Inside the 908th: Air Transportation

  • Published
  • By Maj. John T. Stamm
  • 908th Airlift Wing

In the spirit of our Air Force Reserve Command award-winning series “I am the 908th”, and the 16-part “We are the 908th”, we are proud to present the third installment of the 908th trilogy, “Inside the 908th.”  This new series will not focus on individuals, groups, or squadrons, but rather we will investigate specific career fields our Reservists and civilians here work in every day and how they enable mission accomplishment.

Do you prefer an active work environment versus sitting at a desk?  Do you like to work with your hands and relish in the satisfaction of seeing the fruits of your labor?  Do you want to receive training that earns college credit and learn skills that are transferrable to a civilian career?

If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, you may be a prime candidate to join the 908th Airlift Wing 25th Aerial Port Squadron as an Air Transportation specialist (Air Force Specialty Code 2T2X1).  Members of this career field perform and manage air transportation activities; plans, schedules and processes eligible passengers and cargo for air movement; and loads and unloads passengers, cargo, and baggage moved on military and commercial-contract aircraft.

“Bases need supplies… service members need supplies… to complete the mission,” said Senior Airman Andrew Williams, 25th APS.  “From weapons and munitions to construction equipment and medical supplies, whether or not the aircraft lands or conducts an air drop, it’s our job to ensure those supplies are packaged properly to be delivered intact, on time, and on target.”

Air Transportation specialists support the Department of Defense’s capability to move passengers and air cargo worldwide.  They plan, organize, direct, coordinate, and control air transportation activities, determining and justifying personnel, equipment, and facilities required to accomplish air transportation functions.  Supervisors supplement policies, direct personnel, and establish procedures to process, load, document, and report passengers and cargo transported by air, including paratroops and cargo moved using aerial delivery methods.

In this career field, a member could find themselves performing air terminal operations and fleet service functions such as repairing, completing, and maintaining air movement records, documents, and reports; offering customer information on flight schedules, routes, air movement requirements, baggage limitations, and specifics on local facilities.  Specialists perform procedures to check in, process, schedule, transport, and escort passengers to and from aircraft, and ensure all passenger border clearance requirements have been met.  They also may operate terminal security equipment and conduct passenger and baggage security inspections.

If the art of logistics is more your speed, the 25th APS is right up your alley.  Air Transportation specialists verify eligibility of cargo offered for airlift, ensuring all cargo documentation, packaging, labeling and marking requirements, and border clearance requirements have been met.  They select, assemble, palletize, and transport cargo loads to and from aircraft and storage areas, checking cargo against manifests, and securing cargo with appropriate restraint equipment, ensuring safety by selecting load, preparing load plans, and computing aircraft center of balance.

According to Master Sgt. Warren Moore, 25th APS Aerial Delivery noncommissioned officer in charge, these skills are applicable to some civilian careers.

“APS Airmen develop skills that enable them to work at an airport, for an airline, or for a shipping company,” Moore said.  “To be successful, a candidate must enjoy physical work and be eager to learn.”

Air Transportation specialists learn passenger and cargo movement functions to include transport aircraft types, capabilities, and configurations; weight and balance factors; airlift transportation directives and documentation; cargo securing techniques; border clearance requirements; operation of material handling and other types of loading equipment or devices; fleet service functions; automated data processing equipment and its application in airlift activities; passenger service functions, and customer relations principles; and aerial delivery methods and equipment.

There are several other skills Air Transportation specialists develop which make them attractive candidates for various civilian careers.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Packing cargo parachutes, rigging airdrop platforms, and loading aircraft performing aerial delivery tactics.
  • Using automated systems to provide in-transit visibility and to document cargo movement operations.
  • Determining and implementing necessary safety and security precautions for handling and storing hazardous materials, special cargo, mail, and baggage.
  • Planning and managing fleet service activities to provide cleaning and meal delivery on aircraft.
  • Completing actions to requisition, store, and issue expendable and nonexpendable items for use on aircraft.

For entry into this specialty, completion of high school or a general educational development equivalency with courses in English, Computer Operation, and Mathematics is desirable.

If you are interested in a part-time career with full-time benefits as a Reserve Citizen Airman with the 908th Airlift Wing, please contact our Recruiting staff at 334-953-6737.