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Joint service mobility specialists assist FEMA in cargo training

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. (AFNS) -- A team composed of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst mobility specialists assisted Federal Emergency Management Agency logistics personnel on training and preparation of cargo here, Feb. 12 and 24.

Mobility specialist comprised of Army, Air Force and FEMA personnel came together to review policies and practices in the event airlift is needed to support a national emergency or crisis.

"The training took place upon the request of FEMA who wanted to know who to contact and what was required in the event the unit was called upon for a crisis that required an aircraft to transport their equipment," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Warren, the 1114th Mobilization Support Battalion Arrival Departure Airfield Control Group NCO in charge.

The training was to designed go over the processes and procedures of supply movements and deployment operations to include updating unit deployment lists, commercial haul, air load planning, hazardous material certification, weighing, marking and conducting center balance training of selected pieces of equipment.

"The counter balance of cargo must be determined to accurately compute the weight and balance condition of a loaded aircraft," Warren said. "The agency supplying cargo for an air shipment is responsible for marking each item with the correct gross weight and a counter balance point. Items not properly marked will not be accepted for airlift due to unsafe conditions relating to aircraft weight and balance."

Even though the training takes place at home station, it aids in real-world scenarios and situations.

"During deployment operations, it is the unit or agency's responsibility to prepare their cargo for airlift," said Air Force Master Sgt. Joseph Layman, the 305th Aerial Port Squadron Special Services NCO in charge. "To eliminate bottlenecks and expedite customers through the cargo deployment function and APS, this training will be beneficial to an actual mobilization tasking."

Layman noted how the joint service training is crucial to accomplishing the joint base mission.

"Working with other agencies and services while in garrison ensures safety of flight assets and benefits the global logistics community as a whole," he said. "Furthermore, coordinating ahead pays huge dividends as each agency and service usually speaks their own logistics language."

Warren explained how imperative it is to train with other branches of service while working within a joint base structure.

"In my position we cross paths with Airmen in every aspect of our mission," Warren said. "The relationship that we have established is critical to ensuring top notch services to the mobilization and demobilization units. It is essential that we continue to build on these relationships to support the overall mission. I cannot express how important it is that we train together."

While the interagency training is vital, he also added how the hands-on aspect is a great tool for the mobility specialists.

"It's that hands-on refresher training that's invaluable to individual training. Rather than conducting an online course, we are actually conducting and engaging with the equipment, it gives it that realness," Warren said. "Another good take away is, I was able to call on my Air Force counter parts for assistance with this training, and there was no hesitation. It just shows the level of respect that we have for one another and how we were able to demonstrate the proper method for center balancing a vehicle while giving proper guidance for future missions."

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