New MMHS increases Airlift Hub’s capabilities

by Senior Airman Desiree Economides, 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Yokota Air Base

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 730th Air Mobility Squadron opened the operations of its new Mechanized Materials Handling System in a ceremony March 23, 2015, at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

Replacing the MMHS installed in 1992, the new $32M system increases the capabilities of the 730th 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, 730 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 Asia Pacific theatre.

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 AMC mission, we know that the system's capabilities add to the warfighting potential Yokota presents overall, making Yokota even more strategically relevant," said Adams.

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