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McChord Reservist supports Afghan training

Duties include moving cargo

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(446th AW PA) - When Christopher Currier was first approached concerning a special assignment during his deployment at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, he jumped at the venture without knowing the specifics.

"There were several of us who volunteered," said the 86th Aerial Port Squadron master sergeant. "But Senior Master Sgt. (Wendy) Hutchins (86th APS operations superintendent) chose me because I'm qualified in special handling and was the first senior NCO to arrive at Kandahar during our rotation."

The mission, conducted out of Forward Operating Base Farah in late September, was to support the Afghan people of the area with security and provide training to rebuild and strengthen the local police and army, in order for them to be a self-sustaining force.

"Chris is one of our most outstanding troops," said Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Dietz, 86th APS Air Transportation manager. "He volunteers for all ‘special' tour assignments, including Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation New Dawn and the Haiti Response, to name a few."

Currier said the highlights of his role in the mission included moving 162 tons of cargo, and 846 passengers on 153 aircraft, with no safety mishaps or delays during engine-running on and offloads during the 30-day operation. But the Wilsonville, Ore. resident admits he wasn't a one-man operation.

"I was the flight chief for the detachment," Currier said. "The others were from Yokota Air Base Japan, (Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson), Alaska, and (Anderson Air Base), Guam. All of us were 2T2's (air transportation specialists)."

Currier's team also worked jointly with the U.S. Navy and Italian Army during the mission, and even though some language barriers and jargon presented themselves at times, performing in a joint multinational environment was a rewarding experience.

"Working with our brother services and contractors was great," Currier said. "We worked the fixed-wing terminal, so we handled the food supply, equipment, and passengers for everyone who arrived through fixed-wing aircraft. Everyone who worked with us followed our direction on what needed to be accomplished."

Dietz wasn't surprised with Currier's accomplishments.

"The knowledge, dedication, and attitude he's accumulated through the years with being a 2T2 and a prior (civil engineer) ‘Red Horse' make him a valuable asset to the 86th APS and the Air Force Reserve."

"I probably won't be going anywhere else - but you never know," he said.

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