***image1***The 726th Air Mobility Squadron resumed a cargo trans-load mission April 19 after more than a year hiatus, handling nearly 2 million pounds in the first week.
Air Mobility Command called upon Rhein-Main to help move a constant inventory of about 500 pallets of sustainment equipment and supplies currently at Charleston Air Base, S.C., to various locations downrange.
“Ramstein is usually the cargo hub,” said Lt. Col. Jim Kirk, 726th AMS director of operations. “Rhein-Main was stood up because with the C-17s here it is more efficient for cargo to flow through here.”
Cargo generates from stateside units and accumulates at Charleston AFB until it is transported downrange.
The new mission transports the cargo to Rhein-Main via 747, C-5, KC-10, KC-135 and MD-11 airframes and trans-loads it to C-17 aircraft for transportation downrange. A 747 holds 42 pallets, whereas a C-17 holds 18 pallets. Each pallet can range from 1,000 to 9,000 pounds depending on what type of equipment is packed, on them.
Once a flight arrives, the cargo is off-loaded, weighed and inventoried. Origi-nally, the plan was to receive one wide-body aircraft per day. However, AMC is pushing to move the cargo and Rhein-Main is seeing about three wide-bodies per day, according to Lt. Col. Kirk.
Twenty-five Airmen from RAF Mildenhall and McChord Air Force Base, Wash., deployed in support of the mission.
“With their efforts we can support two wide-bodies simultaneously,” said Captain Wellen.
After setting an AMC record for passengers handled in one month, the squadron knew it could handle anything.
“This mission comes on the heels of a record setting month,” said Lt. Col. Kirk. “Just when we think we have reached our pinnacle, another challenge comes along.”