HomeHomeAbout UsBrowseBack IssueNews DispatchesSubscribing to Army SustainmentWriting For Army SustainmentContactLinksBottom

Current Issues
Cover of Issue

The 101st Sustainment Brigade Tackles Mailroom Operations

Competing for the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence helps improve maintenance unit performance and esprit de corps.

In less than 24 hours, key leaders of the 101st Sustainment Brigade helped the 130 postal workers at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, distribute nearly half of a 135,000-pound holiday mail load to area forward operating bases throughout the country. The operation was part of the sustainment brigade's professional development training and provided additional support to mail handlers during the busy holiday mailing season. Brigade leaders spent time learning about military postal operations and assisting in the distribution of the increased mail load that arrived at the Bagram Airfield Mail Distribution Center in December.

Warrant Officer 1 Thaddeus Lumar, the mail movement officer for the 510th Human Resources Company, 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, briefed leaders before the work began. This briefing included taking leaders to each area of the flight line involved in the distribution process and explaining their roles.

Spartan Field Kitchen
Key leaders of the 101st Sustainment Brigade helped to sort and distribute bundles of mail to area forward operating bases throughout Afghanistan last December. (Photo by SPC Donte L. Gordon, 101st Sustainment Brigade PAO)

The team then was separated and assigned to specific areas of the distribution center. The command sergeant major of the 101st Special Troops Battalion operated the forklift, transporting bundles of mail to the key leaders for distribution. Meanwhile, the officers lifted and sorted packages alongside the civilian workforce of Bagram Airfield.

The Soldiers worked diligently throughout the distribution process to complete the mission. “It was great to see the rest of the staff get out there and really understand how important the mail distribution [is and how it] works,” said Lieutenant Colonel Robert Davis, the commander of the battalion. "Everyone was learning a lot, as well as asking some very good questions." Davis said many of the noncommissioned officers asked the mail distribution staff questions that are usually asked by their Soldiers.

While some Lifeliner leaders distributed packages, others took on letter distribution responsibilities. “Attention to detail is much required for that specific task,” said Sergeant Major Doug Emmons, the operations sergeant major for the 101st Sustainment Brigade. “It's easy to have a letter in your hand and just throw it in the wrong delivery bag. Yet, at the same time, you have to think about that Soldier who's waiting, and that's what motivates you to do the right thing.”

When the workday was completed, the task force had distributed 135,000 pounds of mail and the brigade's leaders had gained a newfound respect for the 130 postal workers who handle this hefty mail task every day of the year.

Specialist Donte L. Gordon is assigned to the 101st Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs Office at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

WWW Army Sustainment