SAC’s Cargo Handling Capability Rises to a New Level
16 October 2014
Last week, the Strategic Aircraft Capability (SAC) program obtained a significant improvement to its ability to handle cargo at its home base, Pápa Air Base in Hungary.
Members of the NATO Airlift Management (NAM) Programme and the Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW), the support and operational parts of SAC, completed the acceptance and inspection of the new AMSS Atlas 40K-loader that was received on 18 September 2014.
Logistics from concept to delivery was well coordinated throughout the SAC team. Logistics and Procurement teams worked closely with the vendor AMSS to ensure our unique needs of a 40 K-Loader with 5 pallet positions, weighing over 18 tons, was delivered on time. At the same time a forklift tractor was handed over to the Aerial Port team which allows them to move large containers that K-Loaders can’t handle.
The new equipment increases the cargo lifting capability by 62% over the previous models. For someone not familiar with air cargo handling it may be hard to tell at the first glance what the whole complicated vehicle is about. According to Chief Master Sergeant Alexander Hakkenbroek, the chief Aerial Port within the HAW, its task is quite simple: “It makes loading and offloading cargo from aircraft easier and much quicker.” The K-Loader’s flat cargo bed can be loaded with 108 x 88 inch air pallets which are the standard means of transporting loose cargo in military aircraft. The bed is equipped with rollers that make it possible for the HAW Aerial Port specialists of air cargo handling to move the heavy pallets or even 20 feet containers on the vehicle just by pushing them. “The new K-Loader is compatible with the most important military and airlift cargo aircraft. Both the loader and the fork lifter will obviously mainly be used to support the operations of SAC but also other military cargo could be handled in Pápa in close cooperation with the Aerial Port function of the Base, CMSGT Hakkenbroek indicated.
This increase in lifting capacity brings greater flexibility to SAC nations that are interested in transporting heavier loads in and out of Pápa Air Base, with the assurance that it can be done. The new vehicles boost SAC’s capability to use Pápa Air Base as a military logistics hub, a target pursued by SAC participating nations in an attempt to increase efficiency and effectiveness.