Supply as related to the military refers to the provision of the material needs of military forces. It constitutes all materials, data, personnel, and related activities associated with the requirements, provisioning, acquisition of spares, sustenance and maintenance of inventories for the support of a force throughout its life cycle. In most Air Forces, the specialisation of air operations and the increasing complexity of modern aircraft and support equipment require a very high standard of organisation and performance in stores work since the range of materials, components and spares are continually expanding. Stores and purchasing are largely inter-dependent and any inefficiency or lack of co-operation on either side is soon reflected in the other.

To cope satisfactorily with the whole supply problem in modern conditions, a complete ‘dovetailing’ of these two functions is essential. However, there are occasionally special circumstances which justify some split in control, but the more progressive concerns show an increasing tendency to completely integrate the purchasing and stores departments responsible for all these activities. Thus, the functions should be under the following department:

Purchasing (Supply Cell - AFHQ): Its functions include sourcing, tendering, quotations, commercial negotiations, agreement of prices, order placing, supply contract, erection of contracts, sales of scrap and obsolete materials, market research, purchasing statistics, progression of orders and clearance of invoices for prices, discounts carriage and purchase conditions. A little of this activity is done at the Base Supply Wing by the Local Purchase Office/Section (LPO). Stores (Supply Wing – Base): The functions of the Stores Department include stores coding and vocabulary, material specification, material standardization, stock control, maintenance of stock records, stores accounting, stock checking, review of obsolete and surplus stock, inspection of goods delivered from suppliers, operation of store houses, operation of stock yards, certification of invoices for quantity and quality, movement and transportation of stores.

The Supply Wing is responsible for provisioning, procurement, storage and issue of Special to Air items to serve the operational and administrative requirements of the Base. Additionally, it stores and issues clothing, barrack and other common user items to personnel of the Base and other tri-service units. It also maintains up-to-date records of and accounts for all equipment both in store and in use. Furthermore, the Wing ensures that resources are distributed and utilized in the most effective and efficient way, and as per existing Government and GAF Regulations.