436th APS supports PAC-3 missile movement

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Maria Anderson
  • 436th Aerial Port Squadron

Members of the 436th Aerial Port Squadron loaded Lockheed-Martin Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles onto a United Arab Emirates air force C-17 Globemaster III in the early morning hours of Jan. 26, 2020.

The loading and delivery of the missiles was a culmination of a long-running process between the U.S. and UAE governments.

The Hon. Dr. Bruce D. Jette, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisitions, logistics and technology, was present for the event. Jette is responsible for handling all of the Department of the Army’s logistics matters, including all sales to foreign nations.

Airmen from the 436th APS In-transit Munitions Facility handle the safe and secure process of delivering munitions on a daily basis. From receiving the missiles to the precision buildup of the PAC-3s on pallet trains, the IMF team ensures safety and proper storage of all cargo that flows through their possession.

“The Airmen at IMF stay poised to provide support to our nation and its allies at a moment’s notice,” said Master Sgt. Perry Hardy, IMF noncommissioned officer in charge. “Knowing that the munitions we handle are headed to protect U.S. interests, as well as defend and deter enemy aggression, gives us a sense of pride and accomplishment in the work we do on a daily basis.”

Senior Airman Steven Landgren added, “Support starts here. If it wasn’t for the work we do, munitions wouldn’t be properly transported and ultimately never make it to the warfighter.”

The communication and teamwork between the 436th APS load team and the UAE air force loadmasters were vital to overall mission accomplishment.

Building partnership capacity between the UAE and U.S. was at the forefront of all operations on the morning of the PAC-3 loading. Jette and his team arrived at the IMF and witnessed the process of pulling the missiles out of a secure bunker, transitioning them to a Tunner 60K aircraft loader and, finally, physically pushing the 14,460-pound pallet trains of munitions onto the aircraft.

At the conclusion of the loading process, Jette coined and recognized Airmen from both countries. He also took the time to speak with the load team and thanked them for their hard work.

Jette said the mission helped to deter regional threats to the UAE and thereby protect American lives and interests in the region. The U.S.-UAE partnership is essential to stability in the area of responsibility, and much of the mission would not be accomplished if not for the Airmen who make the crucial mobility piece possible.