News: Muleskinner brigade tackles postal operations throughout Afghanistan
Story by Sgt. Michael Selvage
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – Have you ever wondered how a piece of mail makes its way from your hometown in the United States all the way to the little forward operating base here in Afghanistan?
The human resources operations branch mission is to provide technical guidance for units throughout Afghanistan concerning casualty operations, personnel accountability and postal operations.
The 10th Sustainment Brigade is the only unit in theater who handles all postal operations throughout Afghanistan, providing support to the war fighter, coalition partners and civilians.
“We are responsible for planning, integrating, and synchronizing postal operations within the CJOA-A,” said Staff Sgt. Scott R. Klaas, HROB noncommissioned officer in charge. “Our Soldiers are well trained and extremely dedicated to ensuring the mission is accomplished.”
The 10th SBDE has one human resources company and seven postal platoons that attribute to the success of the postal mission in Afghanistan.
“The mail moves 24 hours a day here,” said Maj. Ardreanna Ruiz, HROB officer in charge. “We are constantly sorting and distributing that mail.”
Mail is distributed to the units via ground convoy or air assets, such as helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.
Postal operations average approximately 9 million pounds of mail each month. The monthly average weight may fluctuate during the holiday seasons as well as when units return home from deployment.
“Christmas is the heaviest time of year,” said Ruiz. “We get a surge, which is about a 30 percent increase to what is normally received.”
She said as soon as the mail comes in, the sorting process begins. The goal is to get it out to the mail room clerks at the company level as quickly as possible.
“Postal operations are our bread and butter,” said Klaas. “We take the mission very seriously and are dedicated to ensuring we get it right.”