NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron air terminal and passenger movement section provides support to Nellis AFB for normal operations as well as for exercises such as Red Flag and Green Flag.
During standard operations and during exercises, the air terminal staff processes duty passengers and mobility cargo.
“On an average day that does not involve the local exercises here at Nellis, we work one mission, process 10 passengers and move around four tons of cargo,” said Master Sgt. Kenneth Taylor, 99th LRS air terminal and passenger movement section chief.
When it comes to the support they provide for exercises like Red Flag, their workload multiplies significantly.
“During the [last] Red Flag [exercise], which consisted of 10 days, we worked 40 missions, processed 974 passengers and offloaded 240 tons of cargo,” Taylor said. “Red Flag brings in anywhere between 15-30 units from all over the country. Each unit supports their given airframe or aircraft to include everything that is needed to keep the aircraft flying.”
The volume of activity at Nellis AFB is also greater compared to other AFB’s air terminals of its size.
“If you are talking about other LRS small air terminals, it is easily 80 to 90 percent more than any other LRS in Air Combat Command given the mission we support with all of the exercises,” Taylor said. “Now comparing us to an Air Mobility Command aerial port, which is manned significantly more than us due to channel and contingency airlift, we would compare about evenly on their average busy day to one of our Red Flag days.”
The air terminal operation is important for other operations around Nellis AFB by providing vital passenger and cargo transportation support.
“Nellis air terminal is pivotal in making sure that safety of flight is maintained and that the units being transported follow the rules of air travel, whether it [is] cargo or passengers,” said Tech. Sgt. Michael Sibley, 99th LRS assistant NCO-in-charge of the air terminal. “Without air transportation, global reach would be severely hindered and we would not be the greatest air power in the world.”
Members of the air terminal have a range of duties for processing passengers and cargo.
“Passengers and baggage arriving for Red Flag are handled just like any other passenger and bag we processed on our normal work day,” Taylor said. “We offload the passengers and baggage. Then get with the main POC to coordinate the offload and transport location for their cargo. The cargo is offloaded and typically loaded onto awaiting trucks to transport to their staging area which can be anywhere on the flightline.
“During the re-deployment, we have to joint inspect all of the departing cargo to ensure air worthiness. Once this is completed we put an aircraft package together with all of the cargo manifests, hazardous declarations, joint inspection form, load plan and finally the passenger manifest. The passengers are processed through our passenger terminal and transported to the aircraft after all of their cargo is loaded.”
Although processing baggage and passengers is a vital portion of the air terminal workload, other duties are also performed on a daily basis.
“Air terminal [members] are responsible for the safe preparation and loading of all cargo and passengers that come in to and depart from Nellis AFB and Creech AFB by air,” Sibley said. “We are responsible for the inspection of cargo to ensure the safety of the aircraft and aircrew due to the inherit dangers of the cargo we load onboard. Also, we ensure that passengers departing Nellis AFB are transportation security administration cleared just as they would be from a civilian airport.”
Whether it’s a normal day or a high tempo exercise, the 99th LRS air terminal and passenger movement section strive to provide the best support possible to keep the Nellis AFB mission going.