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Behind the scenes: 5th LRS deployment plans

Deployers go through a personnel deployment function line at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Feb. 23, 2017. Prior to their departure, each deployer must go through a PDF line, which inspects all of their deployment required paperwork. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan McElderry)

Deployers go through a personnel deployment function line at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Feb. 23, 2017. Prior to their departure, each deployer must go through a PDF line, which inspects all of their deployment required paperwork. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan McElderry)

(From left) Staff Sgt. Woodrow Short, 5th Munitions Squadron support section supervisor, is aided by Master Sgt. Bryce Davis, 5th Maintenance Group unit deployment manager, at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Feb. 23, 2017. The personnel deployment function line provides services from various units including the 5th Force Support Squadron, medical, chapel and finance. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan McElderry)

(From left) Staff Sgt. Woodrow Short, 5th Munitions Squadron support section supervisor, is aided by Master Sgt. Bryce Davis, 5th Maintenance Group unit deployment manager, at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Feb. 23, 2017. The personnel deployment function line provides services from various units including the 5th Force Support Squadron, medical, chapel and finance. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan McElderry)

An Airman with the 5th Munitions Squadron holds a deployment folder at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Feb. 23, 2017. The personnel deployment function line provides services from various units including the 5th Force Support Squadron, medical, chapel and finance. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan McElderry)

An Airman with the 5th Munitions Squadron holds a deployment folder at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Feb. 23, 2017. The personnel deployment function line provides services from various units including the 5th Force Support Squadron, medical, chapel and finance. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan McElderry)

Deployers wait in a personnel deployment function line at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Feb. 23, 2017. Prior to their departure, each deployer must go through a PDF line, which inspects all of their deployment required paperwork. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan McElderry)

Deployers wait in a personnel deployment function line at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Feb. 23, 2017. Prior to their departure, each deployer must go through a PDF line, which inspects all of their deployment required paperwork. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan McElderry)

(From left) Staff Sgt. Conor Gillespie, 21st Airlift Squadron loadmaster from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., aids the 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron deployment distributions flight load cargo onto a C-17 Globemaster III at Minot AFB, N.D., March 3, 2017. The mass deployment included more than 400 deployers and 290,000 pounds of cargo. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan McElderry)

(From left) Staff Sgt. Conor Gillespie, 21st Airlift Squadron loadmaster from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., aids the 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron deployment distributions flight load cargo onto a C-17 Globemaster III at Minot AFB, N.D., March 3, 2017. The mass deployment included more than 400 deployers and 290,000 pounds of cargo. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan McElderry)

Airmen with the 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron deployment distributions flight load cargo onto a C-17 Globemaster III at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., March 3, 2017. Flight members planned and executed logistics operations, and loaded cargo to support a U.S. Central Command deployment from Minot AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan McElderry)

Airmen with the 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron deployment distributions flight load cargo onto a C-17 Globemaster III at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., March 3, 2017. Flight members planned and executed logistics operations, and loaded cargo to support a U.S. Central Command deployment from Minot AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan McElderry)

Staff Sgt. Ken Messick, 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron small air terminal programs NCO in charge, transports cargo onto a C-17 Globemaster III at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., March 3, 2017. Members of the 5th LRS deployment distributions flight planned and executed logistics operations and loaded cargo to support a U.S. Central Command deployment from Minot AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan McElderry)

Staff Sgt. Ken Messick, 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron small air terminal programs NCO in charge, transports cargo onto a C-17 Globemaster III at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., March 3, 2017. Members of the 5th LRS deployment distributions flight planned and executed logistics operations and loaded cargo to support a U.S. Central Command deployment from Minot AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan McElderry)

(From left) Master Sgt. Frank Lopez, 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron small air terminal section chief, and Capt. Nicholas Bosch, 5th LRS deployment distributions flight commander, secure cargo onto a C-17 Globemaster III at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., March 3, 2017. The mass deployment included more than 400 deployers and 290,000 pounds of cargo. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan McElderry)

(From left) Master Sgt. Frank Lopez, 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron small air terminal section chief, and Capt. Nicholas Bosch, 5th LRS deployment distributions flight commander, secure cargo onto a C-17 Globemaster III at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., March 3, 2017. The mass deployment included more than 400 deployers and 290,000 pounds of cargo. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan McElderry)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --

Since December 2016, the 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron deployment and distributions flight Installation Deployment Readiness Cell at Minot Air Force Base planned and executed all logistics operations in preparation for a U.S. Central Command deployment.

Leading up to the deployment, the IDRC hosted at least three meetings every month with key personnel from around the base, according to 2nd Lt. Nicholas Chapman, 5th Bomb Wing installation deployment officer.

“Our role is to communicate, coordinate, facilitate and follow up,” Chapman said. “When we learn that 5th BW Airmen are deploying, we bring functional experts from across the wing together to ensure all deployment requirements are identified and met.”

Chapman added when the unit began building the mission format, it was identified they needed a variety of personnel, to include pilots, mission planners, combat systems officers, maintainers, etc.

“This deployment was larger and more intricate than any the 5th BW has seen in the last twelve years,” Chapman said. “We had to ensure multiple units had all the personnel and equipment needed to support sustained combat operations in USCENTCOM, to include more than 400 personnel and 290,000 pounds of cargo.”

The IDRC, 5th Force Support Squadron installation personnel readiness and the unit deployment managers are also responsible for ensuring deployers completed all requirements leading up to their departure.

“The PDF is one of our last checks before we send deployers out the door,” Chapman said. “Leading to this point, Airmen get weapons qualified, receive hands on training and are medically cleared by the 5th Medical Group Public Health office.”

Planning a deployment of this size and scope also comes with various challenges.

“We do not conduct deployments of this scale regularly,” said Tech. Sgt. Casey Wilson, 5th LRS logistics plans NCOIC. “We only have five logistics planners to facilitate the entire process.”

Despite the challenges, Wilson expressed pride in knowing her team’s hard work ensured the deployment went smoothly.

“There’s a lot of pride knowing that such a small office facilitated a deployment of this scale,” Wilson said. “I think everyone involved should be proud to have conducted this deployment with zero movement delays.”

Chapman also talked about how this entire process has been a team effort between every section within the 5th LRS.

“The deployment process becomes an entire LRS function,” Chapman said. “The supply and equipment managers, vehicle operations, air terminal operations, traffic management office, fuels management and vehicle maintenance have all been heavily involved.”

Like Wilson, Chapman is proud to know the importance of their role in this deployment.

“This deployment process has gone smoothly and it shows how well the deployment machine did in ensuring everything was ready to go,” Chapman said. “When everything runs smoothly, it means we’ve done our due diligence.”

 

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