MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
All East Coast Marines ranging from infantry Marines to wing Marines will fly through the Aerial Port of Embarkation at either Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point or MCAS Beaufort, S.C., en route to their journey toward a deployment.
“We support the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force in deployment and redeployment,” said Sgt. Darrell P. Cohn, the operations chief with aerial port operations group. “We also assist parent units in transporting Marines, Sailors and gear to training and humanitarian missions all over the world.”
The APOE plays host to many Marines and Sailors while they await their deployment.
“We work hard all day loading up these huge aircraft,” said Cohn. “We have to package everything a specific way because of how we move people from place to place.”
The APOE is assisted by the United States Air Force, and all the gear and passengers have to be weighed, recorded and listed.
“The Air Force usual will inspect what an APOE loads into a crate or onto a pallet,” said Cohn. “We have three Marines here who have been trained by the Air Force as inspectors.”
The inspector’s job is to inspect and list all materials put into the storage containers.
“We use three different ways to store the gear,” said Cohn. “We have quad cons, pal cons and international shipping unit 90s. The ISU 90s are carried out to an aircraft by means of a vehicle called next generation small loaders, or NGSLs.”
According to Cohn, in 2010, the APOE has had more than 530 aircraft come through carrying a combined total of 61,318 passengers, and more than 13,000 tons of gear.