JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska —
Over the next two weeks, units from across Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson will participate in a Sea Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise that will include large equipment movements from the base to the Port of Alaska.
Designed to help test and validate the ability of the Air Force, Army and Navy to deploy units and operate as part of a joint cohesive team, this exercise also highlights the military’s ability to move materiel and personnel using ground, sea and air transportation.
Because of the unique logistical challenges that come with being located at JBER, this complex movement of Soldiers and equipment results in a steep learning curve for many of the service members assisting the movement.
“It’s my first time working with the Air Force on a movement like this,” said U.S. Army Spc. Sangwoo Kim, a wheeled vehicle mechanic for the 725th Brigade Support Battalion (Airborne), 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Alaska. “We’re definitely processing vehicles faster together. With our rolling stock (vehicle) dry runs, we identified the top two challenges: incomplete paperwork and maintenance.
“We worked with units to get paperwork corrected at the motorpools and put maintenance teams on rapid recall to address pop-up issues,” Kim added. “These decisions dramatically reduced our overall processing time.”
Because the Army generally encounter these scenarios more often than the Air Force, there are plenty of lessons to be learned by the logisticians assisting the process.
“For many of us, this is the first time we’ve been this joint in a movement of this scope,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nichole Kurtz, 773d Logistics Readiness Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of installation deployment and training. “We hit the ground running, and we’re learning as we go. It’s a first time for a lot of us integrating with sealift.”
Exercises such as this one allow members of the joint team to train in the complex tasks of planning, coordinating and executing large unit movements in a condensed timeframe.
After arrival at the port, the equipment will continue on to Camp Shelby in Mississippi, where about 3,500 Soldiers from the 4-25 will receive it prior to completing a training exercise there.