HomeNewsArticle Display

386th ELRS moves thousands of passengers, cargo

The importance of this mission is equivalently clear for the men and women who serve the 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron.

Master Sgt. Chad Ehrlich, 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of special handling, points out Marine Corps howitzers that have recently been inspected and processed to be shipped out of an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Dec. 14, 2017. In 2017, the 386th ELRS processed and moved more than 65,000 tons of cargo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. William Banton)

The importance of this mission is equivalently clear for the men and women who serve the 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron.

Marines rescue cargo after an inspection at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Dec. 14, 2017. All cargo being transported on military aircraft is required to be inspected prior to being transported. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. William Banton)

SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- The Air Force is required to move hundreds of thousands of tons of cargo a year in support of military operations around the world.

The importance of this mission is clear for the men and women who serve the 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron.

“In July we moved more than 16,000 passengers, which is unheard of,” said Master Sgt. Chad Ehrlich, 386th ELRS noncommissioned officer in charge of special handling. “It is mind-boggling how many passengers that is…obviously, the tempo here is much different (than in the states). I recently started to prep my replacement and I showed him our tempo and he was like ‘holy cow.’”

“The volume and number of movements we do in one day is quite phenomenal,” he said.

Excluding passengers and baggage, in 2017 the 386th ELRS processed and moved more than 65,000 tons of cargo – pushing through approximately 16,000 work orders, requiring more than 200,000 labor hours of work – making it the busiest aerial port in the area of operations. This is comparable to transporting eight bull African bush elephants, or approximately 12 cruise ship size anchors.

Most of this tonnage is being transported to support operations in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan in direct support of Army operations throughout the AOR.

The cargo being moved is broken down into two categories, general cargo and special-handled cargo. Special-handled cargo items include hazardous chemicals, ammunition, armored vehicles and medical supplies including blood and other perishable items crucial to ensuring the safety of service members positioned on the frontlines.

“Every day it’s on our mission boards, some days it’s a single box, (other days) it is full (pallets),” said Senior Master Sgt. Jeremy Burlingame, 386th ELRS air terminal operation center duty officer, regarding medical supplies and blood products.

Blood products, which include whole blood, plasma and other variation of frozen blood products, require special refrigeration considerations.

“The regulations spell out if the item needs to be frozen or just chilled,” said Burlingame. “Most of what we move here is chilled because we don’t have the capability to move a whole lot of frozen (items).”

Different items have different regulated requirements based on how to safely transport them in and out of the AOR. For example, if the Army requires a M777 A2 Howitzer to be flown out of Iraq and back to the U.S., special handle cargo would first have to inspect the weapon to ensure each part has been secured for transport, and verify it is in operational condition and meets all U.S. customs requirements.

Erlich said special handling operates at a high pace and requires attention to detail, which demands consistent motivation from its Airmen.

All Airmen are required to complete a hazmat course certifying them to inspect hazardous materials and make sure they are packaged and annotated properly to ensure the item can be transported safely to its final destination. Additionally, the Airmen go through a two-week joint inspection course to teach them how to actualize the hazmat training to specific Air Force items, checklists and regulations during inspections.

“When my guys are out there looking at this [cargo], they have been trained to know what to spot and what to do. A lot of it comes from experience,” Ehrlich said. “To be selected to be in special handling you had to be a star.”


Facebook Twitter
DYK: Aircraft have lifespans! Like humans, they require check-ups in the form of maintenance inspections to prolong their ability to fly. These "checks" prevent in-flight system failures which ultimately protects aircrew and passengers. Learn more from the 86th Maintenance Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany on what it takes to correct issues so aircraft can stay airborne.
WATCH: United States Air Force pilots talk about the importance of Exercise Saber Strike 18 as they refuel over the Baltic Sea on June 18, 2018. Saber Strike 18 is a long-standing training exercise designed to enhance interoperability between the U.S. and our allies. The training focused on improving land and air operational capabilities between the U.S. and our NATO allies. (U.S. Air National Guard video by: Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)
Check out some shots from yesterday's All-Star Armed Services Classic Championship softball game in Washington, D.C. This event, part of MLB’s All-Star Week, pays tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces. Washington Nationals U.S. Army
Air Force and U.S. Army coed softball teams render military honors during the playing of the National Anthem during the All-Star Armed Services Classic Championship softball game, Washington, D.C., July 13, 2018. This event, part of MLB’s All-Star Week, pays tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces. Washington Nationals
Great way to lead by example!
The United States Air Force is facing a pilot shortage. To help solve the challenge, the Aircrew Crisis Task Force was recently created to provide strategic direction and actionable recommendations to senior leaders on how to solve the aircrew manning crisis. FULL STORY: https://go.usa.gov/xUb3z
Your United States Air Force news: ✓ A B-52 crew assists in a search and rescue operation off the coast of Guam ✓ An Afghan pilot class graduates in the Czech Republic ✓ The Air Force is using innovative approaches to training pilots to make the process faster and more efficient
Now that’s how weathermen work! Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters fly weather reconnaissance missions into Tropical Storm Chris and Tropical Storm Beryl. http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1569944/hurricane-hunters-fly-tropical-storms-beryl-chris/
The F-22 Raptor's combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. The F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft. Maintaining these aircraft can involve a bit of a learning curve. Airmen at KadenaAirBase use past technology to help learn how to work with the undefeated Raptor. FULL STORY: http://www.kadena.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1567295/hard-to-raptor-head-around/
Help us out! Can you caption this photo?
The B-52 Stratofortress has sniper pods that provide improved long-range target detection/identification and continuous stabilize surveillance for all missions, including close air support of ground forces. Air Force Global Strike Command crew members on a B-52 were able to spot a historic Pacific Island style canoe so that the U.S. Coast Guard could rescue the six passengers!
For the past 60 years, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has continually helped us maintain a technological edge against our advarsaries. Together with the Air Force Research Laboratory - AFRL, a fusion of ideas is leading to newly highlighted innovations.
SOUND ON! Celebrate freedom with the sound of freedom! Happy Independence Day!
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: An open letter & invitation to Col "Ned Stark:" Join my team & help us re-exam our officer promotion system -- as lead…
RT @AFWERX: AFWERX is using Ideascale to offer USAF Airmen the opportunity to submit their innovative idea for the Air Force. Join the netw…
#Airman uses data from the #MQ9Reaper to give firefighters near-real-time information as they confront fires in… https://t.co/tX2TSbYrSg
#Airmen from 105th Airlift Wing learn impact of their mission as this #Airman shares her harrowing tale of survival… https://t.co/40kBNQOz3d
Maj. Onier Alejandro-Villarreal & Capt. Rodney McIntyre, 927th Aeromedical Staging Squadron medical techs, operate… https://t.co/YsMHOL2vV7
Only in the #AirForceFamily! The chances of being your sibling's replacement at a deployed location are slim to non… https://t.co/JRED65irZS
RT @AETCommand: “The squadron is the beating heart of the @usairforce; our most essential team,” - Chief of Staff of the Air Force @GenDave
.@MacDill_AFB #Airmen prove that in an emergency a wing commander can turn to augmentees for additional support.… https://t.co/Pgal3TEP3p
RT @DeptofDefense: Prepared for all situations in all conditions. @AKNationalGuard #airmen with the 212th Rescue Squadron at @JBER_Officia
Happy Monday! Let's get this week off to a great start w/ #AirForce #WIP! https://t.co/rlP3y4NQ9k https://t.co/OlzebNB1lQ
After toggling with the idea of joining the #military for years, she promised herself to stop waiting for life to f… https://t.co/7Gt22iqNlD
It's #NationalAviationDay & new aviation opportunities are here! We're partnering with @CivilAirPatrol to groom tom… https://t.co/Fe9b4jlmGw
These supply #Airmen work 24/7 to ensure there is no break in the mission @RAFMildenhall because #NKAWTGhttps://t.co/biE2BPXVe1
Every #Airman has their reason for serving. Read on as these #Airmen explain what putting on the uniform everyday m… https://t.co/ubeDmY1liq
For the first time in the 63-year history of Operation Deep Freeze, #Airmen from the 304th Expeditionary Airlift Sq… https://t.co/CdeyI4HjHT
#DYK, the #MedalofHonor is the highest award for bravery that can be awarded to members of the United States Armed… https://t.co/qei2LbbD1I
.@388fw’s 4th Fighter Squadron became the first operational unit to fire the F-35A’s the #aircraft’s 25mm cannon on… https://t.co/J7hbXrCSCv
#DYK: The @22ARW is the host unit of McConnell AFB! Its mission is to conduct air refueling & airlift operations su… https://t.co/12bR9cwIuG
RT @71FTW: An aircraft crash has occurred approximately 50 miles west of Vance AFB. Pilot is conscious and with emergency responders. Follo…