107th prepares for 2012
By Staff Sgt. Peter Dean, 107th Airlift Wing
/ Published November 03, 2010
Niagara Falls, N.Y. -- Recently with just 36 hours notice, hundreds of members of the 107th Airlift Wing packed their bags and equipment, and readied for deployment. In what resembled a herd of pack mules, members lined up roadside to board the awaiting buses that would transport them to the pre-deployment area. Upon arrival members unloaded their bags and equipment onto pallets destine for an undisclosed location.
Fortunately for the members and their families this was only an exercise; in the event of a real deployment...... After palletizing their bags and equipment, members were evaluated for deployment eligibility, members that fit the bill then proceeded onward.
Eligible deployable members visited numerous pre-deployment stations set up in the base supply warehouse. Stations such as medical ensured that all immunizations were current and up to date. Finance checked that all necessary paper work was filled out correctly in order to prevent any pay issues. Deployable members left the family support station with the reassurance that the families members left behind would have a support team in place for whatever may arise. The legal team checked wills, power of attorneys, and answered any other legal questions that deployable members had. And finally the chaplains offered guidance to help deployable members get through the upcoming chapter of their life.
With all stations visited, chemical bags built and all briefings complete, deploying members were bused out to a C-130. After a simulated flight down range, members then proceeded to reclaim their bags and equipment and proceed through an in-process line.
According to 107th Force Support Squadron's Chief David Wohleben This was a complete exercise from start to finish, from home station all the way through to the deployed location. The goal of the exercise is to get personnel through the line as fast as possible with few or no errors. It also gives us a chance to correct any glitches in the system prior to the time of an actual deployment. Exercises like this also ensure that members are well prepared and know what to expect in the event of an actual deployment.
"I'm really pleased with the way my people performed. We have been training in the classroom for almost a year, so the folks now how to do it out of a book but as you know practical is different than how the book tells you it should go. So they are performing great, I am very pleased," said Chief Wohleben.
"This was very realistic, I've deployed many times and they hit it on the head," said Staff Sgt. Jacob Zangerle, a participating deploying member. "This gives the members that have not deployed the opportunity to see firsthand what's involved in a deployment line," he added.
The 107th is conducting ongoing exercises such as these in preparation for the upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection scheduled for 2012. Routinely units around the globe are put under the microscope of the Inspector General of the Air Force, evaluating their ability to perform their mission. The results of the inspections are used as a tool to highlight the positives and learn from the negatives. Historically the 107th has met these inspections head-on, showcasing the capabilities of the Airmen of the 107th Airlift Wing.