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Mobility bags must be packed, ready

ROYAL AIR FORCE MILDENHALL, England (AFPN) -- When most people plan to travel, they take time to make sure they have packed everything they will need for their trip. Sometimes, forgetting a toothbrush can put a damper on a vacation.

However, in the military, troops must be ready to go at a moment’s notice. On a deployment to a hazardous duty area, forgetting a toothbrush might only be an inconvenience; forgetting a chemical warfare protective gear could potentially result in serious illness or death.

“With short-notice taskings, (Airmen) have to take care of many outprocessing and pre-deployment issues,” said Maj. Jeffrey Lingens, 100th Air Refueling Wing installation deployment officer here. “They may not have a whole day or even a few hours to get their bags ready. Today’s expeditionary Airmen are expected to be ready to go at all times.”

The 100th Security Forces Squadron’s Airmen here witness the importance of troop readiness on a regular basis.

“In the last two deployments, we had to change out troops within 24 to 48 hours of the team leaving,” said Staff Sgt. Wesley McMackin, 100th SFS unit deployment manager. “Troops who deploy without packing the required gear not only lack the basic tools to get the mission done but also put themselves in potentially life-threatening situations.”

There are five mobility bags -- the personal bag and the A, B, C and D bags. To be deployment-ready, Airmen should understand what each of these bags contains and have the proper bags prepared.

All Airmen should have a personal mobility bag packed with the items they would need for 60 days. The personal bag contains the required uniforms, personal health and hygiene items, as well as many optional items which have proved helpful in deployed locations, such as raincoats, flashlights and skin-care lotions.

The A bag is a general purpose bag which includes a Kevlar helmet, web belt, body armor, sleeping bag, canteen kit, mess kit and other support items. The B bag is a cold-weather bag which includes a parka, gloves, boots and socks. The C bag is a chemical-defense bag which includes chemical warfare protective suit, protective mask, mask filters, gloves, hoods, boots and detection papers. The D bag is an aircrew chemical-defense bag and includes specialized in-flight protective equipment, such as coveralls and mask, mask filters, blower, gloves, hoods, boots, detection papers and kits.

“Know which bags you need, and have your mobility bags packed and ready,” Sergeant McMackin said. “We’re an expeditionary Air Force.” (Information source: Air Force Manual 10-100, “Airman’s Manual.” Courtesy of U.S. Air Forces in Europe News Service)

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