PERSCO team goes lights out during Aloha Liberty exercise

  • Published
  • By Jeremy Larlee
  • 512th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Five 512th Airlift Wing personnelists supported more than 200 reservists during the Aloha Liberty exercise March 3-10, 2024.

These Airmen formed a Personnel Support for Contingency Operations team, which is responsible for providing personnel with total force accountability, casualty reporting and limited personnel program support.

The PERSCO team faced multiple planned challenges, including a contested environment and limited communication capabilities. Early on, they faced a challenge that was not planned for, said Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Harris, 512th Force Support Squadron senior enlisted leader.

“The second group of deployers arrived just before sundown, and the hangar they were staged in didn’t have power,” he said. “They had to come together and use any available source of light to account for those personnel. They were able to get 100% accountability, and I’m proud of the resiliency they showed in that moment.”

Harris added the team gelled quickly, and they were determined to get the job done no matter what was thrown at them.

“Watching the team maneuver through the obstacles and figure it out was interesting,” he said. “They had a plan and stuck with it and just rolled with the punches as they came.”

Master Sgt. Erica Weatherspoon, 512th Operations Group, served as the PERSCO team chief during the exercise. She said it was her first time working with the other team members, but the professional attitude of everybody led to their success.

“Everyone was excited to be a part of this exercise, and a lot of people stepped up and performed at an amazing level,” she said. “We meshed together well and did what we had to do, to get the job done.”

This wing-planned exercise encompassed multiple operational plans designed to assess the wing’s capability to mobilize and operate.  

“We wanted to set PERSCO up in an environment where they would be contested and challenged, Harris said. “How we fight the next fight teams may be challenged to do things outside their functional areas. Lessons were learned that we can take into the future and make things better.”