by Senior Airman Desiree Economides
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
4/6/2015 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- The
730th Air Mobility Squadron opened the operations of its new Mechanized
Materials Handling System in a ceremony here March 23.
Replacing the MMHS installed in 1992, the new $32 million system
increases the capabilities of the 730th AMS in velocity and storage.
"The MMHS automates and speeds up how we process cargo so that aircrew
can return to the mission with minimal delay," said Lt. Col. Wes Adams,
730th AMS commander. "It is imperative that we are as efficient as
possible during ground times because aircrew can only fly so long before
they have to stop and rest."
According to Ernie Weber, air terminal manager, the new system cuts the
loading to one-third of the normal time and what would have taken four
hours, now only takes one.
In addition to having an enclosed system protecting the potential 265
pallets from inclement weather, the facility has increased its staging
docks from six to 16 and has the capacity to position 96 pallets for
transit to the aircraft.
While similar systems exist at Ramstein Air Base, Germany; Dover Air
Force Base, Delaware; and Joint Base Charleston, North Carolina, the
state-of-the-art system at Yokota is the only system like this in the
Building a facility of this magnitude required the partnership of the
374th Mission Support Group, Army Corps of Engineers, Government of
Japan and the local industry.
"Although this remains an [Air Mobility Command] mission, we know that
the system's capabilities add to the warfighting potential Yokota
presents overall, making Yokota even more strategically relevant," Adams