JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
The 437th Aerial Port Squadron Load Planning Airmen answered the call when the Air Mobility Command Fuel Efficiency office asked AMC aerial port squadrons to maximize fuel usage aboard C-17 Globemaster III's and other air frames using a new initiative called precession loading.
Before the initiative squadrons were able to load cargo into aircraft with a 12-percent room not used discretion, but the initiative changed it to only two percent of space not used before the aircraft could fly.
The 437th APS Airmen made sure to maximize every nook and cranny of the aircrafts cargo space before taking flight.
The squadron's efforts resulted in 785 extra pallets pushed, eliminating 49 extra C-17 missions that would have burned 520,558 gallons of fuel costing approximately $1,634,552, according to Lt. Col. Michael Horsey, Headquarters AMC Fuel Efficiency office.
The Airmen took on the challenge and between fiscal year 2011 and 2012, moved 5,136 pallets, earning the 437th APS the title "Best Aerial Port" within AMC along with a $50,000 check to be applied toward the squadron's fiscal year 2013 budget.
"When I heard the news I immediately told the team," said Master Sgt. Tim Crowe, 437th APS LP noncommissioned officer in charge. "I knew I had a great team here, but the fact that AMC knows really brings it to light."
Along with moving 5,136 pallets, the Airmen were ranked number one in AMC average aircraft utilization statistics and pallet height improvement.
"I don't feel like we did anything other than complete the mission to our fullest ability, but it is nice to be recognized for it," said Staff Sgt. Duane Olds, 437th APS LP load planner.
The 16-member team executed the mission by double-checking loads in the most efficient manner with every cargo load.
"It's like a giant puzzle that can sometimes take hours to solve, but that's our job and we made sure we never cut any corners," said Olds.
The unit doesn't have any specific plans for the $50,000 dollars, but expect they will use it to improve building and office amenities.
"Our load planners use their keen attention to detail and ensure every load is center-balanced to the rear of the aircraft, maximizing fuel efficiency," said Maj. Chris Carmichael, 437th APS commander. It takes a lot of time and focus to achieve this on every load. Our Airmen do an outstanding job at it."