News>Postal squadron hand delivers first-class service
Yazuru Kimura, Detachment 2, Pacific Air Forces Postal Squadron mail sorting supervisor, scans a box at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May 10, 2012. Scanning pieces of mail allows the transit, time and location to be tracked. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Krystal M. Garrett)
Ryoichi Kondo, a postal worker assigned to Detachment 2, of the Pacific Air Forces Postal Squadron, sorts mail for distribution at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May 10, 2012. Det. 2 inspects and sorts mail before sending it to the base post office for distribution to base residents and personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Krystal M. Garrett)
Master Sgt. Everton Hixson, Detachment 2, Pacific Air Forces Postal Squadron mail control activity chief, unloads mail delivered from Yokota Air Base, Japan, at Narita International Airport, Tokyo, Japan, May, 17, 2012. Postal workers from Det. 2 make two trips a day to pick up mail from Narita. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Krystal M. Garrett)
Senior Airman Xavier Gunn, Detachment 2, Pacific Air Forces Postal Squadron postal specialist, weighs a package at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May 10, 2012. Det. 2 is responsible for covering mail transportation in north and south East Asia, making it the hub for postal operations in the Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Krystal M. Garrett)
Postal workers assigned to Detachment 2 of the Pacific Air Forces Postal Squadron load mail onto a truck at Narita International Airport, Tokyo, Japan, May 17, 2012. Postal workers gather mail from various aircraft at the airport and sort it out before disseminating it to the correct military facilities throughout Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Krystal M. Garrett)
by Airman 1st Class John D. Partlow
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
5/21/2012 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- It's a little window, but it holds so much opportunity. Whether you're waiting for a letter from home or something you purchased for your home, this little post office window puts you in touch with the world outside.
"Mail is an important aspect of everybody's life," said Senior Airman David Rudin, Detachment 2, Pacific Air Forces Air Postal Squadron registered mail clerk. "People always look forward to receiving packages from family members, especially around Christmas time, and we make sure that happens."
The squadron, based out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, takes care of Team Yokota's postal needs by providing services for processing inbound and outbound mail, which keeps them busy year round.
"We handle approximately 10 million pounds of mail a year," said Master Sgt. Saulo Corniel, Det. 2, PACAF APS Aerial Mail Terminal chief. "We receive our mail through Narita International Airport in Tokyo, Japan. It's then sorted at Yokota and disseminated to the proper channels."
As busy as the squadron is, it always looks for better ways to conduct business. Recently, the detachment made operational changes to increase its mailing effectiveness and save money.
"We consolidated the mail runs in the morning and afternoon to once a day, and we disposed of three drop boxes," Corniel said. "We got rid of the afternoon route because the mail picked up during that run wouldn't be mailed until the next day. Overall, we saved the Air Force approximately $1,500 and 363 man-hours a year."
Serving more than 11,000 customers at Yokota isn't all the squadron does. It also operates as a hub for all Pacific region postal operations and is one of four detachments including the Republic of Korea, Australia and other parts of Japan, Corniel said.
The detachments are located in strategic locations to ensure mail can reach its customers due to its high priority.
"People don't fully appreciate mail until they don't have it or they deploy," said Isaiah Ravenel, Det. 2, PACAF APS detachment chief. "You can receive telephone calls and other means of communication, but there's just something about getting a piece of mail."
Whether customers are sending mail home or receiving mail from home, seeing the satisfied look on his customers' faces makes his job worthwhile, Ravenel said.
"The most rewarding thing about this job is being able to touch the lives of everyone from every organization," he said. "Mail is global, and delivering it is one of the greatest rewards someone could have."