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Military

Air transportation specialists key to life at Lajes

by Airman Caitlin Putman
Detachment 6, Air Force News Agency


2/12/2007 - LAJES FIELD, Azores (AFNEWS) -- Keeping Lajes Field members fed and informed is a vital job that falls on the shoulders of a 28-year-old sergeant's team, since virtually everything the base needs is flown into the small island off Portugal that Lajes Field calls home.

Staff Sgt. Eric Brooks and the rest of his team at the 729th Air Mobility Squadron at Lajes Field are solely responsible for supplying this remote location with food and mail.

"It's not like your normal home station," Sergeant Brooks said aboard a 747 unloading a week of rations. "Our goal here is to have a turnover rate from aircraft to customer in one hour's time as safe and as quickly as possible."

Sergeant Brooks and nine other Airmen receive cargo from other bases around the world. They also ship household goods for people moving away from Lajes. However physically demanding the job may be here, it doesn't compare to the job Sergeant Brooks did in Iraq.

"Over in Iraq, we have a lot more going on," Sergeant Brooks said. "A lot of troop movements (and) we're moving a lot of heavy equipment and munitions."

However hard, long, hot, or cold the job may be, Sergeant Brooks said he is ready for the challenge.

"It's a true Air Force job," he said. "It's 24/7, 365. You get a good sense of pride doing it. I like getting out here and getting dirty. I like pushing the pallets with my guys. And (I) just feel good about my job at the end of the day."



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