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    Small Post Office has Big Impact in Australia

    Small Post Office has Big Impact in Australia

    Photo By Master Sgt. Benjamin Wilson | Members of the Pacific Air Forces Air Postal Squadron Detachment 4 pose for a group...... read more read more

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

    11.07.2019

    Story by Master Sgt. Benjamin Wilson 

    Media Center - Japan

    With a mission covering more than 3 million square miles, it is no small task for Pacific Air Forces Air Postal Squadron Detachment 4 to keep the mail flowing throughout Australia.

    “We are the hub of Australia. All U.S. military mail enters through Sydney and we are responsible for clearing it through the Australian quarantine inspection service, ensuring the customs process is cleared, and distributing it throughout the region,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jackie MacKinley, PACAF Air Postal Squadron Det 4 chief.

    The postal detachment distributes mail, not only throughout Australia, but also to military personnel located in Christchurch, New Zealand, and McMurdo Station in Antarctica.

    The team of five Airmen conduct a seven-day operation at the detachment to ensure there is no delay in the delivery of mail to government employees and their families who depend on it.

    “We are the morale makers and the dream deliverers,” MacKinley said. “We make sure you get that care package from mom; that card from grandma. We are your friendly military postal service.”

    The team delivers dreams from a warehouse provided by the Australian Defense Force.

    Previously the U.S. government rented space from a commercial air carrier at the airport where they make mail pickups every day. When the cost of rent increased, the post office was forced to explore new options for a space to process the mail.

    “The ADF gave us a great deal for this space,” MacKinley said. “(They) have been absolutely 100% a true mission partner. Everything that we’ve needed as far as site support, they’ve provided … we couldn’t do it without them.”

    Despite the support from the ADF, operating at a location so far removed from their host unit at Yokota Air Base, Japan, is not without its difficulties.

    “Living in Australia has been a unique challenge,” said Tech. Sgt. Faneshia Walton, PACAF Air Postal Squadron Det 4 aerial mail terminal chief.

    The high cost of real estate in Sydney, the lack of Airman and Family Readiness services and the difficulties her spouse has had finding work have all presented challenges during the first year of her assignment here, according to Walton.

    “Australia is not all kangaroos and wombats,” MacKinley said. “We do not have all those same conveniences that you’d find at a typical military installation because we’re not at a military base.”

    Despite the struggles associated with the assignment, the personnel assigned there still have a positive outlook on the overall experience.

    “I would recommend this assignment here in Australia if you are looking for something new,” Walton said.

    Walton highlighted her connection to missions across Australia, such as U.S. Navy ships docking during an operation and supporting Marines assigned to Darwin, Australia, as one aspect she enjoys about her job.

    For MacKinley, the people make all the difference.

    “My team is phenomenal,” she said. “Mail is not always the most glamorous job. It isn’t just dirty, it’s heavy and it’s messy, but the team understands the value of what it means for someone to get that care package.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 11.07.2019
    Date Posted: 11.07.2019 01:28
    Story ID: 350828
    Location: SYDNEY, AU 

    Web Views: 48
    Downloads: 0
    Podcast Hits: 0

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