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Pope Airmen run to honor fallen aerial porters

  • Published
  • By Marvin Krause
  • 43rd Airlift Group public affairs
The 3rd Aerial Port Squadron hosted two memorial 'Port Dawg' 5K runs around the flightline here May 13 to honor fallen air transportation Airmen.

More than 100 Airmen and family members participated in the 5K runs to remember and honor Total Force aerial porters who lost their lives Air Force-wide in 2014.

"It's our obligation as aerial porters and Airmen to come together periodically to remember and honor our fellow Port Dawgs who paid the ultimate sacrifice," said Chief Master Sgt. Ken Hubbard, 3rd Aerial Port Squadron superintendent. "This is an event to remind us to never forget those Airmen in our career field who gave their lives defending our freedom and our Nation. I pray we always keep them in our memory and that our Airmen show the honor and respect to those who gave their lives before them," he said.

Seven aerial port Airmen who lost their lives in 2014 were honored by reading their names out loud and observing a moment of silence before each 5K run. Those Airmen remembered were: Tech. Sgt. Christopher D. Heaney, 1st Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida, Master Sgt. Raymond Stevens, 172nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, Jackson, Mississippi, Airman Basic Sean S. Bentley Jr., 87th Aerial Port Squadron, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, Tech. Sgt. David N. Brown and Staff Sgt. Dylan E. Blevins, 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Little Rock AFB, Arkansas, Senior Airman Stephen M. Hopkins, 94th Aerial Port Squadron, Robbins AFB, Georgia and Staff Sgt. Nathan E. Ronimous, 729th Air Mobility Squadron, Lajes Field, Azores.

Lt. Col. Joe Whittington, 3rd Aerial Port Squadron commander, highlighted that, "As the aerial port community, we often strive to do mutually supporting things to show solidarity. We were one of several ports from around the globe that united to conduct this memorial event during the same timeframe. The timing couldn't be more appropriate leading up to Memorial Day."

The 3rd APS provides agile, globally focused air transportation support to the U.S. Army's XVIII Airborne Corps, 82nd Airborne Division and Joint Special Operations Command. The squadron utilizes the national strategic power projection platform known as 'Green Ramp' to facilitate the mission success of these premier Global Response Forces.

Aerial port Airmen are called 'Port Dawgs' because they provide cargo and passenger services supporting aerial ports around the world and their units usually have a dog represented on their emblems. They facilitate the movement and transportation of passengers and cargo by building pallets, loading and off-loading from aircraft.