The recent completion of a Qatar Emiri Air Force staging facility on Al Udeid Air Base, has provided the perfect occasion for building partnership opportunities between the U.S. Air Force and Qatari air forces.
Based on a request from the Qatar Emiri Air Force, the 8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron has been permitted to use the new facility alongside their partners in the Qatari air force to begin a partnership building initiative. The building provides an adequate space to share critical knowledge in the relatable career fields as well as a place to focus on improving on-the-job safety.
“Getting people together for a common cause of supporting airlift- that’s what we do in Air Mobility Command. We’re experts at it,” said Lt. Col. Robert Magee, commander of the 8th EAMS. The joint use of the new facility provides the perfect opportunity to improve relationships while sharing and even further honing that expertise.
One focus of the partnership building initiative is assisting the Qatari air force with implementing their own guidelines for pallet assembly buildup, weighing and balancing, and inspection prior to loading onto the aircraft. The facility provides the space for the initiative and the opportunity for the forces to work together and learn from one another on a daily basis.
“The U.S. is at the tip of the spear as far as logistics, however there is always an opportunity to learn,” said Master Sgt. Nino Lucena, Air Freight Superintendent assigned to the 8th EAMS.
The facility not only provides the space to develop a deeper partnership, but it also provides a safe environment for building and dis-assembling cargo pallets for aircraft transport. The structure can be used to store and protect important assets critical to preparing cargo for aircraft transportation. The 8th EAMS can now store seat kits and net sets on Al Udeid Air Base, both of which require covered storage. The facility also houses pallet stackers, a lockable cage for secure storage, and plenty of extra space to prepare assets for transportation and to conduct pallet assembly and dis-assembly.
The facility is critically important to the safety of the airmen working to build pallets; it provides protection from exposure to heat and the direct sunlight, said Lucena. Airmen can be adversely affected by working in the heat while performing their jobs on the flight line. Now, thanks to the partnership building initiative between the U.S. and Qatar, cargo pallets and other related assets critical to the mission are constructed and processed in a much safer environment.
“For us it’s about flexibility, tenacity, and velocity - and add partnership onto that and you get where we’re trying to go,” said Magee.