First CCP Load Exercise prepares new unit for rapid deployments
September 9, 2010
Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Crista Yazzie,
U.S. Army-Pacific Contingency Command Post Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jason Scaffidi (center), demonstrates the proper technique to tie down rolling stock, such as vehicles, to Staff Sgt. Timothy Ostrem (left), USARPAC, and Staff Sgt. Charlyn Bent, 829th Signal Company, USARPAC.
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — The U.S. Army-Pacific Contingency Command Post, the first unit of its kind in the U.S. Army, successfully conducted a load exercise with the U.S. Air Force’s 535th Airlift Support Squadron, 15th Air Wing, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Sept. 1.
Exercise participants configured and prepared 162,000 pounds of equipment for rapid deployment.
“Anytime you are doing something the first time, there is no rule book, so we are in the process of putting that rulebook together,” said Chief Warrant Officer Brendan Kelly, aviations operations officer and USARPAC Deployment Assessment Team planning officer. “We (the CCP) are the nucleus for a joint task force, in this instance, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, but the situation at hand could be one of any number of scenarios that merit the deployment of the CCP.”
The exercise employed the use of a C-17 Globemaster III airplane, a large military transport aircraft used for rapid deployment of troops and cargo.
Joint personnel worked together to fill the aircraft with a variety of vehicles, pallets of equipment and a number of troops.
Chief Warrant Officer Brendan Kelly (right), aviation officer and operations chief on USARPAC CCP’s deployment assessment team, ties down equipment during the CCP's first Load Exercise with assistance from 1st Lt. Christopher Willingham (right) and Chief Warrant Officer Cleveland Hines, both from USARPAC CCP.
“This event is simulating what would occur when the CCP is actually going somewhere and has to rapidly react,” said Sgt. 1st Class Lameka Drake, USARPAC senior logistician overseeing the exercise movement and movement planning. “That’s why, before taking off to Hickam, we had vehicle inspections, preinspections, drivers license checks, dispatching of vehicles, secondary load inspections, (made) sure everything (was) loaded correctly, (weighed) and much more.”
CCP is a small entity, compared to most deploying units, and therefore must be fully self-sustaining. There are currently 96 personnel assigned to the CCP, with 73 different job specialties, and the unit must be able to react and deploy within a 72-hour time frame.
“We’re Soldiers first, and consider branch specifications afterwards, so professional initiative and tactical curiosity are the essential traits needed to make (the CCP) concept successful,” Kelly said.
The CCP is unique to the Army in terms of its specific mission as well. Its intention is to rapidly deploy throughout the Pacific, and establish command and control capability for USARPAC in support of U.S. Pacific Command contingency requirements.
“The CCP is important to the Army because it provides greater flexibility in terms of responding to global contingencies, in particular, the Pacific area of responsibility,” said Lt. Col. Rudy Aquino, protection directorate officer, USARPAC CCP.