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News > Aviano Post Office wins USAFE award
Aviano Post Office wins USAFE award

Posted 2/8/2011   Updated 2/8/2011 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Katherine Windish
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

2/8/2011 - AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- The Aviano Post Office recently earned the 2010 U.S. Air Forces in Europe John P. Jumper Award for Outstanding Large Postal Facility.

"We had challenges that no other USAFE post office had," said Senior Master Sgt. George Flaig, Aviano Post Office postal superintendent. "Our unit worked hard as a team to rise above the challenges we faced."

The post office, which falls under the 31st Communications Squadron, had to face manning shortages and mail stoppages due to weather, natural disasters, and other setbacks out of their control. The unit not only rose above challenges, it surpassed standards and streamlined services to provide superior customer service while saving $352,000 and 4,700 man hours per year by executing the Air Force's only contracted door-to-door delivery.

Some of the post office's most notable accomplishments include distributing 3.9 million pounds of mail in less than four hours after receipt, surpassing the Department of Defense standard by 20 hours. The unit also initiated Operation Santa and Early-Bird, which extended the post office's duty hours by 48 percent and provided customers 283 extra service hours over the six-week holiday season.

"The key ingredients are teamwork and leadership," said Tech. Sgt. Richard Balanon, Aviano post master. "The Airmen and NCOs behind the scenes are the ones who made it happen and helped us garner such a distinguished award."

Sergeant Balanon's fellow post office worker agreed that teamwork is the key to success.

"We all put in a lot of work to make sure the customers get what they need," said Senior Airman Bradley Bloom, Aviano Post Office postal clerk. "It's nice to see fellow unit members recognized for their hard work."

The Aviano Post Office now goes on to compete in the Air Force-level competition later this year.

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