Freight management team keeps Malmstrom moving

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Cortney Paxton
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
If asked, many Airmen may confess to joining the Air Force for the opportunity to travel, whether it be across the country or around the world. Although they might not be physically traveling, a few members of Team Malmstrom have the ability to affect missions around the world - through the mail.

Malmstrom's 341st Logistics Readiness Squadron freight management team packages and ensures the successful transit and delivery of various kinds of resources.

"What [freight management] entails is basically receiving items that need to be shipped to other bases within the states, overseas, to the desert or wherever," said Staff Sgt. Saniel Clarey, 341st LRS NCO in charge of packing and crating. "My philosophy is - what I always say is - we move the world; it's true."

Every day freight management members work hands-on with different materials including boxes, wooden crates, bandings and pallets to safely package any sized item. Sometimes an item requires a hand-made crate to be shipped in, so they also have to be proficient in handling wood, saws and other tools.

"As a packing and crating section, everybody needs to know every avenue," Clarey said.

Working with saws and other potentially dangerous tools requires proper safety procedures to be in place and followed by everyone. Safety is a priority in the shop as well as the correct handling of Nuclear Weapon Related Material, which could pass through the shop any day because of Malmstrom's unique mission.

"We pay close attention to NWRM and day-to-day items that have to go out overnight such as documents like passports," said Staff Sgt. Sir Thomas, 341st LRS NCO in charge of packing and crating.

"NWRM is very strict," Clarey added. "We definitely don't become complacent with it because it's such an important item - it's the mission here basically."

Another aspect that the freight management team pays close attention to is accuracy. Each package is identified by serial numbers, weight, dimensions and other variables that could be easily misread or falsely interpreted, so following several checklists put in place is a must.

"We have multiple checklists that we abide by every day to make sure we don't skip the important steps in order to do our jobs correctly," Thomas said. "If you were to give this checklist to someone who hasn't worked freight before, they could do this checklist flawlessly without having any errors."

Even though their day-to-day jobs require hard work and attention to detail, the freight management team members find ways to stregthen camaraderie while focusing on the importance of communication.

"We pretty much try to keep a light on everything and look to the positive side," Thomas said. "If anyone has any issues, we (supervisors) have open ears. We always want to find out if anything is wrong and if we can change anything or, if we're doing something wrong ourselves, we can change ourselves."

"I think communication is by far number one because if you can't communicate there's going to be sides and sections that are going to fall," Clarey said. "Being able to talk to each other is important."

Communication provides the platform for the freight management shop's success. While Airmen work relentlessley towards a positive end goal, supervisors provide a forward direction for them to follow.

"Direction is always good to have because you always know what's expected and what needs to be done," Clarey said. "When you give me a good product, I'm going to do my best to give you a good product, as well."