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Post office operations prevail amid COVID-19

Postal clerk Airmen inventory packages at the post office at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 19, 2020. Newly arrived packages are in-processed to ensure accountability of mail and alert customers to when their order has arrived. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

Postal clerk Airmen inventory packages at the post office at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 19, 2020. Newly arrived packages are in-processed to ensure accountability of mail and alert customers to when their order has arrived. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

Airman Jonathan Ramos, 100th Force Support Squadron military postal clerk, arranges canvas mail bags after removing obsolete postal information at the post office on RAF Mildenhall, England, May 19, 2020. The information must be removed to ensure they are delivered to the correct destination when used in the future. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

Airman Jonathan Ramos, 100th Force Support Squadron military postal clerk, arranges canvas mail bags after removing obsolete postal information at the post office on RAF Mildenhall, England, May 19, 2020. The information must be removed to ensure they are delivered to the correct destination when used in the future. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

Airman 1st Class Austin Wells, 100th Force Support Squadron military postal clerk, shelves a basket of mail inside the post office at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 19, 2020. The post office has extended holding times for packages due to COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron) (Portions of this photo have been blurred for privacy purposes)

Airman 1st Class Austin Wells, 100th Force Support Squadron military postal clerk, shelves a basket of mail inside the post office at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 19, 2020. The post office has extended holding times for packages due to COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron) (Portions of this photo have been blurred for privacy purposes)

Airman 1st Class Joseph Brown, 100th Force Support Squadron military postal clerk, delivers a package to a customer at the parcel pick-up window inside the post office at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 19, 2020. The post office installed transparent barriers at customer service windows to protect customers and postal Airmen from COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

Airman 1st Class Joseph Brown, 100th Force Support Squadron military postal clerk, delivers a package to a customer at the parcel pick-up window inside the post office at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 19, 2020. The post office installed transparent barriers at customer service windows to protect customers and postal Airmen from COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

A collection of mail bags sit in the post office at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 19, 2020. The post office has operated continuously during COVID-19 to route both personal and official military mail to stateside and international destinations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron) (Portions of this photo have been blurred for security purposes)

A collection of mail bags sit in the post office at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 19, 2020. The post office has operated continuously during COVID-19 to route both personal and official military mail to stateside and international destinations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron) (Portions of this photo have been blurred for security purposes)

Airman 1st Class Donovan Sterling, 100th Force Support Squadron military postal clerk, delivers a letter to a customer’s mail box inside the post office at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 19, 2020. Airmen are able to access their mail boxes 24 hours a day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

Airman 1st Class Donovan Sterling, 100th Force Support Squadron military postal clerk, delivers a letter to a customer’s mail box inside the post office at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 19, 2020. Airmen are able to access their mail boxes 24 hours a day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

RAF Mildenhall, England --

The 100th Force Support Squadron Post Office at RAF Mildenhall, England, has continuously provided mail services to Team Mildenhall during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The support agency has implemented changes for patrons looking to retrieve their mail, as well as postal Airmen working to supply it.

“We’re making sure everyone is spaced six feet apart in the parcel pick-up line,” said Airman 1st Class Joseph Brown, 100th FSS military postal clerk. “In order to enter the post office, you have to be wearing a face mask. We would also previously hold the CAC to look at the person’s ID, but now the patron is just showing it to us.”

The post office has established additional preventative measures by installing transparent barriers on customer service, finance and parcel pick-up windows to add a surface between patrons and postal workers.

“It’s a sturdy piece of material that protects us and the customer,” said Airman 1st Class Alexa Mesman, 100th FSS military postal clerk. “We have them on all of our windows now. We want as much safety as possible for both us and the customer when we’re interacting with them.”

The measures put in place have supported the continued delivery of mail to Airmen during the pandemic.

“There’s no better feeling than when you receive a package,” Brown said. “We’re the middleman between home and the people living here. We’re the branch that connects them together.”

In addition to processing personal mail, the office continues to handle official mail necessary for continued military operations.

“We take care of mission-essential requirements that have to come through the mail, whether it’s laboratory samples that need to be sent out, money that helps financially support the base or investigation-related materials,” said Master Sgt. Aisling Loftus, 100th FSS postal superintendent. “It’s not just morale, cookies and letters.”

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t stopped the delivery of personal and military correspondence, but it has resulted in unpredictable volumes of mail.

“Sometimes we would receive a mail truck and there would be nothing in it,” said Senior Airman Alexis Cooper, 100th FSS military postal clerk. “Other times there would be five pieces in it, then the next day it could be 400 pieces.”

Despite the demands of COVID-19, postal workers continue to prevail in processing mail to support the base.

“We have a new process going on due to COVID-19, and we’re still learning as we go,” Brown said. “Be patient with us. We’re here to serve, and we’re here for you.”