Postal in Action
September 29, 2012
There is an Army adage that the three things Soldiers need are food, pay, and mail and for many servicemembers mail is the only connection to home in remote combat outposts and forward operating bases. "The 8th Human Resource Sustainment Center (HRSC), Postal Operations Division (POD) provides critical support of mail operations sustaining the morale of all servicemembers, Civilians, and Contractors throughout the ARCENT and CENTCOM Area of Responsibility," said Capt. TiCondra Swartz, 8th HRSC Postal Operations Deputy.
The Postal Assessment and Assistance Team (PAAT) and the Postal Finance Officer (PFO) are the Soldiers ensuring all postal operations are conducted correctly and efficiently ensuring mail is delivered across the CENTCOM AOR. "We are the military version of the Post Office," explained Swartz.
As an extension of the United States Postal Service, the 8th HRSC POD is the conduit from stateside to the deployed area of operations; with the PAAT and PFO conducting inspections, audits, and Staff Assistance Visits (SAVs) to make certain postal operations run smoothly. This year postal operations have additional significance to servicemember's as it is an election year. Absentee voting gives service member's an opportunity to help determine the Commander-in-Chief and other elected officials this election.
Starting in April 2012, the PAAT and PFO conducted 16 inspections and audits to Army, Air Force and Navy postal units; providing postal expertise across the countries of Kuwait, Afghanistan, Egypt, and Qatar. During their inspections and audits, they conduct desk side training to ensure their fellow service members receive the highest level of training. Additionally they validate the APOs understand how to perform their functions in ten areas of the post office: Administration/Supervision, Custodian of Postal Effects (COPE), Finance, Parcel Inspections, Claims/Inquiries, Postal Operations, Accountable Mail, Directory Services, Technical Inspection, and Postal Supply.
"I believe we play a major part," Sgt. 1st Class Seymour, PAAT NCOIC, said, "Because our job as postal inspectors is to ensure that the post offices downrange are doing their jobs as far as delivering the mail on time to Soldiers."
The PAAT continues to train, inspect, and provide technical guidance to APOs in the CENTCOM AOR to ensure that mail keeps moving. "The morale of both servicemembers and loved ones back home is the heart of the postal mission," said Swartz, adding, "The 8th HRSC, Postal Operations Division will make certain they stand by and fulfill their Division motto, We Deliver!"