728th AMS Airmen support German operations
By Senior Airman Daniel Phelps, 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 31, 2013
INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --
A Luftwaffe A-310 jet lands on the flightline at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey and U.S. and Germen airmen begin to trickle outside. Some grab equipment, others start up various vehicles, while others go out to direct the jet to its parking spot.
Though this coalition gaggle may seem a little out of the ordinary, this is a regular occurrence between 728th Air Mobility Squadron airmen and German forces stationed at Incirlik.
"I actually work with the 728th AMS a couple times a week," said German army 1st Lt. Thommy E., Air Supply Platoon Support Task Force. "Whenever we know one of our aircraft are coming in, I will meet with them."
About once a week a German aircraft will fly in to Incirlik and the U.S. airmen will work hand-in-hand with them, said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Gregory Viruet, 728th AMS air terminal operation center supervisor.
"The Germans generally let us know a couple of weeks ahead of time what is coming in," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Chris Jacobson, 728th AMS aeroport flight commander. "They understand what we do and what they will need ahead of time."
The 728th AMS and ASPSTF meet to discuss what personnel, vehicles and equipment would be needed to supplement the Germans with the incoming and outgoing troops or cargo mission of that day.
"We only have a small platoon here," explained Thommy. "So the 728th will help us out, and it really speeds up our process."
"They often ask for less than what we could actually provide for them as far as help," added Jacobson.
The German lieutenant said one of the biggest benefits of working together has been the exchange of knowledge between the coalition partners.
"While working with the 728th AMS, I've learned about the different kinds of aircraft and equipment for different jobs and how they all will correlate," Thommy said.
The German unit and the 728th AMS work together, train together and will even enjoy down time with each other, said Staff Sgt. Mary Mullis, 728th AMS passenger terminal technician. The U.S. and German "Port Dawgs" also enjoy bar-b-ques.
"Working together really builds a good partnership," said Airman 1st Class Evan Green, 728th AMS aircraft serviceman. "It's also fun hanging out with them off duty. As a first-term airman, I never expected I would be working with people from other countries like this. It really adds to working and living here."
One of the biggest aspects to the job of working with aircraft is safety, Jacobson pointed out.
"We're up on lifts, moving heavy objects and driving large vehicles," he said. "People can get really hurt."
Yet, safety has been maintained, Jacobson continued.
"Though we may be from different nations, we work and communicate through the same hand motions to ensure safety," Jacobson exclaimed.
Through it all, both countries work together to accomplish the same mission.
"The 728th AMS has been a huge support to us, and we are very thankful for their help and team work," Thommy said. "We have always been able to come up with a way to accomplish the mission."
"It's been a blast working with them on and off-duty," Viruet agreed. "We all enjoy doing the job."