JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
437th Airlift Wing Aerial Port Squadron personnel, no strangers to award winning performances with three major awards under their belt, weren't at all surprised when they were tasked to fulfill a large order that would literally save thousands of lives of deployed service members.
In 2008, a joint effort was created at Charleston Air Force Base comprised of the 437th APS, United States Transportation Command, Central Command, Theater Army Aerial Command, Army, Marine and Navy service components. This joint effort was to expedite delivery of cargo to U.S. forces in deployed locations.
One of the major projects to come out of this alignment was the 437th APS delivering the Mine Resistant Ambush Protective All-Terrain Vehicle Underbody Improvement Kit to troops overseas. The UIK kit improved the safety of the MATV's by providing better blast protection and deflection as well as providing spare parts for the vehicle.
The UIK kits were considered such vital assets to deployed troops; the Army purchased a 747 aircraft for the specific purpose of their timely delivery. The final 747 delivered the last UIK kit this week.
JB Charleston was chosen as the port of choice because of the outstanding reputation in mission accomplishment," said Lt. Col. Luther King, 437th APS commander. "We were also chosen due to our strategic location to rail facilities and a deep water port. Our vision is to become America's aerial port of choice for emerging cargo and passenger movement requirements and the opportunity to take on this critical mission brings us that much closer to making it a reality."
Each of the UIK kits consists of eight crates, with a total of one kit per pallet. The 437th APS performed flawlessly as they delivered 6,751 kits down range during the past years. Once the kits were delivered to deployed locations Honeywell Contractors were able to attach the necessary items to the vehicles on site.
"The 437th APS Airmen were able to see their impact on the war," said Bobby Robinson, 437th APS assistant operations officer. "They were able to realize how important their jobs really are because the shipment of these kits saved lives every day in deployed locations."