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Logistics Airman keeps cargo moving to support Airpower

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

From office supplies to furniture to aircraft parts, the U.S. Air Force ships millions of dollars’ worth of equipment and supplies around the world every day.

Moving equipment throughout the Combined Joint Operations Area - Afghanistan can be a stressful job, but it is experts like Staff Sgt. Josiah McDonald, 455th Expeditionary Logistic Readiness Squadron in-bound cargo NCOIC, and his five-man team that gets the job done.

“Bagram Airfield serves as the central hub for all cargo in the area of responsibility,” said McDonald. “As the NCOIC for in-bound cargo, it is my job to get all the supplies that come in, whether that’s for personnel, readiness or aircraft parts, to its correct destination in a timely manner.”

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

“My day to day is mainly processing cargo,” said McDonald. “We have two entities where we get our cargo from, that’s special handling and the cargo documentation team. A lot of the cargo that comes off the aircrafts get pulled to the side and gets put on a manifest, then they get transferred to us.”

According to Maj. Timothy Stephens, 455th ELRS director of operations, McDonald always displays positive approach to taking care of the mission and has been a pivotal part of our traffic management office function.

“Our TMO section touches everything that comes in and out of BAF, from aircraft parts, to general service supplies, to weapons and equipment,” said Stephens. “This section is critical to the success of our mission. Without them taking care of business, our installation cannot function.”

Currently deployed from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., McDonald hails from Erie, Pa., and has been in the Air Force more than six years.

“Before joining the Air Force, I attended college at Liberty University,” said McDonald. ”But one day I decided that college wasn’t for me anymore and quickly decided to join the military.

Since entering the Air force, McDonald has been on four deployments, three times to Afghanistan and once to Qatar.

“While this is my third time to Afghanistan, this deployment was still different to me,” said McDonald. “I just recently got married…however, this is a good time for me to develop myself especially since I’m testing for technical sergeant.  It’s a good time to be away so I can study and focus on making that next rank.”

The mission of the 455th ELRS is to provide the best logistics support to meet the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing’s mission.

“If we weren’t here, there would be a lot of unhappy people,” said McDonald. “Our role here is very important to the wing because the parts that come through here support the warfighter. Without us, other units wouldn’t get there supplies, maintenance wouldn’t get there parts for the aircraft, then we couldn’t deliver airpower.”