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PAX Airmen support all aspects of Andersen missions

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Airmen from the 734th Air Mobility Squadron here support Andersen's mission as a key Pacific operating location by getting passengers, aircrew, and their cargo where they need to go.

The squadron's approximately 20 Airmen use their versatile skill sets that envelop passenger needs, cargo regulations, and aircraft requirements to meet the demands of unpredictable and ever-changing flight schedules in order to support any mission, not just those specific to Andersen.

"Our Airmen are part of a tenant unit based out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, , "said Staff Sgt. Michelle Greenbaum, 734th AMS passenger service supervisor. "We have less people than most aerial ports in the states and trainers are limited, so a lot of their training is on the job."

The squadron, which belongs to the 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, is an Air Mobility Command organization focused on supporting Pacific Air Forces unique mobility requirements, 734th AMS officials said.

"We support every mission on Andersen in some way. We supported Exercise Forager Fury II, sent Airmen to the typhoon relief in the Philippines, aided the facilitation of Operation Christmas Drop, and we consistently support troop movements," said Airman 1st Class Maranda Woodruff, 734th AMS passenger service agent. "On the surface, it might look like all we do are roll calls for passengers flying space-available flights, but our impact is much larger."

From the beginning of their careers, these Airmen are taught the importance of time management and prioritizing, giving them the ability to perform under the pressure of a continuously evolving mission that has little room for error.

The unit's passenger service agents are responsible for verifying passenger documentation and eligibility, loading and off-loading passengers, aircrew and cargo requirements, manifesting passengers for authorized destinations; these are only a few responsibilities of the 734th AMS.

Efforts of these Airmen allow daily missions to run smoothly simply by transporting anything considered essential. Crews arrive to refuel bombers, service members return to their families, and medical patients receive transportation to better care.

All passengers and crews arriving to Andersen are personally greeted by these passenger service agents, making them the first impression many people get of Andersen.

"My favorite part of my job is when I go to receive inbound passengers," Woodruff said. "The island is beautiful; they are happy to come here and experience it. It doesn't matter where they are from or why they are coming, stepping out of the aircraft and into the sunshine results in a smile."

The efficiency of these Airmen led to the completion of approximately 3,150 missions and the movement of more than 32,000 passengers last year.

"The Airmen at the passenger terminal give 90 percent of their time and 100 percent of their effort to this terminal, the missions and the passengers," Greenbaum said. "Their dedication in getting the mission done safely and on time keeps the reputation of this terminal a strong and positive one. They are an elite group of young Airmen."