As CEO of Wesley International, I like to visit the users of Pack Mules to see our Pack Mules in action and to learn what we can do to make them even more productive tools for our customers. In May of 2013, I had the opportunity to visit another loyal Pack Mule customer – the Coast Guard’s Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City North Carolina. This was a visit I will never forget – what I saw and learned was truly amazing and inspiring! The Aviation Center is a perfect example of what we call a “power user” (i.e., a “fleet user” of Pack Mules in “mission critical” operations and that depends on them for maximum payload without costly downtime.)
“Some of the Coast Guard’s Pack Mules are over 13 years old, and they average 5.7 miles per day, 7 days per week, and only require re-charging once per week and routine maintenance every 90 days.”
By way of background, the scope of the Coast Guard’s mission is extremely broad and challenging.U.S Coast Guard’s Fiscal Year 2012 Performance Highlights*
In 2012, over 43,000 active duty members, over 8,000 reservists, over 8,800 civilian employees, and over 30,000 volunteer auxiliarists:
- Responded to 19,790 Search and Rescue cases, saved 3,560 lives and more than $77 million in property.
- Removed 107 metric tons of cocaine bound toward the U.S. via the Transit Zone.
- Continued the deployment of six Patrol Boats and 400 personnel to protect Iraqi critical maritime oil infrastructure and train Iraqi naval forces.
- Conducted 919 escorts and patrols to support 190 domestic U.S. military cargo out-loads.
- Conducted 25,500 container inspections, 5,000 facility safety and marine pollution related inspections, and 1,195 cargo transfer monitors to ensure safety and environmental stewardship of the maritime domain.
- Conducted 1,424 boardings of high interest vessels designated as posing a greater-than-normal risk to the United States.
- Interdicted nearly 3,000 undocumented migrants attempting to illegally enter the United States.
- Conducted over 3,700 safety and security exams on vessels operating on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.
- Conducted over 11,600 annual inspections on U.S. flag vessels inspected and certificated in accordance with 46 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) § 2.01-7.
- Conducted 4,603 investigations for reportable marine casualties involving commercial vessels.
- Conducted over 49,000 recreational vessel boardings, issued over 12,000 citations, and visited 1,150 recreational boat manufacturers in conjunction with state efforts to provide education and ensure compliance with federal regulations.
- Conducted over 6,000 fisheries conservation boardings.
- Expended the remaining $23 million of the $142 million appropriated under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
- Investigated and responded to over 3,300 pollution incidents.
- Verified more than 70,000 Transportation Worker Identification Credentials.
- Screened over 436,000 vessels, including over 117,000 commercial vessels and 29.5 million crew members and passengers prior to arrival in U.S. ports.
- * http://www.uscg.mil/ALC/command.asp
The Aviation Logistics Center in Elizabeth City is the Coast Guard’s sole logistics center, supporting its entire global operations. On an average day, the Coast Guard’s Aviation Logistics Center:
- Ships and receipts for over 700 aircraft parts
- Responds to over 100 technical/engineering questions
- Performs depot maintenance on 23 aircraft
- Works on four aircraft for “Drop-In” maintenance
- Manages 2000 contracts valued at $750M
- Has two “expert field teams” repairing aircraft at air stations
- Each day ALC repairs 500 component parts and manufactures 100 piece parts that support PDM and warehouse supported requirements
- Processes approximately 600 Asset Logistics Management Information System (ALMIS) material requisitions
For well over a decade, the United States Coast Guard has relied on Pack Mules as mission critical tools in accomplishing all of this. The Coast Guard’s Pack Mule of choice is the BC-625.
Some of the Coast Guard’s Pack Mules are over 13 years old, and they average 5.7 miles per day, 7 days per week, and only require re-charging once per week and routine maintenance every ninety day. In fact, they have just ordered several more to handle their expanding requirements.
According to key personnel there, these Pack Mules are instrumental in keeping the entire Coast Guard supplied with the parts and other materials necessary to maintain the Coast Guards air planes and helicopters in a high state of readiness to meet whatever threats may arise. When a mission critical air craft is sidelined due to maintenance and replacement parts are required, it is imperative that the parts be shipped immediately so the craft can be back in service to save lives and prevent threats to America’s security. Appropriately, the Aviation Logistic Center moto is “We keep em’ flying”!
Since their initial purchase of Pack Mules back in the 1990s, the Coast Guard has been a loyal customer, consistently adding to their Pack Mule fleet to meet the growing requirements of their mission.
We at Wesley International salute the U.S. Coast Guard and everyone working at the Aviation Logistics Center. We admire their professionalism and are proud to be partners with them in their important mission!