News: 100th ARW leadership visits post office
Story by Gina Randall
ABERDEEN CITY, UK - Members of the 100th Air Refueling Wing leadership visited the base post office Aug. 8, 2013, as part of the “dirty jobs” program.
The post office offers a service many people utilize.
During certain times of the year, such as holidays or the summer months when service members and their families are preparing for a summer break, many people don’t think about who is behind all those packages getting to the correct address on time. Behind the scenes is the 100th Communications Squadron Post Office staff working to ensure holiday gifts make it to the customer.
“Our mission is to achieve postal excellence for the Team Mildenhall community,” said Master Sgt. Russell Smith, 100th CS Postal Operations superintendent from Ashland, Ky. “We provide a customer-friendly, efficient and economical transportation of mail, ensuring effective operational practices and sound management of the official mail program.”
His team serves the RAF Mildenhall base populace, including active duty members, dependents, retirees and contractors with proper orders. The team is made up of a diverse staff — 25 airmen, four Ministry of Defence personnel and one local-national direct hire member.
Customers post many different items to and from the U.S., such as home appliances, electronics, home items, clothes and toys.
“Express mail is a three-day guaranteed service,” said Tech. Sgt. Melvin Adkins, 100th CS postmaster from Moreno Valley, Calif. “First Class and Priority mail arrives to, or is received from, the States within two weeks — Standard Post mail usually arrives within 30 days.”
So far this year, Air Force Central Command has received around 90,000 parcels, but there is a cost for the service provided, Adkins said.
“Our deployed service members are one of our top priorities,” Smith said. “Mail to most deployed locations is free to send; however, there are a few that have to be routed through John F. Kennedy airport before entering United States Postal Service transport. If they enter USPS in the states, postage has to be paid.”
Customer service is vital to the post office staff. They work hard to make sure the customer is completely satisfied with the service they receive.
“We do an exceptional job with helping the customers,” said Senior Airman Christopher Dale, 100th CS Post Office military postal clerk from Syracuse, N.Y. “We go to the furthest extent possible to assist them.”
“I’ve never had a problem with the post office, and everyone has always given great customer service,” said Senior Airman David Hamilton, 352nd Operations Support Squadron radio frequency transmission technician from Conway, Ark.
Col. Kenneth T. Bibb Jr., 100th ARW commander and Chief Master Sgt. Tracy Jones, 100th ARW command chief, visited the post office Aug. 8, 2013, to take part in the daily activities of the staff and learn what they do to ensure the mail reaches its correct destination on time. Jones was formerly a postal specialist and served his country as a postmaster from 1998 to 2004. He also served as superintendent for postal operations from 2004 to 2010.
The post office provides an integral service to all members stationed at RAF Mildenhall and even a few transitioning through. As such, leadership is keen on ensuring the staff has the tools they need to continue this important service.
“Chief Master Sgt. Jones is a prior postal troop and he knows the job,” Adkins said. “We hope that working alongside some of the greatest Airmen in postal, he will get to relive his glory days and help mentor us on how postal has changed and how to thrive and progress in our career field.”
Jones worked side-by-side with the post office team to offload the mail truck, sort the mail and hand out packages to customers.
“They are really our unsung heroes,” Jones said. “Not everyone knows what goes on behind the scenes. These guys are the ones that make it happen.”
The post office operates Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thursday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.