Exceptional Release Presents: Super Port Strengthens Partnership with the United Arab Emirates
By: 2d Lt Maria Anderson
Lockheed-Martin Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles were loaded onto a United Arab Emirates Air Force (UAEAF) C-17 Globemaster III in the early morning hours of Sunday, January 26, 2020, at Dover AFB. The loading and delivery of the missiles was a culmination of a long-running process between the US and the UAE governments.
Present to witness the activity was Dr. Bruce D. Jette, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology. As a Senior Executive Service-4, Dr. Jette is responsible for all logistics-related matters for the Department of the Army, including all sales to foreign nations.
With tensions spiking in the Middle East and US allies in the region seeking aid, the safe and secure process of delivering munitions such as the PAC-3 missiles is imperative. That specialty is exactly what the Airmen of the 436th Aerial Port Squadron’s In-transit Munitions Facility (IMF) handle on a daily basis. From receiving the missiles to the precision build-up of the PAC-3s on pallet trains, the IMF team ensures the safety and proper storage of all cargo that flows through their possession.
From receiving the missiles to the precision build-up of the PAC-3s on pallet trains, the IMF team ensures the safety and proper storage of all cargo that flows through their possession.
“The Airmen at IMF stay poised to provide support to our nation and its allies at a moment’s notice,” says MSgt Perry Hardy, NCOIC of IMF. “Knowing that the munitions we handle are headed to protect US interests, as well as defend and deter enemy aggression, gives us a sense of pride and accomplishment in the work we do on a daily basis.” SrA Steven Landgren added: “Support starts here. If it wasn’t for the work we do, munitions wouldn’t be properly transported and ultimately never make it to the warfighter.” The PAC-3 missiles bound for the UAE were no exception to their record of flawless execution.
Building partnership capacity between the UAE and the US was at the forefront of all operations on the morning of the PAC-3 loading. Dr. Jette and his team arrived at the IMF and witnessed the process of pulling the missiles out of a secure bunker, transitioning them to a 60K “Tunner” loader, and finally, physically pushing the 14,460-pound pallet trains of munitions onto the aircraft.
Crushing the loading operations during this mission was the Airmen of the Super Port’s Ramp Services, led by SSgt Darren Johnson. Since the C-17 was owned and operated by an Emirati crew from the 15th Strategic Airlift Squadron, the communication and teamwork involved between the Super Port load team and the UAE loadmasters were vital to overall mission accomplishment.
At the conclusion of the loading process, Dr. Jette generously coined and recognized Airmen from both countries. He also took the time to speak with the load team and thanked them for their hard work. Dr. Jette articulated the relevance of the mission to deter regional threats to the UAE, specifically Iran, and thereby protect American interests and lives in the region.
Dr. Jette articulated the relevance of the mission to deter regional threats to the UAE, specifically Iran, and thereby protect American interests and lives in the region.
The US-UAE partnership is essential to stability in the AOR, and much of the mission would not be accomplished if not for the Airmen who make the crucial mobility piece possible.
About the Author
2d Lt Maria Anderson is a Logistics Readiness Officer assigned to the 436th Aerial Port Squadron, Dover AFB. She was commissioned a 2d LT in 2019, and Dover is her first duty assignment, where she is an Assistant Flight Commander.