OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea (AFNS) --
The 731st Air Mobility Squadron officially opened a new air freight terminal during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 26 at Osan Air Base.
The $34 million state-of-the-art air freight terminal broke ground in November 2017 as part of a two-phase project to optimize readiness for the Pacific theater serving as the main logistical hub for the Korean peninsula.
“This new air freight terminal is bringing the 731st Air Mobility Squadron into the modern era; expanding our capability in handling all inbound and outbound Department of Defense and joint-service air cargo for the Korean peninsula,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Murray, 731st AMS commander.
With the first phase of the project complete, nearly doubling their cargo-yard space, the 731st AMS will be able to more efficiently maneuver cargo. They have tripled their usable warehouse space, which will enable their ability to handle more cargo than before and remain a key contributor to the delivery of persistent joint air and space power.
“We take all the cargo for the entirety of Korea here,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Brodeur, 731st AMS special handling supervisor. “This warehouse gives us the space so we can handle a big influx of cargo compared to the last warehouse, and better equipment to get the jobs done faster. It's very beneficial in terms of the ‘Fight Tonight’ attitude we have here.”
The terminal includes upgraded freight-storage spaces with a security cage, larger refrigerators and freezers, climate-controlled facilities, and covered outside storage.
“This is the result of a collaborative effort of the close relationship we share with the 51st Fighter Wing, Seventh Air Force, United States Forces Korea, the Combined Forces Command and our Republic of Korea military and civilian partners which has led to an enduring peace and strengthening our efforts,” Murray said.
Bringing this terminal to fruition took the combined efforts of Air Mobility Command, Republic of Korea, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the 51st Civil Engineer Squadron. While the 731st AMS falls under AMC, the 51st CES oversaw the entire project and ultimately accepted the facility from the contractor on behalf of the U.S. Air Force.
The second phase of the construction project is currently underway with a new air freight material handling equipment maintenance facility projected to be completed next year.
While the increase in storage and warehouse space benefits all of U.S. Forces Korea, the squadron will personally benefit due to the consolidation of personnel to a central location.
The 731st AMS, a tenant unit at Osan AB, is responsible for the operation of the Patriot Express as well as managing all air freight cargo for U.S. Forces Korea while supporting the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. Transportation Command, Combined Forces Command and United Nations Command.