Airmen support ISAF's RC-North mission

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Michael Voss
  • 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
A small group of Airmen assigned to Bagram Airfield is making huge contributions to the U.S. Transportation Command mission in Afghanistan.

About a dozen Airmen belonging to the 455th Expeditionary Aerial Port Squadron and 455th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron are charged with unloading, loading and refueling every aircraft carrying supplies or personnel into and out of Camp Marmal.

The military camp is an outpost that serves as home to more than 5,000 coalition Soldiers next to Mazar-e Sharif, the fourth largest city in Afghanistan. The installation is primarily home to German forces, but due to the U.S. military's need to move personnel and supplies in the northern part of the country, Airmen are supporting those missions.

fuels shop on Bagram Airfield, but he is spending part of his six-month rotation acting as the Air Force's Camp Marmal fuels liaison. Each day Sergeant Lance monitors a radio for the call, which would set them into action.

"We fuel 20 to 30 jets per week," said Staff Sgt. Michael Lance, from the 455th ELRS. "Most aircraft coming through here land, get fuel and are right back in the air again, so we have to be on the ball. They are waiting on us."

Sergeant Lance and the other fuels technicians, use R-11 fuel-servicing trucks, each holding 6000 gallons, to fuel aircraft ranging from commercial contracted 747s to C-5 Galaxies and C-17 Globemaster IIIs.

The 455th AEW Airmen's contribution to the Camp Marmal contribution doesn't end with the delivery of fuel. The camp also serves as a pick-up and drop-off point for supplies to the Airmen deployed in support of Regional Command North. Several 455th ELRS Airmen are charged with loading and unloading cargo from the variety of aircraft that land at Camp Marmal.
"We stay busy here with the small group of Airmen we have here to service all the aircraft coming in and out of RC-North but it is worth it," said Master Sgt. Vernon T. Kennedy the Air Force's Camp Marmal logistic liaison.

Although the Airmen represent only a small portion of the 14 nations assigned to the RC-North headquarters base, which supports five provincial reconstruction teams, they are playing a vital role in the success of Operation Enduring Freedom, leaders said.

"In line with the 455th AEW's mission to 'supply the fight,' our fuels flight and cargo personnel stationed at Mazar-e-Sharif provide service to all USTRANSCOM flights onto the airfield," said Maj. Dennis Sivert, the 455th ELRS operations officer."Cargo destined throughout the Afghanistan (area of responsibility) that is moved through this base depends on the work of these mission-focused Airmen. From my viewpoint, they are the best of NATO forces in action to accomplish the mission."