Air Terminal Operations Center delivers goods to Osan
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Osan AB is home to numerous mission partners such as the 731st Air Mobility Squadron, who is responsible for all Department of Defense aircraft transporting personnel and cargo to and from the entire Korean peninsula.
All air cargo coming to any U.S. military base peninsula-wide first goes through this squadron.
Within the squadron, there are many sections that help maintain the mission of the 731st, including the Air Terminal Operations Center, which is the information hub for the aerial port here.
“Any information on flights coming in or out is collected to help track passengers or cargo landing here,” said Master Sgt. Thomas Perry, 731st AMC ATOC section chief. “We have a constant rotation of service members, supplies, household goods and other cargo; everything that lands here must be processed through our flight.”
The ATOC Airmen are responsible for continuously monitoring airlift missions and providing updates to the other sections within the 731st AMS. Like a well-oiled machine, they work together to plan all cargo and passenger movement and gather data from the flight manifest to pass information to load masters.
“We handle aircraft at any given time,” said Perry. “We’ll look at capabilities and forecast missions, including potential hazards or parts to prepare for.”
The Airmen work on a multitude of aircraft including C-5 Galaxies, KC- 135 Stratotankers, C-17 Globemasters and the C-130 Hercules.
“Essentially if it’s not a fighter jet or a helicopter, if it flies we touch it,” said Senior Airman Wesley Cotterman, 731st ATOC information controller. “On average we cover about two to three missions each day but that can change depending on what’s coming in or going out.”
On an average week, the Airmen here process more than 1,200 service members and their dependents and from 800 to 1,000 tons of cargo.
“Our job is critical here because of the centralized location and the amount of cargo and personnel we manage,” said Cotterman. “We save more than 10 million dollars each year on commercial airline costs and even more for household goods.”
Whether supporting the U.S. forces here or ensuring the personnel arrive to the peninsula safely, the ATOC Airmen recognize the importance of their mission.
“The Airmen in this flight are the best of the best of our guys,” said Perry. “They are very knowledgeable and can handle all situations and questions thrown at them. I take pride in knowing we have our top one-percent working together to accomplish the mission here.”