305th AMW delivers COVID-19 patient transport solution

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Austin Knox
  • Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs

Airmen assigned to the 305th Aerial Port Squadron loaded their first Negatively Pressurized CONEX, which was recently created for high-capacity transport of COVID-19 patients, onto a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft for delivery into the operational theater, July 31.


From the realization of a combatant command need to a warfighter capability, the creation of the NPC was completed in a rapidly efficient 95 days. The sense of urgency associated with this pandemic asset continued with the transport and delivery by the Airmen of the 305th Air Mobility Wing.


“The 305th APS Airmen showcased their capabilities throughout the process of receiving the NPC and delivering it to the aircraft for airlift,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Jason Torres, 305th Aerial Port Squadron air freight superintendent. “Our transportation management and cargo processing experts utilized a crane to hoist the NPC from the delivery truck directly onto a six-pallet train. After securing the NPC for safety of flight, our load planners calculated the weight and balance in preparation for loading the C-17 aircraft.  Utilizing the Aerial Port Expeditor program, our ramp operation’s team uploaded the NPC for final airlift.”


The APEX program allows highly qualified air transportation Airmen to conduct loading operations without aircrew support.


“By utilizing the APEX program, we have the flexibility to determine the best time to on-load and off-load an aircraft,” said Timothy Jones, 305th Aerial Port Squadron air freight flight chief. “APEX Load Directors are authorized to supervise the on-loading and off-loading of aircraft cargo without the presence of a loadmaster, based on duty schedule and air flow. It enables us to facilitate the decrease of aircraft ground time and provide more efficient use of the crew’s duty day.”


The 305th APS was able to form a cohesive team with a refined approach to our nation’s fight against COVID-19.


“Four squadron sections combined their efforts resulting in the seamless delivery to the European Command Area of Responsibility,” said Torres. “The 305th APS Airmen were applauded by the Air Mobility Command, Command Surgeon, for their expedient support.”