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386th ELRS celebrate reopening of Marauder’s Launchpad

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez
  • 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
On Dec. 16, 2018, the 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron reopened the Passenger Terminal, now renamed the Marauder’s Launchpad, which will further enhance operations within the Area of Responsibility.

Since August, the squadron has worked around-the-clock to revamp the terminal with the goal of cutting down processing time for all outbound passengers. Due to these changes, the squadron has successfully cut passenger wait times by more than fifty percent.

“Immediately after we drafted and briefed our plan, we got started on the renovations,” said 2nd Lt. Sarah Harper, 386th ELRS Aerial Port Flight operations officer. “While we worked with other units around base to get additional equipment, we repurposed the majority of our own supplies and materials.”

The projects the 386th ELRS members collaborated on included paint jobs, shifting walls to increase square footage and the addition of scales, computers and phone lines.

“With all the changes we have implemented over the last few months, our Airmen stepped up and took it in great strides,” Harper said. “Without them, this renovation would not have been possible.”

According to the members, the most significant project the team worked on was the renovation of the Passenger Processing Center building, which previously only held x-ray machines. The squadron decided to utilize the building for additional passenger processing, which would clear up foot traffic in other areas of the processing line.

“Previously, when we had all our processing in just one building, it became extremely chaotic,” said Master Sgt. Kimberly Metten, 386th ELRS non-commissioned officer in charge of the passenger terminal. “Now, there is more structure and less congestion for outbound passengers, which has eased the overall flow.”

The new standard allows 386th ELRS to call 10 – 15 passengers at a time to the Passenger Processing Center once they are ready to weigh and scan their bags.

“Another building we renovated is Passenger Gate One,” Metten said. “This is the last stop for all members. In this building, there is a USO area as well additional chairs for passengers who are waiting to depart the base.”

To further decrease wait times, Harper said that members are now able to drop off their bags the day prior to their departure date, which will allow the process to occur more efficiently.

While 386th ELRS Airmen are aware of hiccups they may encounter with any rotation, members have expressed how impactful the new processes are to the AOR in regard to wait times, travel times and passenger satisfaction.

“This project has turned into something more grand than any of us imagined,” Metten said. “So far, passengers have expressed that they like the flow of the process, appreciate having a secure baggage drop-off area and more access to information posted all over our screens.”

Both, Harper and Metten, have witnessed improvements and are looking forward to the New Year to continue to see how their new structures, equipment and processes will further evolve the mission.

“We wanted to hand something over to the next crew, so that they can continue to make improvements,” Harper said. “There’s still a lot of moving parts and we are going to get busier soon, but we are all excited to the full effects of what we have accomplished.”