The 86th Materiel Maintenance Squadron and the Warehouses Service Agency, a Luxembourg government-established service organization, deployed 3.5 million pounds of war reserve material, valued at over $34.1 million, to Ramstein Air Base, during operations supporting the Afghanistan evacuation.
Together the agencies would deploy 806 increments of cargo total including beddown material, vehicles, power and heat capabilities and support equipment, during the course of evacuation support operations.
“It’s all about logistics,” said Brig. Gen. George T. Dietrich, U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa director of logistics, engineering and force protection, “and it all starts with the capabilities the 86th MMS and WSA bring to the entire operation.”
Afghanistan evacuation support began Aug. 18, with the 86th Airlift Wing first requesting the 86th MMS to deploy beddown materiel from the Central Region Storage Facility in Sanem, Luxembourg, to support shelters and living areas for evacuees during the operation.
The unit often sends materiels to other bases, but this was the first time the 86th MMS had been largely hands-on with cargo of this scale.
“I think it was really validating to be able to see it in person,” said 1st Lt. Rachel Hammes, 86th MMS assistant director of operations. “We were able to understand WSA’s hard work and see the physical result of it.”
For the first time in 10 years, both the 86th MMS and WSA moved into 24-hour operations to support the Afghanistan evacuation. This proved to be a challenging task for some members of the WSA, who mainly deployed cargo requested by the 86th MMS, but the agency recognized the importance of the operation and volunteered to work extra hours.
“They went so far above and beyond what they were required to do,” Hammes said. “They didn’t have to extend their shifts or work weekends, but they volunteered because they saw it as their mission.”
A successful operation may necessitate enormous amounts of cargo, and together the 86th MMS and WSA have risen up to the task, deploying millions of materials to Ramstein to ensure Airmen and volunteers are equipped with enough materials to take care of evacuees.