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Aerial Porters Continue Deployed Mission

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Cammie Quinn
  • 43rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
Fifteen members of the 3rd Aerial Port Squadron said good-bye to their families and friends before leaving for a six-month deployment to Camp Bastion, Afghanistan on March 10.

While deployed, the Airmen of the 3rd APS or "Port Dawgs," as they are called, will upload and download all of the cargo coming in to the base. Camp Bastion is the main British military base in Afghanistan and is located in a remote desert area close to the capital in the Helmand province.

The 3rd APS members deploy as a team and coordinate with the Navy, Marines, and Army to accomplish their mission.
Before leaving, the Airmen were able to speak with family members during a squadron pre-deployment ceremony.

1st Lt. Josh Meyer, 3rd APS, said it's important for the Airmen to talk to their while they are deployed. "We owe them that much," he said. Lt. Meyer is the team lead for the 15 members. "It's my responsibility to take care of our team and I want everyone to come home safe. We're going to do good things over there."

Communication with family members was a running theme throughout the night, as the Airmen were reminded to keep in touch with family. "It will help the time go by faster," said Chief Master Sgt. Patton Scales, 3rd APS chief enlisted manager.

Deangela Gee, wife of Tech. Sgt. Homer Gee, 3rd APS, is comfortable knowing that she and her son will be taken care of while Sergeant Gee is deployed. She was able to rely on 3rd APS leadership for a family emergency while her husband was deployed last time. "The leadership was very responsive when I needed help."

The Airmen are well trained and prepared for the deployment, said Lt. Col. Frank Flores, 3rd APS commander. Colonel Flores recently returned from a year-long deployment at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.

"I'm proud of my Port Dawgs and what they're able to accomplish over there," said Colonel Flores. "I know what they're going through and my thoughts go out to their families."