Travis AFB completes joint inspection with FEMA, ensures readiness

  • Published
  • By Heide Couch
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Airmen conducted a combined annual logistics drill and inspection with California Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 7, or CA TF-7, June 13, at Travis Air Force Base.

Urban search and rescue is considered a "multi-hazard" discipline, as it may be needed for a variety of emergencies or disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, dam failures, technological accidents, terrorist activities and hazardous materials releases.

When one of these disasters strike, task force personnel and equipment can be used locally as well global deployments. This means the CA TF-7, one of 28 Federal Emergency Management Agency Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces in the nation and one of eight in California, must be ready to load their assets onto Air Force aircraft based at Travis AFB within six hours of notification.

To avoid delays that might prevent the task force from swiftly reaching its destination, it is imperative the pallets, watercraft, vehicles and equipment that arrive at Travis AFB are airworthy.

Annual joint inspections ensure members of the task force and the 60th Aerial Port Squadron have the knowledge and understanding of all governing directives and requirements to safely and efficiently load equipment onto an aircraft. The training also provided a hands-on and visual experience of loading cargo onto a Travis AFB C-17 Globemaster III.

CA TF-7 team members participated while 60th APS personnel inspected, weighed, measured and then loaded the cargo. The equipment, which included four lightweight boats, two trucks, a van and two trailers were packed with tents and chainsaws.

“This is a fast, light package that we can get out quickly,” said Scott Johnson, Sacramento Fire Department fire captain and CA TF-7 logistics manager.

Tech. Sgt. Dominic Jones, 60th APS noncommissioned officer in charge of special handling, took part in organizing the joint inspection.

“The 60th APS works with outside agencies because it strengthens relationships in our communities,” Jones said. “Also, both parties learn from each other to make processes better when natural disasters occur.”

The inspections also strengthen the understanding and capabilities for all organizations involved.

“Any time I have done a joint inspection, I have always learned something new,” Jones said. “It’s a continuous learning process because not all joint inspections are going to be the same. Just being proficient and maintaining the knowledge does make a difference. The only challenge is not being familiar with their equipment.”

In September 2017, Travis AFB Airmen flew the task force to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico and took additional search-and-rescue personnel to Mexico after an earthquake. Another successful inspection certifies Travis AFB is ready to support the task force again if called upon by FEMA.