As the 2022 holiday season arrives, the Ramstein Air Base Post Offices prepare for war.
During the holidays, the post office team experiences a massive influx of packages shipped in and out of Ramstein AB.
“Typically, throughout the year, our daily incoming shipments contain between 200 to 400 packages,” explained Airman 1st Class Hunter Shoup, 786th Force Support Squadron military postal clerk. “However, during the holidays, this number increases to around 600 to 1,000 packages every day of the week.”
Some postal workers even recall experiencing as much as 1,300 daily package shipments in prior years. The workload multiplies but the post office manning does not multiply with it.
So the post offices open their doors for volunteers to help process this massive influx in shipments.
“Volunteers are instrumental to the mission year-round, but especially during this time of year,” said Master Sgt. John Grijaldo, 786th FSS postmaster. “Throughout the year, we will have three to five volunteers on rotation, but for the holiday season we hope to have around 35 to 50 volunteers on rotation.”
The post offices do incentivize any DOD identification card holders to volunteer year-round. This offers anyone the chance to help the base with an essential mission and rewards those who help with “fast passes,” which are tickets to the front of the lines at the post office so you don’t have to worry about long holiday wait times.
Even if you are not a volunteer, there are still many things you can do to help the post office help you.
One thing you can do to help yourself and the postal clerks is to make sure you ship your packages out in time.
The post office has posted “mailout date” charts, which recommend when you should mail your package to arrive before Dec. 25th based on what mailing class you are using.
- USPS Retail Ground – Nov. 23
- First Class Mail – Dec. 9
- Priority Mail – Dec. 9
- Priority Mail Express Military Service – Dec. 16
Starting Nov. 14, patrons that are wanting to ship mail out will be required to fill out their customs forms online, using usps.com, before bringing their package in to be shipped. This new requirement saves time for the postal clerks, customers and eases long wait times.
Finally, the last thing you can do to cut down wait times is to show up to collect your packages only after you receive the “AMPS” notification sent to your email. Sometimes your shipment tracker will alert you on the delivery of your package, however, that does not mean the base post office has been able to process and bring it to the location for you to pick up. Waiting for the official “AMPS” notification about receivable packages will ease customer wait times.
As this holiday season kicks off, the postmaster wanted to thank everyone involved with completing this mission, and thank Team Ramstein for their patience as the post office fights the good fight.
“Our team works hard all year long, but this time of year is our superbowl,” said Grijaldo. “We are doing everything we can to make sure the packages get to where they’re going as fast as we can so everyone can have better holidays. I appreciate everything my Airmen and the volunteers are doing for this base.”
For those who would like the chance to help the base this season and volunteer at the post office, please visit https://forms.gle/aeEbF5q6LmGKGT5v8 to fill out the sign-up sheet.