Aerial porters from the 442nd Air Expeditionary Squadron perform a key role supporting the U.S. Air Force’s global reach capabilities. This function helps deliver warfighters and supplies downrange, supporting operations in the Middle East in the fight against ISIS.
Aerial porters take part in the extending that global reach by loading and offloading aircraft at the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center.
“My job as [non-commissioned officer in charge] of operations is to oversee the daily schedule of inbound and outbound flights,” said Staff Sgt. Brett Kaiser, an Airman deployed in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve and assigned to the 442nd AES . “I ensure cargo and [passengers] fly into and out of the [area of operation] proficiently and expeditiously.”
Falling under the air transportation career field, aerial porters are responsible for coordinating the transportation of people and cargo traveling on military aircraft across the world
The 442 AES supports the fight by moving U.S. and coalition fighters through the battlefield. With those fighters they also move cargo, which includes a variety of items from medical supplies to ammunition and vehicles , said Senior Airman Matthew Anderson, who works in aircraft services at the 442nd AES .
The deployed environment in Iraq presents these deployed aerial porters with difficulties.
The most challenging part of the job is forecasting the unforeseeable. From maintenance issues and weather delays to individual mission cancellations, it all affects how cargo is moved around the AOR, Kaiser said.
With their hard work, these Airmen achieve a sense of accomplishment when they see the results of the time and dedication they’ve put into the mission.
“The most rewarding part of the job is to get the cargo to the people who need it the most, whether it’s the U.S. military, coalition partners or the civilian contractors,” said Kaiser. “It gives me pride because we are the benchmark for global reach.”