As I just got back from Saudi, and I've done the customs 'Richard Waltz' before allow me to share my stories. The first standard AF
answer is it depends. Different stations have different inspectors. Coming back on the E-3 into Tinker, we had this little fat guy who was famously dicky, and got on the jet opened everything, and went through all bags, always, it would take 2-3 hours. Other stops amount to opening one bag, and handing in your paperwork. All flights in must be checked including cargo, it is the amount of checking that depends on the station you arrive at.
Military ports, often have Security Forces that do the inspection. I was a Cargo Courier coming back from Saudi this weekend, and the C-141 I was on stoped in Pease ANGB, NH
, where we did customs, with Army and AF
cops. Last year on an ATA rotator we did customs in Bangor maine, they made us unload every bag. On another rotator we just handed in forms, and were off at BWI
The Saudi Customs guys are the same, some are lazy and lookin the top of one bag, other go through everything, so that is why I say it depends, but every craft and cargo is supposed to clear customs, in the arriving country, unless it is a short fuel stop at which time, you might be marshalled inside the plane or birdcage.
Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Lt-AWACS, Spring Break Baghdad 2003