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Port dawgs support AMC, PACAF mobility mission

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Katrina M. Brisbin
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Whether its cargo or passengers, Airmen in the air terminal operations and passenger travel section of the 734th Air Mobility Squadron keep things moving.

Airmen from the 36th Wing and the 734th AMS work in daily tandem to not only ensure Air Mobility Command's global reach and allow Air Force leaders to decisively employ airpower around the world but to also mobilize Andersen Air Force Base's cross functional, rapid-deployment units. They provide logistical support by taking care of the passengers and cargo that transit through here as well as repair aircraft as needed.

Approximately 100 Airmen with the aerial port operations section work night and day to provide military logistical functions assigned to aerial ports, including the management for all movement of cargo and passengers transported in the military airlift system. 

Between their four sections of air terminal operations center, passenger services, fleet services and aircraft services, the teams transported approximately 10,792 tons of cargo and 32,200 passengers, last year.

The air terminal operations center Airmen are responsible for constantly monitoring airlift missions and providing updates to the other sections in the aerial port.

"(The) ATOC is the brains of the operation," said Master Sgt. Christopher Ginbey, 734th AMS air freight superintendent. "In this section, all flow of cargo and passengers being handled by the aerial port is managed, accounted for, and tracked."

Down the hall from the ATOC is the AMC passenger terminal. The terminal's primary mission is the movement of passengers travelling on orders and their baggage on Department of Defense-owned or controlled aircraft. Once all equipment and mission-essential crew are on board, available seats are offered to additional passengers awaiting transportation through AMC's space-available travel program.

For the 734th AMS, fleet services is the dirtiest job. Fleet services Airmen ensure aircraft are ready for new passengers at all times. The distinct "dirty fleet" and "clean fleet" teams provide comfort for passengers and the crew. Once an aircraft parks on the flightline, the dirty fleet's crew disposes of waste and trash. Depending on mission needs, the clean fleet then restocks aircraft with coolers of water, toiletries, hearing protection, pillows and blankets, or anything the passengers might need during flight.

Aircraft services is the largest section within the aerial port and includes cargo processing, ramp, special handling and load planning specialists. In this section, the "Port Dawgs" prepare cargo for air shipment according to established packaging and crating instructions, deliver cargo to the reception point at the departure airfield and provide documents for in-transit control of traffic and visibility. They also establish priority movement within traffic allocation, accept delivery upon notification of traffic arrival at the destination air terminal and determine the air terminal container capability of the airfield of intended use.

"It's an awesome unit to be a part of because of what we do," said Lt. Col. Jonathan Tucker, 734th AMS commander. "We help keep that logistics train moving so we can support this huge area of responsibility. We also do it safely, by the book and on time."

In order to increase their support, a new $35.6 million freight terminal is being constructed and is expected to open Summer 2015. This new construction will move the terminal closer to the AMC parking ramp, adding an additional 10,000 feet of storage and 300 pallet positions.

Moving the facility closer to the AMC side of the flightline will cut down on transfer and turnaround time and the new layout is also expected to eliminate safety hazards that exist in the current facility, which will allow safer handling of the cargo.

"The new air freight terminal is an exciting opportunity that will increase our ability to execute rapid global mobility in the Pacific and to support the growing mission of Team Andersen," Tucker said.

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