News: Joint Air Cargo Operations Terminal improvements focus on keeping passengers comfortable
Story by Cpl. Tyler Barstow
By Cpl. Tyler B. Barstow
1st Marine Logistics Group
TAQADDUM, Iraq – With a few new additions and attention to customer service, the service members at Camp Taqaddum's Joint Air Cargo Operations Terminal are working to make it an easier stay for all transiting passengers.
The combined effort between Base Operations, the Air Liaison Element, Air Force Detachment Four and the Arrival Airfield Control Group/Departure Airfield Control Group focused on improving the way of life for passengers during their transit and their stay at the JACOT.
"Our mission is to keep them inside and out of the elements for as long as possible," said Chief Warrant Officer Robert J. Dempsey, the AACG/DACG officer in charge for Transportation Company, 1st Maintenance Battalion (-) (Reinforced), 1st Marine Logistics Group.
Previously, passengers would wait outside anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes. Now, thanks to the addition of new Southwest Asia huts, that time has been cut down to 10 minutes extending the traveler's stay in a comfortable environment.
"When it's raining outside or hot and steamy they can enjoy the creature comforts for as long as possible," Dempsey said.
The new comforts provided include everything from additional phones to wireless Internet hook-ups. One of the most noticeable changes is the added space.
With almost triple the size of waiting areas for passengers, more storage space for their gear has been added. This allows an easier flow into and out of the rooms and organization for travelers.
While staying in the larger waiting areas, there are increased food rations giving them more than just water to choose from. Maps are also readily available to help orient visitors to the area and point out where the dining and entertainment facilities are.
"Whether it's [waiting] a couple of hours or a couple of days, the mapped layout of the area lets them know where to go," Dempsey said. "On top of keeping them informed [on flight information] instead of them coming to us, we go to them."
Passengers are now led off of the aircraft by personnel who are eager and capable to answer any of their questions. A survey has also been implemented to communicate with the passengers and find out what their needs are. Any comments or suggestions are welcomed by the personnel. So far, the JACOT workers have a 90 percent success rate in terms of passenger satisfaction.
"It'd be hard to find anyplace else in the [area of operations] that has the level of customer service we provide."
Signs denoting TQ as a Marine Corps installation have also been installed in easily viewable areas to greet incoming passengers and let them know they are in a friendly place.
"It's almost like [Chicago] O'Hare International Airport without all the delays," Dempsey said.
The commercial airline appeal has also extended to baggage. While rotating carousels and conveyer belts are not available yet, the "seabag drag" is no longer allowed.
"We will provide a box to put their bags in. We'll make sure their gear gets taken to the [aircraft] for them. We want them to know we're thinking of them."
With new changes in effect and more on the way, the crew at the JACOT strives for customer satisfaction.
"We're constantly working together as a team to provide customer service by working directly with passengers."
This work, Joint Air Cargo Operations Terminal improvements focus on keeping passengers comfortable, by Cpl Tyler Barstow, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.