From sender to receiver, mail takes a twisty path to its destination, especially if that mail goes to military members, Department of Defense civilians and their families stationed overseas.
For those in the U.S. European and African Commands, that path crosses with the 2nd Air Postal Squadron, headquartered at Ramstein.
“With only two postal squadrons in the Air Force (the other located at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii), it’s indeed an honor and privilege to be in command of such a wonderful organization,” said Lt. Col. Gary Trautmann, 2nd AIRPS commander. “We are basically a 24/7 operation and our vision of leading the way in providing premium world-class service and support throughout the U.S. European and African Command theaters of operations during peacetime, contingencies and war is something we are all very proud of.”
More than 100 members comprise the six detachments and two operating locations that fall under the 2nd AIRPS, which are positioned in Spain; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Frankfurt, Germany; Athens, Greece; Turkey; London, England; and Milan, Italy.
These detachments and operating locations manage mail transportation, including monitoring more than 1,000 flight segments, ship routings and various trucking segments.
This results in about 76 million pounds of mail processed annually and $18 million in transportation costs.
The 2nd AIRPS command at Ramstein also informs, inspects and provides guidance and training to more than 400 postal specialists at 26 military post offices and 16 Department of State post office locations.
“Annual postal inspections, management of help desk operations and annual postal training courses offered at Ramstein keep us all extremely busy,” said Yvonne Radloff, 2nd AIRPS command postal training manager. “It’s a total team effort and one we all enjoy.”
Once the mail arrives at the operating locations it is forwarded to the detachments or aerial mail terminals.
The AMTs job is to then process and forward mail to the different post office locations.
Simply put, the 2nd AIRPS gets mail to the receiver.
“Postal service and support is significant to quality of life overseas,” the colonel said. “Our men and women give 100 percent effort day in and day out to provide the service and support our customers expect and deserve.”