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AFCENT Cargo mission unhindered: ‘Net’working services for Coalition aerial support

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Alexandre Montes
  • 386th Air Expeditionary Wing

As the central HUB for AFCENT, Airmen here are responsible for supplying daily reports on what assets are being moved and which need to be replaced - some of which have been in rotation for quite some time and need to be evaluated. The number one resource used here: cargo nets and pallets. How else will everything stay put in the back of a banking C-17 Globemaster or C-130 Hercules?

“My responsibilities include to fulfill the requests of nets, pallets, chains, devices, and straps to over 59 Forward Operating Bases,” said Staff Sgt. Drew Dillon, 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron port dawg. “Our assets are distributed to several countries in the Area of Responsibility, which includes Afghanistan, Iraq, Bahrain, Syria, Qatar, and many locations in Kuwait supporting [the Department of Defense] and allied forces.”

Dillon and his team were recently given a heavy order after the closure of three FOBs. The items at those locations needed to be flown in, inspected, and redistributed to other locations in a short amount of time. For these ‘Port Dawgs,’ it’s too easy. Dillon assembled a team, and over just a few short hours, they hauled the largest order in recent history.

“We processed and prepared 400 side nets, 325 top nets, and 192 straps,” Dillon added.

This amount of effort will give DoD leadership the information and ability to redeploy assets and personnel that is applicable to the recent stop movement restriction and deployment operations. Using GART and the help from over two dozen volunteers, they provided the DoD the leverage to return to normal deployment operations as usual.

“The three recent mass audits and reorganization accomplished with the 48 volunteers allowed us to support units to move their equipment and their personnel,” said Dillon. “Having the assets readily available and accounted for, can quickly and efficiently allow items to arrive at locations requested, to preventing redeployment delays for their movement.”

Day in and day out, Airmen at Ali Al Salem Air Base find way to make it happen. Having restrictions and hinderances through adversaries either human or viral, the mission will always continue at the theater’s gateway to deliver unparalleled support.