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62nd Aerial Port Squadron: Moving you there

62nd Aerial Port Squadron Airmen and civilians work together to move a shipment of ammo Dec. 15 at McChord Field, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo/Adamarie Lewis-Page)

62nd Aerial Port Squadron Airmen and civilians work together to move a shipment of ammunition Dec. 15, 2010, at McChord Field, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Adamarie Lewis-Page)

Airmen assigned to the 62nd Aerial Port Squadron secure ammo to pallets before loading it onto a C-17 Globemaster III Dec. 15 at McChord Field, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The ammo will be delivered to the Middle East for missions supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo/Adamarie Lewis-Page)

Airmen assigned to the 62nd Aerial Port Squadron secure ammunition to pallets before loading it onto a C-17 Globemaster III on Dec. 15, 2010, at McChord Field, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The ammo will be delivered to the Middle East for missions supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Adamarie Lewis-Page)

Tech. Sgt. Charles Branum, 62nd Aerial Port Squadron shift supervisor, operates a forklift before securing cargo to pallets Dec. 15 at McChord Field, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo/Adamarie Lewis-Page)

Tech. Sgt. Charles Branum, 62nd Aerial Port Squadron shift supervisor, operates a forklift before securing cargo to pallets Dec. 15, 2010, at McChord Field, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Adamarie Lewis-Page)

MCCHORD FIELD, JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Commonly referred to as "Military FedEx," the 62nd Aerial Port Squadron's mission is to take people and cargo to the fight.

"Our mission is to move passengers and cargo where it needs to go," said Tech. Sgt. Charles Branum, 62nd APS shift supervisor. "We deliver for a channel, which is a normal day to day operation. Or, we deliver for mobility purposes, which are the support of overseas contingency operations."

According to Rocky Hirst, 62nd APS air freight flight chief, the process to package and deliver cargo is a long and detail-oriented one.

"These guys bring the cargo off the trucks, weigh it and then build it up onto the metal pallets," said Hurst. "Then they process and document it, the ramp service folks load it onto the K-loaders and transport it to the aircraft."

The 62nd APS is responsible for not only packaging cargo and shipping it overseas, but unpacking it and delivering it wherever it needs to go when it gets there.

"We do the same thing while we're overseas," said Sergeant Branum. "The cargo usually originates in the states, and we've got units overseas who move it from the states to and then receive it in the Area of Responsibility. They're the next stop, moving down the line."

Along with packaging and delivering, Aerial Port Airmen are responsible for keeping the aircraft clean and stocked during flight.

"When you're assigned to the fleet, it means you keep the aircraft clean, stocked and accommodate the passengers with coffee and food," said Airman 1st Class Clinton Schultz, 62nd APS aerial transporter. "There are four different jobs you can have within this career field. They usually try and rotate us every two or three years so we learn all aspects of our career field."

Because of the high-deployment rate, the 62nd APS maintains a large civilian work force.

"At any given point, 50 percent of our Airmen are gone at a time," said Hirst. "We need a large number of civilians to keep the continuity."

As long as people and cargo need to go overseas, the 62nd APS will be there to support the mission.

"We move anything and everything that cannot be trucked," said Sergeant Branum. "If you think about it, we are the people who get the troops to the war, and that is something we take pride in."

From stateside to overseas, the "Military FedEx" delivers troops and cargo to the fight, and ensures a safe and efficient return.