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Port Dawgs make mission movement effective

From left, U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. William Young, a 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron aerial transportation specialist, and Senior Airman Brandon Driver, 9th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, load cargo onto a C-5M Super Galaxy, at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 24, 2019.

From left, U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. William Young, a 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron aerial transportation specialist, and Senior Airman Brandon Driver, 9th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, load cargo onto a C-5M Super Galaxy, at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 24, 2019. The C-5M Super Galaxy has the capacity to carry 281,001 pounds for 2,150 nautical miles, offload, and fly to a second base 500 nautical miles away from the original destination. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez)

From left, U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Michael Shelton, 9th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, Senior Airman Jacob Guy, 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) small air terminal deployment instructor, and Airman 1st Class Justen McCallister, 20th LRS aerial transportation specialist, wait to begin loading cargo aboard a C-5M Galaxy on the flightline at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 24, 2019.

From left, U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Michael Shelton, 9th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, Senior Airman Jacob Guy, 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) small air terminal deployment instructor, and Airman 1st Class Justen McCallister, 20th LRS aerial transportation specialist, wait to begin loading cargo aboard a C-5M Galaxy on the flightline at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 24, 2019. The C-5M Super Galaxy is the largest aircraft in the Air Force inventory with a wingspan of more than 222 feet. (U.S. Air Force by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez)

A C-5M Super Galaxy is loaded with cargo at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 24, 2019.

A C-5M Super Galaxy is loaded with cargo at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 24, 2019. The aircraft arrived from the 9th Airlift Squadron based at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, to move materials downrange. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez)

From left, U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Justen McCallister, and Senior Airman Andrea Cardenas 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) aerial transportation specialists, work together to move a belt loader on the flightline at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 17,  2019.

From left, U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Justen McCallister, and Senior Airman Andrea Cardenas 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) aerial transportation specialists, work together to move a belt loader on the flightline at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 17, 2019. The 20th LRS worked extended hours to assist loading more than 200 people and luggage onto the aircraft in preparation of their deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez)

From left, U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Andrea Cardenas, Airman 1st Class Justen McCallister, 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) aerial transportation specialists, and Master Sgt. Christopher Deibel, 20th LRS mobility instructor, monitor baggage moving into the cargo hold of a Boeing 777 at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 17, 2019.

From left, U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Andrea Cardenas, Airman 1st Class Justen McCallister, 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) aerial transportation specialists, and Master Sgt. Christopher Deibel, 20th LRS mobility instructor, monitor baggage moving into the cargo hold of a Boeing 777 at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 17, 2019. The baggage was loaded onto the aircraft as part of a deployment in route to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --

During a busy evening on the flightline, Airmen wait in out-processing lines hauling baggage filled with clothes, comforts and necessities to get them through a deployment. It may appear hectic, but there are devoted people streamlining the process.

An Air Expeditionary Force, or mass deployment, involves moving personnel and cargo in multiple aircraft downrange over multiple dates. When the AEF occurs, a small 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron air terminal group, the “Port Dawgs,” are able to get everything off the ground with minimal delay and maximum efficiency due to their steadfast dedication and practice throughout the year. If they don’t keep moving then the mission doesn’t move.

“We train a lot to stay prepared,” said Staff Sgt. Katrina Baker, 20th LRS air transportation specialist. “We have classes twice a month during the year and have training on top of that. The training exercises keep our heads in the game and keep us on our toes.”

The 20th LRS mission is to provide integrated logistics planning, supply, and transportation support to the 20th Fighter Wing, 9th Air Force, USAFCENT, and tenant units when orchestrating the deployment, employment, and redeployment of aircraft, support personnel, and equipment.

“Without us teaching Airmen how to prepare cargo, everything would have to process through ground transportation,” said Senior Airman Jacob Guy, 20th LRS small air terminal deployment instructor. “It would be much less economical and have to go through so many more ports, which would cause delays.”

Most of the training the Port Dawgs do is to ensure they can successfully utilize pertinent technology that prevents the Air Force from having to incur those larger costs. Some of those programs that help are the Global Air Transportation Execution System and the Integrated Computerized Deployment System.

According to the Department of Defense website, GATES is a single - port management system for aerial and surface port operations while ICODES provides multi-modal load planning capabilities to the DOD.

Baker said the two technologies are extremely beneficial in managing their passenger and cargo manifests, by increasing effectiveness to make sure everything arrives on time.

The Port Dawgs embrace the 20th FW formula of “Unify. Simplify. Win.” for mission success when moving both people and multi-million dollar machinery to deployed areas. They simplify their methods to meet mission requirements and have developed the process for handling a large amount of paperwork associated with every AEF with efficiency while not neglecting careful attention to detail.

Not only do they have to be efficient in working with Team Shaw’s aircraft and personnel, but when working alongside other teams as well.

For the last AEF, a C-5M Super Galaxy was flown in to move some of the larger cargo to its final destination at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The Port Dawgs worked in tandem with loadmasters from the 9th Airlift Squadron to ensure our cargo was strapped down and ready to move.

At the end of the day, after everything was loaded, it was the Port Dawgs who made the last checks before everything took to the horizon in support of the efforts downrange.

“The cargo is safe, the people are safe, and the mission (continues),” said Guy.