Grissom unit supports overseas contingency training

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Chris Massey
  • 434th ARW Public Affairs
The Hoosier Wing’s main mission is providing air refueling and combat ready Airmen, but for the first time in over 5 years, members of Air Force Reserve Command’s Contingency Equipment Management Facility supported an overseas mission.

A C-17 from Dover Air Force Base, Del., came to Grissom June 1 to pick up civil engineering cargo palletized by Grissom’s CEMF, destined for the pacific.

The AFRC CEMF is a geographically separated operating location which falls under Detachment 1, 622nd Contingency Equipment Group, Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia.

“We manage more than 25 thousand civil engineering equipment items valued at more than $14 million,” said Ryan Sautter, CEMF warehouse lead.

And on June 1 they loaded cargo they palletized onto a C-17 Globemaster for shipment to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii for an exercise called Pacific Warriorz 2021.

PWZ-21 is an inaugural total force/joint force event at Schofield Barracks.

“We palletized and shipped $847,000 in civil engineer equipment for this exercise alone,” Sautter said.

While Grissom’s involvement ended with the C-17 taking off, down range, the training was just beginning for civil engineers participating in the exercise and using the equipment.

In addition, to palletizing the equipment, Sautter and Chet Nance travelled to Hawaii to work the reconstitution of the bed down equipment, and assist in the repacking of equipment to forward it to McGuire AFB, N.J., for bivouac training.

Grissom’s impact was felt heavily in PWZ-21.

“With this training and equipment, we were able to work toward facilitating agile combat employment and multi-capable Airman concepts which are a high priority for the chief of staff of the Air Force,” said Capt Louise Albertine Sarabosing, 624th Medical Readiness flight commander and exercise planner.

The training also boosted inter-service familiarity.

“An Airmen’s very first time working alongside a Soldier, Sailor or Marine should not be during an actual crisis in the Pacific,” said Capt. John Penaranda, 624th Civil Engineer Squadron readiness flight commander and exercise planner.

“If not for the support we received from Grissom, we would have just had a box on the ground and telling people to pretend they are tents,” Penaranda added.

Grissom’s CEMF maintains an inventory of assets to support home station skill-level and proficiency training for AFRC civil engineer units that acts as a central storage location for civil engineering supplies and equipment for regular Air Force and Air Force Reserve units world-wide.

That responsibility includes supporting 30 prime base engineer emergency force -- Prime BEEF --operations, six rapid engineer deployable heavy operational repair squadron engineers, or RED HORSE squadrons, 35 fire and emergency services units, and 25 explosive ordnance disposal units.

Through delivery of support assets, CEMF enhances the ability of AFRC to maintain deployment readiness while saving money.
Ninety percent of the time the CEMF ships equipment through the traffic management office or uses their own CDL driver to deliver items to units regionally.

“This is the first time in a while we’ve prepared to ship items overseas, and Ryan did an amazing job leading the team to overcome all obstacles and make it happen” said Karen Lank, CEMF manager.

Grissom shipped shelters, HVAC systems, cots, generators, electrical panels, and light carts to support the exercise and its 300 active-duty, Guard and Reserve participants.

“We as a team overcame some hurdles and got the job done,” Sautter added.

Civil engineers used the equipment to set up a bare-base operating location for the exercise that ended June 13.

“Our top priorities each year are Patriot Warrior exercises at Dobbins ARB, GA and Ft. McCoy, Wisc., along with other AFRC CE training requests,” Lank said. “This year CEMF is extremely busy providing equipment to over a dozen units; generating combat ready and fully mission capable engineers.”

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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