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455 ELRS continues to deliver

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Divine Cox
  • 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Moving people and equipment throughout multiple areas of responsibilities can be a stressful job, but the 455th Expeditionary Logistic Readiness Squadron continues to get it done day in and day out.

Airmen from the 455th ELRS sort and distribute approximately 130 thousand pounds of cargo each month from multiple locations and organization. These shipments can range from camera equipment to aircraft parts.

“Our job is to get people and things to the right place at the right time,” said Maj. George Bell, 455th ELRS commander. “We process everything needed to deliver air power here at Bagram.”

Bagram Airfield serves as a central hub for moving people and equipment, and the transportation management office has a large responsibility being that hub of operations for some of the forward operating bases throughout the AOR.

“The LRS transports all cargo throughout the base and we get equipment and supplies to the other bases,” said Airman 1st Class Trevis Pridgen, 455th ELRS traffic management journeyman. “Our outbound cargo section moves things to Al Udeid [Air Base] and the FOBs, and our inbound cargo section gets everything in so that the mission can get done and our C-130 Hercules’ can fly and our F-16 fighting falcons can take off.”

Once the shipments are inspected and cleared by inbound cargo, it is then sorted and readied so that each unit can retrieve their cargo as soon as possible.

“It is imperative that we ensure the safe inspection, sorting and sending out of all cargo that is processed here,” said Bell. “We have seven Airmen that make up out traffic management office here and I am proud of what they have accomplished. They are all one deep slots and each and every one of them is equally important to the ELRS mission.”

Pridgen said that this was his first deployment and looks forward to the rest of his tour.

“This all has been a great learning experience for me,” said Pridgen. “I come from a personal property shipping office where I basically handle household goods. I sit behind a desk scheduling permanent change of stations. Here I have the opportunity to do something new, as far as moving and transporting cargo.

The LRS gets you what you need. The LRS gets you where you need to go. You can’t move without LRS. There is no mission without us,” said Pridgen.

Bell has been the 455th ELRS commander for six months, and has a lot to be proud of about his squadron.

“One of the proudest moments was getting phone calls direct from general officers who are in charge of task forces from other services asking for our guys to come out and help them because they know our guys get the job done,” said Bell, alluding to the smaller logistics unit known as a Central Command Material Recovery Element, which goes out and helps close down FOBs.

“We move Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines. We also make sure our coalition forces get downrange as well,” he said.

As with most successes, challenges come up along the way and the 455th ELRS is no different.

“The most challenging aspect for the squadron is that we have new Airmen coming in every six months that have never worked together before,” said Bell. “So, developing that team work, that trust, and making sure that everyone has that knowledge and experience level to get the job done is extremely important.”

Twenty percent of the 455th ELRS is made up of Airmen while the rest are civilian contractors. The all work hand-in-hand to keep the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing moving.

“We touch every aspect of the mission here at Bagram,” said Bell. “We are moving people and critical assets downrange to make sure airpower can be delivered. Delivering airpower is more than just actually flying the jet and taking off. We support the mission by making sure that mission commander and combatant commander have what they need to defend, support and deliver airpower.”