Commentary

October 12, 2012

LRS keeps mission moving

Attention to detail is a must in preparing for a mission. Every aspect must be done following specific technical orders, regulations and policies. No aspect is taken for granted.

Passenger processing ensures 100 percent accountability while traveling via military aircraft. It also guarantees all necessary documentation has been accomplished and is in accordance with the foreign clearance guide to ensure worldwide mobility.

The small air terminal operations center has myriad responsibilities. “Our primary mission is to support the 56th Fighter Wing dissimilar air combat training missions,” said Master Sgt. Kim Mitchell, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron small air terminal operations center NCO-in-charge. “We also provide technical training in general cargo build-up and hazardous material preparer courses. Even though our primary responsibility is to the fighter wing, we are prepared to support any passenger or cargo air movements arriving or departing our station.”

Load planning, aircraft loading and passenger processing are pertinent aspects in preparing for a mission, and when done properly, these critical duties ensure safety and significant savings.

“Our load planning is a bit different than at a full-scale aerial port because at Luke Air Force Base we do all aspects of air terminal operations beginning with acquiring training aircraft to moving fighter squadrons to and from the home station,” Mitchell said. “Acquiring these training missions can save the fighter squadrons up to $600,000 per deployment. We work closely with the Air Mobility Command schedulers to ensure availability, dates and times.”

Load planning ensures that the cargo is air worthy for travel on aircraft without mishaps. It also ensures the proper weight and balance is correct for the aircraft to fly safely and successfully to down-range stations.” In fact, these training missions have saved the 56th FW more than $7.5 million in transportation costs over the last two years.

To ensure safety and efficiency, everything loaded on an aircraft must go through a rigorous process without shortcuts.

“We conduct a joint cargo inspection to ensure all cargo, including hazardous materials, is in compliance with Defense Department regulations and applicable directives prior to aircraft loading,” Mitchell said. “After completion of the joint inspection, cargo is prepared for aircraft loading. We use three 25,000-pound capacity next-generation side loaders and a standard 10,000-pound capacity forklift for the upload. Air transporters are qualified to operate this heavy equipment. Loading consists of cargo transport, upload and proper restraint to prevent shifting in flight.”

The small air terminal operations center has the capability to handle any military or commercial aircraft transiting Luke such as the C-17, C-130 or DC-8. However, due to the Dissimilar Air Combat Training mission requirements, the center relies heavily on the KC-10 for aerial refueling, passenger and cargo purposes.

With all of the work involved in preparing for a deployment or mission, it would seem as if a sizeable notice would be required to execute these missions, but time is often not a luxury for the small air terminal operation personnel.

“It would be great to have a week to coordinate with other logistics agencies,” Mitchell said. “However, we can process a full cargo or passenger movement at a moment’s notice, as well as quick-turn aircraft within a matter of hours depending on the amount of cargo and passengers to be processed.”

Every fighter squadron at Luke has had the opportunity to experience the professionalism of the air terminal personnel. All fighter squadrons assigned at Luke have participated in DACT exercises, and we are here to help make these exercises successful.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Who’s afraid of a little blood?

I have been in the Air Force for 22 years and have been a medical laboratory technician since the beginning of my career. The medical or clinical laboratory is where specimens are tested to provide information to medical providers who directly assist in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in patients. After graduating basic...
 
 

Pursue education for career’s sake

Everyone knows education can be a good bullet on an enlisted performance report, but few know the true value of an education in regard to a military career. The pursuit of an education can be just as valuable as the degree acquired at the end. The knowledge acquired in the pursuit of an education can...
 
 
This-week-in-history

This week in history

1945: P-51 Transition Training Luke Field instructors began to teach a transition course in the North American P 51 Mustang 70 years ago this month when 13 of the aircraft arrived at Luke Field. In the following months, instruc...
 

 
foodnetworkstar

Fly Over: ‘Rose and Crown Pub’ and ‘Food Network Star’

‘Rose and Crown Pub’ A beautiful green countryside, day after day of cloudy skies, rain and fog, and chilly winters and humid summers — if this sounds more appealing to you than sun and desert heat, you’re probably bett...
 
 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

Our generation loves to hear inspiring stories — tales about exceptional heroes who fear nothing and succeed even during difficult times. Yet these extraordinary characters, admired by the people, can only be found in the comics. They’re called super heroes; because one day, by a stroke of luck, they were given incredible powers. However, the...
 
 

How do you stack up?

With upcoming changes to the enlisted performance report and Air Force promotion system, it’s important to understand how you stack up against your peers, not only within your job, but within your unit as well. The days of receiving time in grade and time in service points are numbered. They are being replaced with a...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>