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    155th Services Flight Trains to Sustain

    155th Services Flight Trains to Sustain

    Photo By Senior Airman Jamie Titus | Seventeen Airmen with the Nebraska Air National Guard's 155th Services Flight, and 30...... read more read more

    Bed? Check. Food? Check. Mortuary? Check…?
    Not sure how those three things go together? Well, for the 155th Services Flight, those are three of four main areas that must be ready to go whenever the Airmen are called to deploy, to be able to set up a fully functioning base from scratch.
    With the proper training, it will take just a few hours to set up the bare necessities of a base, allowing services Airmen and other units deployed to that location the ability to do their jobs as soon as possible.
    In order to accomplish their mission, the Airmen are trained on all of the areas required during an exercise called Silver Flag at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia.
    “Silver Flag is basically the training that services members go to, to get experience in a deployed like environment,” said Senior Airman Brian Jacobson, a services journeyman with the 155th Force Support Squadron. “There’s a series of classes that you go through, going over the four faculties of services which is food, fitness, lodging and mortuary.”
    On July 12 -20, 2018, 17 Airmen with the Nebraska Air National Guard’s 155th Services Flight trained alongside 30 other Airmen from the Hawaii and Illinois National Guard and from Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota; Grissom Air Reserve Base, Illinois; and Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.
    Jacobson said Silver Flag allowed services members to get more comprehensive, real-world training.
    After taking classes over each aspect of their job, the Airmen were split into groups covering three of the four aspects they were being trained on: lodging, food and mortuary services. The fourth aspect – fitness – is covered in a separate training.
    The Airmen were responsible for knowing what equipment they needed, who they were providing services to and how many personnel they were serving in order to perform their job. Each group was first tasked with creating a PowerPoint presentation on how they would execute their plan, before putting that plan into action as their individual scenarios were assigned.
    The group focused on lodging was tasked to figure out how many tents needed to be set up by a certain time, and how they would efficiently lodge incoming members by assigning them to a tent and a bed.
    Jacobson said they couldn’t just assign people to just any tent because there are gender and rank diversity requirements to consider, as well as work-sleep schedules to balance. For example, aircrew members would need to be assigned to their own location in order to get their required amount of sleep.
    “Lodging is important where we deploy to because you want to have as smooth a transition as possible,” said Jacobson. “That’s where someone’s going to be living for however long they’re there. It’s important that we get them in the bed that they’re actually going to be staying in and we’re not moving them around.”
    He added that accountability is everything on a deployment and lodging makes that easier.
    In order to provide enough food to as many as 550 people, the group assigned to food services during the exercise began serving Meals Ready-to-Eat (MREs) while they set up a single palette expeditionary kitchen (SPEK). The SPEK, which can be operated with only two to three people, allows food services to serve hot meals for a large amount of people within four hours.
    This training gave the Airmen an opportunity to get familiar with equipment they don’t use on regularly scheduled drills, but would be used regularly on a deployment.
    “If there was a natural disaster, or if we were to get a short-notice deployment, that’s what we would be cooking out of so it’s good to be able to know how that equipment operates because it’s completely different than anything you have in a normal kitchen,” said Senior Airman Zachary Sagstetter, the storeroom manager with the 155th FSS.
    Sagstetter added that working with the other Airmen from different units gave them an opportunity to see how their units differ.
    “It was nice to be able to see how different units do things and get new ideas,” said Sagstetter. “It was cool to know that even though we’ve never met them, we’ve all gone through the same training. We knew how to execute on the same mission without having any issues.”
    The final group was given the somber but necessary task of recovering and processing remains as part of mortuary services. Mortuary has two parts to it: search and recovery, and processing the remains and effects of each body.
    The first thing the Airmen had to do was select where to locate their operations tent. Once they were situated, their exercise scenario would begin. In this case, they were simulating a plane crash.
    For search and recovery, Airmen begin by sectioning off an area, creating a grid and then identifying and collecting remains. This systematic procedure helps ensure as much personal effects and remains as possible are recovered and collected. Once collected, the remains are transferred back to the mortuary tent and processed.
    At the mortuary tent, Airmen complete paperwork related to processing the body and then specifically position the remains and ice in a transfer case before taking it to the flight line.
    Through this whole process, each Airman is expected to treat their role with dignity and respect.
    “If that was my family member, I want to know that they’re taken care of the way that I would like them to,” said Senior Airman Mattie Shake, an accountant for services with the 155th FSS.
    Even transferring the body to the flight line has a very detailed procedure.
    Four people carry the transfer case, ensuring the feet of the remains are at the lead. Once the case reaches the vehicle, it is turned around so the head is at the front of the truck and the feet are at the back.
    “If you think about the amount of time and energy, and the financial investment associated with processing those remains and honoring them, it’s significant,” said Lt. Col. Darin Durand, the commander of the 155th FSS. “I think that speaks very well of our country.”
    Another part of mortuary training is learning how to mentally handle the job in a healthy way, since it’s not something the Airmen do regularly.
    Within the mortuary tent, there is a room available for Airmen to decompress. There is also a counselor on hand who encourages Airmen to ask for help, even if it is talking to someone else about what’s going on or going to a chaplain.
    “You just never know how somebody is going to respond to actually interfacing with remains,” said Durand.
    He added that knowing how a person processes grief and being mindful of what it was like when you lost someone can help prepare Airmen for mortuary service.
    While the Silver Flag exercise was only training, it did provide the Airmen a foundation to build on in each of the aspects of services.
    “This is an opportunity for us to go down and get training, focused training, in areas that we don’t normally get,” said Durand.
    Overall, the training gave the 155th Services Flight Airmen more confidence in their abilities and better prepared them to be ready to complete any mission, anywhere.



    Date Taken: 07.12.2018
    Date Posted: 09.25.2018 16:23
    Story ID: 294343
    Location: US

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    155th Services Flight Trains to Sustain