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News > 41st APS dedicates state-of-the-art facility
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 41st Aerial Port Squadron dedicates new "purpose-built" facility
 Building affords separate work and training sites
 New setup provides 41st APS members ready access to flight line, increasing mission effectiveness
41st APS dedicates state-of-the-art facility
KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. – Congressman Steven M. Palazzo, U.S. Representative, fourth congressional district of Mississippi, prepares to cut the ribbon dedicating the newly-completed 41st Aerial Port Squadron building here Oct. 20 along with other members of the 41st APS. The $8.5 million, 30,000 square foot facility provides the 41st APS Air Force Reserve members with a purpose-built environment designed to train and work in supporting the mission of the 41st and the 403rd Wing here at Keesler AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Ryan Labadens)
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41st APS dedicates state-of-the-art facility

Posted 10/21/2012   Updated 10/21/2012 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Ryan Labadens
403rd Wing/Public Affairs

10/21/2012 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, MISS.  -- The 403rd Wing's 41st Aerial Port Squadron held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate their new, state-of-the-art facility here Oct. 20.

Several honored guests were in attendance for ceremony, including Congressman Steven Palazzo, fourth congressional district of Mississippi, who helped cut the ribbon to dedicate the new two-story facility. The congressman thanked the 41st APS members and Citizen Airmen of the 403rd for all they do in service of their country.

According to Lt. Col. Michael Grubb, 41st APS commander, this new building is a "purpose-built facility" designed to meet 41st APS and 403rd mission requirements.

"The primary mission of the 41st APS is to safely coordinate the actions of anything going on or off the aircraft, whether it be passengers, equipment or vehicles," said Colonel Grubb. "We also perform joint inspections to ensure that items match up with packing lists, weights are correct, and palettes are built properly."

Construction on the facility began Feb. 11, 2011, and the 41st Citizen Airmen began moving into the new facility during the September unit training assembly.

The 41st APS has been located in Hangars 3, 4 and 5 at various times since its activation in 1987, but none of these were customized for the 41st APS mission, said Master Sgt. Steve Martin, 41st APS noncommissioned office-in-charge of passenger services.

The new building cost about $8.5 million to build and allots approximately 30,000 square feet for workspace, classrooms and administration environment, said Martin. The layout was designed to accommodate the current mission of the aerial port, as well as provide enough flexibility to handle mission changes that may occur in the future.

The facility accommodates space for rigging parachutes used for airdrop missions by the 815th and 345th Airlift Squadrons and for assembling loads in a controlled environment, said Martin. As such, the facility allows 41st members to continue working and training inside during inclement weather. The building also has a tower dedicated for hanging and drying up to 12 parachutes or other items at a time, as well as a load configuration area with rollers built into the floor for assembling, weighing and moving heavy cargo.

The site for the new facility sits between the 815th/345th AS building and the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, where the "old Biloxi Hangar" used to be. This location gives the Citizen Airmen of the 41st APS direct flight-line access to all aircraft on the flight line, said Martin, allowing them to drive their K-loaders and forklifts right up to the dock to load palettes and then pull straight out onto the flight line.

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Grubb said the new facility will help increase the overall efficiency of the 41st APS members in helping accomplish the mission of the 403rd.

"Our new-found pride of ownership and the increased efficiencies associated with training and working in a purpose built facility will not only benefit the 41st APS, but will be a direct benefit to the 403rd Wing through our continued support of the 815th air drop and 53rd weather reconnaissance missions," said Grubb.

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