By Staff Sgt. Patrice Clarke
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
In this day and age, some type of computer or equipment is needed to complete the mission. Though the six members of the 50th Space Communications Squadron Base Equipment Control Office aren’t fixing trouble tickets or on the phones with customers, they play a vital role in ensuring the Masters of Space have all the computer hardware needed to succeed.
With more than 21,000 pieces of information technology equipment in their inventory, BECO has a hand in all parts of the Schriever mission, to include mission partners. With an inventory that large, numerous base equipment custodians are needed to help keep the program running smoothly.
“Our equipment custodians are great and are really responsive to all of the requests we give them,” said Staff Sgt. Kenneth Dietrich, assistant NCO in charge of BECO.
The BECO staff overseas 119 equipment custodian accounts throughout the 50 SW, its tenant units and all geographically separated units. Equipment custodians are required to maintain accountability of all their IT equipment and perform periodic inspections to ensure the BECO program is in compliance.
Dietrich, one of the members of BECO who has been there the longest, can remember a time when the program wasn’t such a success.
“When I first arrived in BECO we had around 18 accounts that were non-compliant,” he said.
Dietrich and the BECO team sought to change those numbers.
“We brought the numbers down by tracking accounts really closely and staying in constant contact with equipment custodians to ensure that the base is compliant,” he said.
The perseverance of the BECO team and the equipment custodians really paid off.
“We are down to only two accounts being non-compliant and we generally are more than 97 percent compliant at all times,” he said. “It’s our equipment custodians. They are great and really make our job a whole lot easier.”
Though maintaining the base inventory of IT equipment is a large part of the BECO mission, it’s not their only responsibility.
They also oversee the equipment turn-in process. Once offices or units no longer have a need for their equipment due to a technical refresh or other reason, offices have the option to turn in the equipment to BECO to be reutilized or recycled.
During the first quarter of 2012, Schriever’s BECO turned in more than 10.2 tons of assets to the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service. In the month of April alone, BECO turned in 8.4 tons of equipment.
According to the Defense Logistics Agency website, which oversees the DRMS program, once equipment is turned in it can either be reutilized by another Department of Defense base, another federal agency or donated to an authorized non-profit organization. If none of those options fit, the equipment is recycled.
For Tech. Sgt. John Austin, the BECO NCOIC, the unpredictability of each day is what really makes working at BECO exciting.
“I recently switched from client support to BECO and I’ve really enjoyed the change,” said Austin. “We are always on the move and are very rarely just sitting at a desk. We also get to use some heavy equipment we would never use while working in client support.”
Though members transition in and out of the BECO office, one thing remains the same; BECO members will continue to support the many missions of Schriever.