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Going postal: Ramstein receives automatic mail sorter

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kirby Turbak
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 786th Force Support Squadron unveiled its new automatic mail sorter at the Northside Post Office at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Dec. 16.

Leadership from the 786th FSS and 86th Airlift Wing took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony introducing the new equipment.

“This is such an innovative effort and I just cannot say thank you enough to all of these folks that got us over the finish line,” said Lt. Col. Brandi Rountree, 786th FSS commander. “The right people, right places, right efforts and initiative have all culminated today for us to be here to see this amazing mail sorter.”

The new sorter was purchased with Squadron Innovation Funds, which are Air Force funds used for Airmen-led innovations to increase readiness, reduce cost, return time to Airmen or enhance lethality of the force.

The sorter will greatly reduce time for Airmen having to sort mail by hand at the NSPO.

“This machine enables us to reduce 30,000 hours we're spending sorting people's mail by hand to 800 hours a year,” said Master Sgt. Joshua McMillan, 786th FSS postmaster.

The sorter extracts the box number from the envelope and prints the date and time it arrived at the post office on the envelope.

“It will primarily sort our first class mail, like bills you get from companies,” McMillan said. “The machine is smart enough to read cursive handwriting too, it takes a video of the mail, zooms in on the handwriting and then pulls the number from the cursive and automatically sorts it.”

McMillan emphasized how this new and efficient equipment will give time back to postal Airmen to work on other tasks like helping customers.