Gabe Burkman works behind a vault door in the Sparkman Center, but his daily tasks impact Soldiers serving in the Middle East.
“I believe other employees in the Sparkman Center would be surprised by the wide range of tasks that we handle on a daily basis,” Burkman, a logistics management specialist for the Aviation and Missile Command, said.
Burkman works in AMCOM’s Operations Center, a part of the Operations (G3) division. His specific branch, known as G-33, is responsible for current operations. The branch is responsible for receiving information, conducting analysis, integrating products, recommending solutions, synchronizing and distributing information for aviation and missile units worldwide.
Burkman, who has served in this position since 2015, says his main duties involve organizing communications, but he also tracks trends that could affect aviation and missile readiness throughout U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility. He also develops accountability measures for resources based on lessons learned.
“My main objective is to gather accurate and up-to-date operational data on aviation and missile readiness drivers located specifically in Central Command and make sure we are on top of their supply and sustainment needs,” Burkman said.
A readiness driver is a critical repair part essential for equipment operation. Identifying and stocking readiness drivers are a means of prioritizing supply availability goals and – ultimately – enabling the readiness of aviation and air defense units across the Army.
U.S. Central Command is comprised of 20 countries and approximately 23,500 U.S. military, civilian and contract personnel.
Each day, Burkman evaluates a steady stream of statistical and strategic information on materiel readiness for the units from multiple sources that also include other team members
One of his most valuable resources is the senior command representative and the logistics assistance representatives who are collocated with military units.
“I can accomplish the mission of sustaining and maintaining a common operational picture, the COP, from my remote cubicle because the SCRs and LARs are my eyes on the ground,” he said.
When he gets this information, Burkman analyzes the data for any new trends, gauges the level of importance, prepares a briefing and then disseminates that data to the AMCOM leadership.
Last year Burkman’s investigation and analytical skills paid off when the collective aviation enterprise discovered a particular helicopter part prone to corrosion was impacting fleet readiness and aircraft reliability.
“There were a lot of organizations involved in correcting this issue and each organization had its own specific area of responsibility. That is where the Operations Center comes in,” Burkman explained. “We tracked down all these bits of information, conducted analysis for inconsistencies and disseminated daily reports to leadership.”
Burkman and the AOC team conducted analysis that helped clear reporting discrepancies and redundancies to provide AMCOM and aviation commanders a clear and complete status of the parts fielding and repairs.
“This allowed our leadership to confidently track progress and stay a step of ahead of any supply issues,” he said. “In the end, the total effort resulted in a substantial increase in readiness and aircraft reliability. It was a total enterprise effort and we were proud to be a part of that.”
Burkman also generates statistical reports for G-33 supervisors and provides situational reports for operational and intelligence meetings.
“Effective communication between the combatant commands and AMCOM is vital to aviation and missile sustainment and readiness on a global scale is critical,” Col. Terry Grisham, military deputy of G-33 Operations, said.
“Gabe is one of our power hitters. He is a sharp individual with initiative and a take-charge attitude. He wants to understand the full scope of the G-33 mission.”
Burkman understands the totality of that responsibility, and as a 12-year veteran of the Army, he is quick to emphasize that any achievements are a team effort from that includes those working inside and outside the operations center.
“The teammates sitting next to me and the contacts we utilize in the field each contribute to the AMCOM mission. Our collaboration is what makes our team successful,” Burkman said.
Burkman’s supervisor agreed.
“Gabe is a reliable and proactive individual, but the scope of responsibilities for the G-33 mandates a team effort, and there are many power hitters on the Operations team,” Grisham said.
The team in G-33 works for the warfighter, but they stand ready behind that vault door to take on any and all needs of the command.
“Our priorities shift daily but we are always ready to provide immediate support to the warfighter. It is a team effort and together we are making a difference,” Burkman said.