News: AAF takes charge of flight security at KAW
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Advisers with the 738th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group air transportation flight recently began transitioning responsibility of passenger and cargo processing, a vital component of flight security, at Kandahar Air Wing to the Afghan air force aerial port personnel.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Justin Bright, an adviser with the 443rd Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, said he has been advising the Afghans for more than five months and said he is pleased with their ability to execute the mission and secure Afghan airspace with minimal support from advisers.
“I am proud of how far they have come in this process since I’ve been here,” said the Midland, Texas, native. “It has not been easy but they are very close to being ready to run their entire process without any help from the advisers.”
The seven AAF aerial porters and one intelligence officer completed a seven-week-long "three level" Pohantton-e-Hawayee, the AAF’s “Big Air School” certified training course to be certified to process passengers and cargo through the KAW aerial port.
The course included training on X-ray use for baggage searches, passenger processing, uploading and unloading of aircraft, forklift driving and certification and baggage and cargo searches by hand.
Bright deployed from the 305th Aerial Port Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix- Lakehurst, N.J., said the advisers have been able to step back and let the Afghans handle and manage their own process.
“They take pride in their processing system and in the flight’s security. It’s apparent in their work and in the care they take when processing passengers and cargo through the port,” said Bright.
The KAW aerial personnel transport AAF and Afghan National Army passengers on leave status twice a week, which adds up to approximately 400 passengers screened through KAW on a monthly basis. No passenger sets foot on an aircraft until they are properly searched and processed.
“The AP personnel ensure that aircraft tail numbers, mission numbers, passenger numbers and time and dates are all documented for that day’s manifestation documents,” said Bright.
Prior to flights, passengers are bought into the KAW passenger terminal and searched using a hand wand and baggage is searched by hand and then placed in an X-ray inspection system prior to being loaded on the aircraft. This concept does not come without its challenges.
“They are trained to ensure accountability for who and what flies,” said Bright. “Our main hurdle was getting them to understand that they actually needed to use the X-ray machine even if they had already searched bags by hand because they may have not seen everything the first time.”
Recently the AP airmen recovered ammunition being transported during an X-ray scan that was missed in an initial baggage search at the gate which reiterated the need for using the X-ray scanner, commented advisers.
“I completely trust the AP personnel here,” said Master Sgt. Paul Kohout, a 443rd AEAS air transport adviser deployed from the 436th Aerial Port Squadron at Dover Air Force Base, Del. “They share our same concerns for the passengers and crews of the aircraft they process and their professionalism assures me that if I was to ride on one of these aircraft my safety wouldn’t be a concern.”
AAF Sgt. Ullah Nasib said that he was very pleased with his job and what the advisers had taught him about his job so far.
“I am very happy with my mentors for showing me what I need to do for my job,” said Nasib. “I look forward to working with them in the future and learning new things to improve my country.”
“Basically our role is just to assist them if they had any questions,” said Bright, who is deployed from the 305th Aerial Port Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix- Lakehurst, N.J. “We stand back and let them handle and mange their own process.”
Date Posted:04.24.2012 05:45
Location:KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, AF
Hometown:MIDLAND, TX, US
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