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LRS Airmen support Valiant Shield

  • Published
  • By Airman Whitney Amstutz
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
In support of the Valiant Shield 2010 exercise, Airmen from the 36th Logistical Readiness Squadron stepped up their game acting as master planners for all support, vehicle coordination and aircraft fueling needs.

Valiant Shield, which is the largest of all Pacific Command exercises, provides the opportunity for tactical and weapons system experimentation. It is the most realistic Operations Plan exercise conducted by the 36th Wing and encompasses more than one million nautical miles of training space with aircraft exceeding 100.

After the commencement of Valiant Shield, Andersen Air Force Base took on a staggering 1300 additional personnel. The LRS was charged with ensuring each Airman had a place to stay and adequate means of transportation and communication.

"The LRS has been involved in Valiant Shield planning from the beginning," said Lt. Col. Jason Campbell, LRS Commander. "Since September of 2009 representatives from the LRS have attended three PACOM conferences in preparation for the exercise. We worked throughout the year with joint units to capture requirements via the reception checklist in order to be prepared for the influx of personnel."

Once a rough estimate of the number of incoming personnel was available, LRS Airmen were able to take the information to the various squadrons on base that would be impacted.

"We compiled those numbers and coordinated with other units to figure out what we could and could not support," Colonel Campbell said. "In order to provide sufficient transportation, a wing government vehicle recall was executed. We were then able to provide 83 vehicles to visiting Airmen and a total of $47,000 was saved on rental fees."

In addition to these obligations, the LRS successfully supported the fueling and defueling requirements of more than 100 visiting aircraft.
"The fuels flight has exceeded the average fuel issued per month in only six days," Colonel Campbell said. "On the first day of the exercise, more than 400,000 gallons of fuel were pumped. That amount is enormous and what we usually pump over the course of a month."

Though fueling may seem like a simple feat, it can quickly become complicated when dealing with such a large quantity of aircraft. The LRS coordinated with the Operations Support Squadron to determine airfield management and parking arrangements.

"We had to determine how we were going to fuel them," Colonel Campbell said . "The set-up determines whether we're going to fuel them in the hydrant pits or use trucks and the sheer numbers involved made things really tight and left no room for flexibility. Planning is so important in an exercise of this magnitude."

Not only does the LRS play a key role in integrating and sustaining additional forces at Andersen, they are also responsible for the redeployment of Valiant Shield Airmen.

"Redeployment is also a large part of the exercise," said Capt. Chris Jacobson, LRS installation deployment officer. "We began planning the redeployment three days after the exercise started. You have to make sure that everyone leaves the base efficiently."

The LRS worked closely with various groups to ensure the operation was completed smoothly and successfully.

"We coordinated with the redeployment assistance team and distributed 36th Wing turn-in procedures to all Valiant Shield Airmen," Captain Jacobson said. "By the end there were 49 deployment missions scheduled."

After the conclusion of the exercise, Airmen from the LRS breathed a sigh of relief and compiled an after action report on behalf of the 36th Wing.

"This has been an eye-opening experience," Captain Jacobson said. "We're used to working with Air Force units on a day-to-day basis. For this exercise, we worked closely with the Navy, Marines and civilians. We had never coordinated with many of these groups before, but it was a rewarding experience."