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Rhein-Main AB handling record-setting arrivals, departures  

Released: March 11, 2003


By 2nd Lt. Uriah Orland

469th Air Base Group Public Affairs


RHEIN-MAIN AIR BASE, Germany (USAFENS) -- As the shortest month, February is not normally thought of as a record-setting month, but the 726th Air Mobility Squadron here has made it one, shattering several of its own records in the process.


In February 2003 the squadron handled 1,774 aircraft.  The aerial port, which handles additional aircraft from the State Department and other agencies, worked 952 arrivals and 915 departures throughout the month.  The logistics flight set an AMC record with 607 C-17 Globemaster III launches, while maintaining an overall reliability rate of 87.3 percent. 


The passenger terminal was also extremely busy. Personnel there were instrumental in processing 52,041 passengers, shattering the former AMC record set by the 726th AMS in January by more than 10,000. 


"It's truly a team effort," said 1st Lt. Eric McGreevy, 726th AMS passenger terminal officer in charge. "When the terminal gets swamped the whole squadron helps out." 


Nearly everyone was in the terminal Feb. 7 to help process an AMC-record of more than 3,700 passengers.  The passenger terminal currently processes more military passengers than Baltimore-Washington International, Md. and Atlanta, Ga. airports combined.  


With such a high airflow the fuel has to flow too.  The squadron's logistics flight began working with a contractor in January and together they pumped nearly 15,100,000 gallons of fuel in February.


"The contract started in October 2002 and we didn't use them at all until January 2003 -- now we can't live without them," said Master Sgt. Todd Mighell, 726th AMS maintenance senior controller. "That's equivalent to the amount of water that flows over Niagara Falls in 25 seconds." 


To prove this point of need, during the month of January the contractors pumped more than 1.2 million liters of fuel.  While that's a feat in itself, on March 4 they pumped 1,082,944 liters; in just one day.


Of course accomplishing feats like this, in every aspect of the job, can't be done alone.  The squadron called upon others for help.


The airmen permanently assigned to Rhein-Main have been augmented from bases throughout the United States. There are currently 46 National Guard and Air Force Reserve troops lending a hand.


"One thing that helped is we received a 24-man team from McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey," said McGreevy. "They hit the ground running and have been a huge success."


Eighteen airmen went to the passenger terminal and six are working in the fleet services section.

The maintenance section is also currently augmented with 123 personnel from Charleston AFB, S.C. and McChord AFB, Wash.  In addition, a C-5 maintenance team of 11 Reservists from San Antonio, Texas, is augmenting the group of 28 assigned aircraft maintainers and 12 supply technicians. 

The records are a phenomenal feat and a great morale boost for the troops, according to Capt. Justin Wellen, 726th AMS aerial port officer in charge. 

"More than anything, I think the records validate the shifts we work," he said. "We're working 12-hour shifts, five days on and two off.

"This is rough, but if we are moving record numbers of people and cargo, then the folks see they are contributing to something important," he added.  "Their time is not spent being idle at work, there is a need for them, and they are doing great work."

Maj. Rusty Custer, 726th AMS maintenance officer, agreed that morale is running high.

"It gives the troops a sense of pride knowing they've contributed to the mission in such a huge way," he said. "These records provide tangible proof of their dedication and sacrifice, and they feel great knowing these new records happened on their watch; because of their efforts." 



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