Getting Bigger So Everyone Else Can Get Smaller

Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan—The 451st Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron’s aerial port here moved 168,000 short tons of cargo last year—that’s 23,000 more short tons than airmen handled at Ramstein AB, Germany; Travis AFB, Calif.; and Dover AFB, Del., combined over that period, said Capt. Christopher Kaighen, aerial port flight commander here. The vast majority of that cargo was dedicated to supporting troops still engaged in the fight. Now, with the US military’s massive logistical drawdown looming right around the corner, the 451st ELRS is getting ready to grow. “I’ve got to get bigger so everyone else can get smaller,” said 451st ELRS Commander Lt. Col. Paul Cornwell. In about a month, the squadron will essentially double in size as 110 more personnel are assigned to it. “They understand the surge requirement that’s going to arrive,” said Cornwell. He added, that the squadron “is scheduled to stay here through 2015 to get all this retrograde [equipment] and all this redeployment out.” After 2015, Cornwell said, the Air Force will downsize the squadron to a flight.