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Airlift control flight
Master Sgt. Michelle Hite of the 326th Airlift Squadron, Dover Air Force Base, Del., marshals a Naval Seabees’ vehicle into the back of a Dover C-17 Aug. 10 in Pueblo, Colo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Aiman Kelly Galloway)
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512th ALCF reservists head to Colorado

Posted 8/14/2012   Updated 8/14/2012 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Timm Huffman
439th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

8/14/2012 - COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Members of the 512th Airlift Control Flight and contemporaries from four other Air Force Reserve units deployed to Colorado Aug. 8 for a joint-services contingency response exercise.

Patriot Express 2012 is designed to hone the abilities of Reserve ALCF members to set up air operations at a forward location.

The Dover reservists worked with ALCF, aerial porters and personnel specialists from Westover ARB, Mass.; Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.; Lackland AFB, Texas; and March
ARB, Calif., as well as Navy Mobility Construction Battalion 17 of Fort Carson, Colo. The exercise simulated a deployment in the face of events like natural disasters and
new combat operations, said 2nd Lt. Matthew Borowski, the 439th ALCF operations officer and the chief planner for the exercise.

"Working with the other units is the best part about my job," he said. "The ability to have ALCFs from five different locations around the country come together to do this
and all work together so well is a great opportunity.

We get to train with them and learn new things from their experiences."

Once an ALCF deploys, it becomes a contingency response element -- the front line of setting up air operations at a new location, said Borowski. ALCF Airmen are responsible
for managing, coordinating and controlling air mobility assets.

Tech. Sgt. Yulonda McGee, a recent crosstrainee into the 512th ALCF, said the exercise is an effective opportunity for her to learn.

"The only way to really learn (it) is to actually do it, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it's done," she said.

Upon arrival, Airmen began setting up operations, with fully-skilled GIs observing and teaching those in upgrade training. They unloaded equipment from aircraft, set up tents and assembled a Hard-sided Expandable Lightweight Air Mobility Shelter, which Borowski described as a "base in a box" containing communications equipment to get an airfield quickly operating.

The Airmen are operating two contingency response exercises, one in Colorado Springs and another one in Pueblo, Colo., and are managing the scheduling of a C-17 and C-130 flying between the two locations.

While the aircraft are on the ground, aerial porters work alongside the NMCB-17 Seabees, training them in how to load and unload heavy construction equipment on the aircraft.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique Mefford, a Seabees equipment operator, said she's already learned things she never knew, such as the need to thoroughly clean equipment before loading it into an aircraft.

"It's something that will help me to know what to do when we get ready to go on deployment," said Mefford. "We'll be at least a little versed in how to do it."

Borowski cited the effectiveness of the joint-service work with the Seabees.

"We get to use their equipment to train our folks on airlift, but we also get to train the Seabees on how to load their cargo onto an aircraft if they ever have to. It's a joint training
mission that's very effective and cost efficient."

The exercise ended Saturday.

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