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Behind the Wings: Bringing military supply knowledge to Piedmont Stores’ operation

United States Air Force veteran and Albany, New York, (ALB) Stores Supervisor Steven King brings his 22 years as a warehouse/inventory manager experience everywhere he goes. “My knowledge of building supply operations in overseas military locations where they didn’t exist before served me well when building the ALB Stores operation,” said Steven. Piedmont officially opened the Albany maintenance base in May 2019.

Steven joined Piedmont as the Stores Supervisor in ALB in October 2018 when there were only two existing shelves for aircraft parts in the maintenance hangar. He is proud to say that now the base has a fully stocked Stores operation.

“Steve’s military background in logistics and parts management is a real asset to Piedmont,” said Dan Deshong, former ALB Maintenance base manager and Director of Inventory and Logistics. “His experience enables him to bring a different perspective to the table.”

The son of military parents, Steven graduated from high school and two days later began basic training for the United States Air Force at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. After basic training, he was stationed to Lakenheath Royal Air Force Base in England where he worked in the supply department maintaining aircraft parts. After two years, he moved to Hurlburt Field, Florida, and soon deployed to Panama for “Operation Just Cause”. Steven’s other temporary duty assignments over the years include Operation Deny Flight, Operation Eastern Desert, Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Operation Southern Watch. Steven later spent a year in Texas as an air reserve technician and served his last decade on polar missions to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland and McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

As he landed in Antarctica, he recalls the LC130 aircraft landing on skis and how picturesque and bright it was. His duty assignments were one to three months in length during the Antarctic summers with 24 hours of sunlight and an average temperature of 24 degrees. The location was remote and he worked in mobile trailers managing the supply of aircraft parts. He reflects that while there, he had the opportunity to see Mother Nature up close and personal, as penguins, orcas, minke whales and seals were common around his duty station on Ross Island. He looks back and remembers that one of his most memorable moments was flying four hours to visit the South Pole station and seeing the bottom of the world.

Steven says being stationed at Kangerlussuaq, Greenland was much different from Antarctica as the station was located in a small town that had an airport. While stationed there, he attended a survival school where he and others were dropped at a polar ice cap for three days with their cold weather gear. The team had to learn survival skills like building a shelter and making a radio. During the cold weather training, a dogsled team of indigenous people came across the ice cap and shared a meal with them.

After 22 years of service, Steven retired from his military service and when he joined Piedmont, he was actively seeking ways to connect with other military veterans to hear and share experiences and offer support. Insert Piedmont’s Veterans/Military Employee Resource Group (VMERG), which helped him find and connect with military resources and colleagues from around the country.

“I didn’t have a military network where I work and wanted to network with veterans from all over the company through the VMERG,” said Steven. As a result of being featured last November in the VMERG Spotlight-a-Veteran campaign, he connected with a fellow veteran through the group who served at the same base in England around the same time. Steven is an active group member and Facebook group moderator where he regularly shares stories and photos of his service. “I’m thankful for the VMERG and want it to continue to grow and be successful.”

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Behind the Wings is a Piedmont feature that highlights the accomplishments of the aviation professionals who make us Piedmont Proud inside and outside the airport. Piedmont is proud to recognize our military and veteran team members and their contributions to the success of the airline and making a difference in their communities.