By Staff Sgt. Matthew B. Fredericks, 18th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 28, 2018
The 18th Force Support Squadron post office sorts packages and letters for nearly 10 thousand mail boxes. In the last month, Airmen and volunteers processed more than 280 thousand pieces of mail, and they want to process even more.
During the first quarterly mail receptacle review of 2018, it was discovered over eight percent of the mail boxes assigned to Kadena Air Base residents were either not being checked, or were assigned to someone no longer living here.
“If people don’t check their mail, and they don’t out-process with us, we could get hundreds, if not thousands, of receptacles tied up with these people throughout the years,” said Master Sgt. Robert Quinones, 18th FSS assistant postmaster. “That’s hours we could be using to (process) packages, to get people the mail that are actually picking up their mail and you could be getting your stuff sooner.”
If a letter or package remains at the post office for more than 30 days, it’s required to be returned to the sender.
“Our rules come from USPS first and then they trickle down to the DoD level,” Quinones explained. “We do have little Air Force supplements, but they can’t change our rules. We’re mandated by USPS for what we do.”
In order to abide by those rules and still provide quality customer service, the postal service center has found ways to improve and streamline how they identify receptacles not being checked by members on leave, TDY, deployed or left Kadena without out-processing properly, explained Staff Sgt. Richie Shia, 18th FSS postal supervisor. By identifying those boxes quickly, they can now ensure the member has not PCS’d or separated.
The postal service center has recently cut that identifying process in half and started spending the saved time getting more mail where it needs to go.
“Nobody wants their mail returned,” Shia said. “Our end goal is to get that mail out to you.”