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CRW Airmen learn basic tent building

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Les Waters
  • 615th Contingency Response Wing Public Affairs
Airmen from the 615th Contingency Response Wing realized building tents in the military is not the same as putting up the family pop-up tent in the backyard, Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts tents at summer camp.

Wing training has the responsibility of ensuring the CRW warriors are proficient with the Ability to Survive and Operate  scenario for the upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. Part of that training included experts from the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center, located at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., traveling to Travis to help build Alaska Small Shelter Systems properly, Jan.11 through 13.

The expeditionary center provides a disciplined training process that assures the right skills are taught at the right time across the expeditionary enterprise.

"The EC reached out to the 570th Contingency Response Group to provide additional training for the tent city they will be building at Eagle Flag, which will serve as a graded event for the 2011 ORI," said Capt. Michael Garrott, 615 CRW chief of training.

Knowing how to set up tents properly for the upcoming exercise was not the only reason for having the EC Airmen come to the base. It was also from an operational standpoint.

"We have an operational need to be efficient at putting up tents," said Maj. Wendy Farnsworth, 570th Global Mobility Readiness Squadron director of operations. "We must be thorough because we do not always know the duration of our deployment or the weather conditions our tents will need to withstand. When we deploy, we hit the ground running. As soon as our aircraft lands we unload and start working. Frequently we go places that have minimal or no support. It is a priority to get tents set up so we can put one shift of people to bed to start a work-rest cycle. We wanted additional training on building tents because we do not get to go out as a big group and set up a camp very often. The training helped ensure our teams are following the technical orders correctly and that we are using techniques that will not cause damage to our equipment or injury to our personnel. It also set aside time for all Airman to get a chance to practice and have focused, hands-on training.

The tent building is only part of the overall training the wing is doing to prepare itself for the ORI. The training section created 18 days and 72 hours of training to ensure the wing allows the inspectors no other no choice than to give the wing an "Outstanding."

"In addition to practicing unit type code (UTC) capabilities during group events organized by individual squadrons, rehearsing the deployment process during the wing's internal exercises, and performing repetitions of ATSO drills at wing training days, projecting a positive attitude to inspectors is the difference between an 'Excellent' and an 'Outstanding' rating," said Capt. Garrott.

A great attitude and a sense of urgency during the ORI will show inspectors the members of the 615 CRW not only execute the wing's capabilities with excellence, but they also take great pride in their profession.