhere to strict regulations and documentation. Kocsis says it’s a matter of being aware of the standards and requirements unique to each parcel and being able to operate within those guidelines while determining the most efficient method of transport.
“Most of the time we have to balance and find the right way of doing business…we have overlapping regulations and we have to see which one supersedes the other,” says Kocsis. “There’s also shipping requirements, time requirements, there’s all kinds of things.”
For traffic management specialists, it’s safe to say that the seamless and precise execution of the U.S. military’s mission depends, in part, on how well they do their jobs.
“We’re kind of like the forgotten children of the base,” says Kocsis. “Nobody knows about us until they need us, but we impact everything.”
Kocsis says the most gratifying aspect of his job is seeing his shelves empty at the end of the day and knowing that product and supplies will get to where they need to go.
“Being able to impact so many careers, so many bases, so many agencies, I think it’s a privilege,” says Kocsis. “For me, being able to ship everything and get my job done at the end of the day, that’s my instant satisfaction.”
Traffic management specialist is one of many important roles one can fill in the Oregon Air National Guard. If you or someone you know is interested in joining the ORANG, please contact the recruiting office at 503-335-4040 or visit GoANG.com.