Whether it’s moving people, household goods or military equipment, Airmen from the Luke Air Force Base Traffic Management Office handle it all.
TMO is separated into two departments. One handles outbound shipment of military equipment at the cargo movement building, and the other handles the administrative side at the Block House, said Master Sgt. Steven Inman, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron cargo movement superintendent.
“At cargo movement, we handle 95 percent of the cargo leaving Luke,” Inman said. “We ship large and small items such as aircraft parts, vehicle parts, ammunition, documents, cargo for deployments to actual aircraft and vehicles.”
On a typical day, the Airmen usually receive between 20 to 60 pieces of aircraft parts that need to be packed for shipment as well as other types of cargo, Inman said.
“Prior to shipment we ensure the cargo is packed correctly and labeled properly stating whether it’s hazardous or classified,” he said.
There are also various ways items are shipped.
“While we are in charge of packing the item for shipment, we are also responsible for arranging transportation on every single piece,” said Tech. Sgt. Chris Sanchez, 56th LRS outbound surface freight NCO-in-charge. “Smaller pieces are shipped through small carriers, and larger pieces are shipped out by a tractor trailer or truck.”
Working at TMO may not seem dangerous, but it actually can be.
“We deal with a lot of explosives on a daily basis, and they need to be handled with care because of security and safety reasons,” Sanchez said. “Last year we shipped around 300 pieces of ammo.”
Shipping explosives requires planning, since a specific truck with satellite surveillance and two drivers has to be ordered to carry explosives, Sanchez said.
Whereas the Airmen at cargo movement deal with the physical aspects of shipping cargo, Airmen at the Block House handle more of the administrative side helping move fellow service members and their household goods to or from another duty station.
“At the Block House, we process paperwork for Airmen who are either moving to or from Luke,” Inman said. “We help them with their household goods paperwork and coordinate to get their property moved with the Joint Personal Property Shipping Office in Colorado Springs, Colo.”
Additionally, TMO handles passenger travel.
“We have a passenger service section which provides airline tickets to Airmen going to their next duty station, whether it’s stateside or overseas,” Inman said.
For TMO Airmen their mission is clear.
“Our biggest mission at Luke is to make sure the aircraft have the parts they need to be mission-ready by shipping damaged aircraft parts for repair,” Inman said. “We also provide the best logistics transportation management to our fellow Thunderbolts, their dependents and the Defense Department’s cargo required all around the world.”