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Air Postal Squadron keeps pace with holiday packages

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Nestor Cruz
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
Through rain, wind and long hours, a dedicated team of mail professionals here are working hard to make sure everyone is able to send and receive their holiday mail on time. 

Starting in mid-November every year, members of Detachment 3 Pacific Air Forces Air Postal Squadron process two semi-truck trailers worth of mail daily, an increase of about 20 percent of normal mail volume. The detachment receives and separates mail for all of Team Kadena, including mail for the Navy, Marines and Army. 

"In addition to our regular mail, we get an extra trailer for bulk mail such as magazines," said Tech. Sgt. Riza Keenan, Det. 3 Aerial Mail Terminal chief. "Usually we get one bulk mail trailer a week, but during the holidays, we get two, sometimes three trailers." 

Det. 3 Airmen and their civilian coworkers are working longer hours to keep up with the increase in holiday mail. According to Sergeant Keenan, AMT processes approximately 2.5 million pounds of incoming and outgoing holiday mail every year. 

AMT Airmen work a 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. day shift as well as a 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. late shift. In addition to the two shifts, the detachment also processes mail on weekends. 

Although the detachment is working at 75 percent manning, two Airmen are assigned to the late shift and five members on the weekends for the holidays. 

Throughout the day, squadron representatives pick up mail from the detachment. As the center for official mail, Det. 3 processes and delivers mail to Kadena schools, the 18th Services Squadron, the 18th Medical Group and the 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron. All other squadrons are serviced by PSC 80 official mail center at the Kadena main post office. 

In addition to keeping up with holiday mail, Det. 3 continues to conduct mail pick-up from 10 drop boxes around the base, commonly known as "box runs." 

The AMT staff reminds everybody to watch for illegal items in the mail during this season of packages bearing gifts going to and from Kadena. 

"People from Japanese customs screen personal mail for contraband such as counterfeit items and pornographic materials," said Staff Sgt. Angelina Clayborn, NCO-in-charge of AMT operations. "People should understand that if found, illegal items will be confiscated by customs." 

People will not receive items confiscated by Japanese customs agents. Per Japanese law, the detachment has nothing to do with customs, so matters concerning confiscated items must be taken up with Japanese customs. 

Postal customers are asked to be patient this holiday season as AMT professionals work with low manning and an increase in mail. 

"All of our postal clerks are working extra hours and days to get mail out to our customers," said Sergeant Keenan.