USAFE unit wins AF Aerial Mail Terminal of the Year award

by Capt. Thomas Hamlyn
Postal Transportation Flight commander

Have you ever wondered what happens to your mail after you hand it to the Airman at the post office?

It doesn’t just disappear into some black hole and magically appear at its destination. Instead, it rides a complex network of trucks and airplanes to get from your hands to its recipient.

“Most people know two people in the post office: the guy selling you stamps and your mailman who delivers your mail,” said Tim Lynch, director of transportation for the 2nd Air Postal Squadron on Ramstein.

But the 18 Airmen at Detachment 1, 2nd AIRPS working at Frankfurt International Airport know all too well the work that goes on behind the scenes. They are the ones who get it from origin to destination.

“(We) provide air and ground mail logistical transportation for Air Force, Navy, Army and Department of State into and out of European Command, Central Command and Africa Command areas of responsibility using 26 commercial air carriers and 52 ground transportation assets,” said Vern Yowell, detachment chief at Det 1.

And his Airmen are the ones who make that happen.

“They’re committed to duty 24/7/365 days a year, ensuring 33 million pounds of U.S. mail is monitored during receipt, transfer, sorting  and dispatch to and from 269 military operating locations worldwide as well as four U.S. destinations,” he said.

While the labor is done by contractors, Det. 1 Airmen keep eyes on it at all times to keep mail moving correctly and quickly.

“During the day, we make sure all incoming mail arriving to Germany is undamaged and on time,” said Senior Airman Matthew Campbell, Mail Control Activity specialist at Det. 1. “At night, we create over 150 payment vouchers for mail leaving Germany, ensuring a real-time payment to air carriers.”

For their outstanding effort, they earned the 2011 Air Force Information Dominance Outstanding Aerial Mail Terminal Award.  So, the next time you drop a birthday card in the mail, rest assured the team at Det. 1 is working hard to move your cards, letters, boxes and magazines to their destinations along with the mail for 350,000 other military-affiliated personnel and their families living in and around Germany.