Rack ’em, Stack ’em

Scotland might have snow, and Japan obviously has rain, cloud cover and thousands of square kilometers of tragedy. It is probably raining in the rest of the UK; I have been afraid to even look at the US weather patterns.

We have sunshine here in Bagram. Beautiful weather of the spring variety. According to all the online weather sites – it is only mid 50s (F) but if you read the fine print – the weather on the charts is actually that at Kabul – not Bagram. The whole day has been mild and beautiful, partly cloudy with mountain tops covered in snow visible in all directions.

In some worlds it might be Sunday. In this one – it is a work day made more annoying by the fact that all the people with whom we need to talk just aren’t at work.

Certainly it does not seem to be a down day for the busy Airmen running forklifts in the transfer yard. Markedly expanded from when I got here, the stacks are now three deep, three high and 100 meter long erector sets.  Ladders up the ends and a catwalk alongside the back of the top layer, stuff is packed into them and overflowing in holding areas. Just as I walk alongside the fence I see bin after bin of cargo straps, stacks of metal pallets, contains of hooks, fasteners, stanchions – all those components needs to manage cargo or reconfigure the inside of a plane.

This is not the entire holding yard; the medical is delivered straight to the med log warehouse down the flight line from where I stand on the other side of the terminal toward the hospital. Other pieces/parts go directly to the maintenance hangers. Another area contains some large, metal and completely unidentifiable objects that must have come in by air or they would not be on that side of the fence.

Being someone without a whole lot of depth perception (ball sports are negative on my list of activities) I can only watch and appreciate the skill and speed with which the operators move, place, pick up, deliver and stack the loads coming off the planes. Even given tagging, it is still an amazing mechanical ballet where everything actually winds up in its place.

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One Response to Rack ’em, Stack ’em

  1. Berg says:

    One of the things I loved to do during deployments was to run a forklift; loading and unloading aircraft;; moving Conexes around and assisting other units that didn’t have these wonderful pieces of equipment. Over the years, I developed a sixth sense about distances measured in inches or less and won numerous unofficial competitions developed to ensure proficiency and safety. The “kids” that run the loggie yards and do this for a living always amazed me with their logistics ballet.

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