Channel missions return to 436th APS after nineteen years

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Faith Schaefer
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Nearly nineteen years ago, the 436th Aerial Port Squadron suffered a roof collapse in a storage warehouse causing a decline in mission generation capabilities. As a result, some channel missions were redirected to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. Due to world events and a rearrangement of logistics, the missions returned to Dover Air Force Base May 1, 2022.


Channel missions are regularly scheduled missions that send cargo through the U.S. European Command and U.S. Central Command theaters.


Home to a premier airlift wing and several mission partners, Dover AFB delivers more than 20% of the nation’s outsized airlift capacity. Channel missions make up a large part of the airlift, and the 436th APS, also known as the “Super Port,” is one of the key players, specializing in all things cargo and passenger transportation throughout multiple combatant commands. Acquiring the channel missions will add approximately 24 missions monthly to the 436th APS workload.


“It was vital to ensure the squadron with majority of the air transportation manning, most robust facilities, and high number of material handling capability, was able to be the prime mover of channel cargo to customers in Europe and the Middle East; that unit is the Super Port,” said Col. Bary Flack, 436th Maintenance Group commander. “Based on those factors AMC and TRANSCOM made the decision to move the Europe channels to Dover [AFB] from McGuire [JBMDL].”


Flack described the realignment as a joint decision between Air Mobility Command and U.S. Transportation Command, based on channel support for EUCOM and dwindling support required for CENTCOM.


“This channel realignment is a total Team Dover venture and mission, we are a power projection platform and main logistical hub for air movements of channel and sustainment cargo on the East Coast,” Flack exclaimed proudly. “Our [APS Airmen] are well trained and eager to make a difference. They are the best in the world at what they do.”


Capt. Nicholas Fontalvo, acting 436th APS commander, said the Super Port has more than enough resources to handle the realignment challenge.


“With us being the Super Port, we have twice the capability,” said Fontalvo. “We have twice the amount of space, manning and vehicles. For the Air Force to get its proper return on investments, we advocated to get those channel missions back. We are going to be using our facilities and our equipment for what they intentionally were purchased for, which was to handle a lot more cargo than we have been.”


Fontalvo stated the Airmen are motivated and they are the best trained to deliver for our mission partners and EUCOM. However, Flack stated the success of this realignment includes more than just the Super Port.

“The coordination across many Dover [AFB] units to support our Super Port has been outstanding; from security forces working gates for commercial truck traffic, to airfield management in the operations group working clearances for commercial airlift, to wing safety working waivers for explosive movements all have been integral in shaping the environment at Dover [AFB] to make this mission transition a success,” Flack said. “No matter the task, the Super Port and surrounding base units have clearly exceeded expectations and literally moved mountain to ensure others can prevail.”