Section Spotlight: Aerial Port
By Staff Sgt. Christina Hammack, 130th Airlift Wing
/ Published March 08, 2009
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The 130th Airlift Wing Aerial Port Operations is a section among others in the unit that received an "Excellent" rating during the 2008 Operational Readiness Inspection.
Some of the section responsibilities include passenger processing, aircraft cargo build-up, loading and unloading aircraft, parachute packing, airdrop load build-up and recovering airdrop equipment from the drop zone. Master Sgt. Christopher Belling commented on the goals of the section, " We will continue to exceed the expectations of our customers that have been set forth by the past members of Aerial Port. In addition, strive to achieve an "Outstanding" on the 2010 Unit Compliance Inspection."
Aerial Port has recently experienced drastic change on base. They have taken a massive reduction in force, which resulted in a loss of their squadron status and they are now a component of the Logistics Readiness Squadron. 50 percent of the personnel had to find new homes in other sections of the 130th as a result. They also were relocated to a new facility. "Our section has undergone many challenges over this past year. With the history and pride this section carries, we have always found a way to overcome these challenges. When we are called upon to do a task, there is not a shortage of volunteers or suggestions on getting the job done right and with pride," added Master Sgt. Belling.
Spending one and half years as 1st Sgt. with Aerial Port, Master Sgt. Brian White made good marks on the section. "I loved the job." Master Sgt. White was one of the individuals who had to look for a new opportunity on base when the reduction in force occurred. He spent ten and a half years with the section before becoming their 1st Sgt., serving as a liaison between the enlisted and the commander. He commented that his time with the section was more than satisfactory and was time well spent with an outstanding group of airmen.
Chief Master Sgt. Brian Pritt has been with Aerial Port going on 29 years. "The one thing that has impressed me from day one is the attitude and desire of nearly everyone that I've had the fortune to work with and for. We have deployed to everywhere from stateside locations to Panama, New Zealand, Thailand, just to name a few...," he said.
Selected members of the 130th Aerial Port are currently deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Airman 1st Class Kristen Kingrey is among those individuals. She is a newcomer to Aerial Port who was lucky enough to be selected for the last position available. As she prepared to leave for her first deployment, she commented, "My expectations are a little unclear. I know I'm going over to perform my job duties in which I'm well-trained for. I suspect everything will go well and we will all come home safe."
An upcoming project for Aerial Port is the Air Mobility Command (AMC) Airlift Rodeo this July at McChord Air Force Base in Washington. Wings are given an opportunity to showcase the talent of their aircrew and supporting sections. Members of the 130th have rated high during this event in past years with the tremendous effort put forth by all sections involved. Chief Master Sgt. Pritt noted that the 130th Aerial Port has won the Engine Running Onload/Offload Competition twice; in 1990 and 2000. "That's a first for the Air National Guard."
"Our morale remains high. Our commitment to excellence has not wavered and our men and women have continued to lead the way wherever we go," he concluded.