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    Expeditionary Center instructors brought decades of experience to Rodeo tactics competition

    Expeditionary Center instructors brought decades of experience to Rodeo tactics competition

    Photo By Scott Sturkol | Staff Sgt. Lucinda Collins briefs a security forces team during the security forces...... read more read more

    JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Airmen from the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center brought "airpower" to the Air Mobility Rodeo 2011's combat tactics competition -- "Airpower ... from the ground up" that is.

    The Rodeo umpires and support personnel for Rodeo's security forces combat tactics competition are almost all from the Expeditionary Center of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. They are part of a contingent of 29 airmen who are supporting all of the security forces events for Rodeo to include tactics, combat challenge course, combat weapons and the advanced designated marksman events.

    Within this group of Expeditionary Center Airmen are deployment training instructors from the center's 421st Combat Training Squadron, 422nd Joint Tactics Squadron and the Expeditionary Center's main staff. They support a multitude of Air Force combat skills training courses such as Phoenix Warrior and Phoenix Raven for security forces, and Combat Airman Skills Training and Exercise Eagle Flag for all airmen.

    Master Sgt. Jesse Pate, section chief for the logistics management section of the 421st CTS serving as a Rodeo umpire for combat tactics, said sending the team of EC Airmen to work for Rodeo competitions makes sense.

    "We teach deploying airmen the skills they need in tactics day-in and day-out," Pate said. "We could be teaching security forces airmen or some other career field -- it doesn't matter because we teach them all. We have the know-how and the people to successfully manage this effort for Rodeo."

    For the Rodeo combat tactics event, four-person security forces teams have to follow a strict set of parameters, said Tech. Sgt. Luke Plemons, the security forces operations flight chief for the 421st CTS and a Rodeo umpire. He said his unit has most likely had a part in training his fellow security forces airmen participating and they can see those tactics skills they helped mold in the tactics competition.

    "It's good to be here because we get to see how the career field as a whole is with their skills," said Plemons who has been a security forces instructor with the Expeditionary Center for more nearly five years. "We have people from all over the Air Force and the world competing in this event. We can see our work paying dividends for all the Airmen involved in the competition."

    Master Sgt. Bill Lipsett is the chief of civil engineering research and analysis for the Expeditionary Center's newest unit -- the 422nd JTS. He said stepping out of his CE role and supporting a security forces competition is indicative of the type of people the center has.

    "I'm glad to have an opportunity to play an integral role in this competition," Lipsett said. "At the Expeditionary Center, we all come together from many, many career fields to get airmen trained for deployment. We're doing the same here in getting this competition done.

    "We're a diverse group and in doing this [tactics] we are showing we're all in the fight," Lipsett said.

    Tech. Sgt. John Barboni, a civil engineering electrician by trade and the assistant NCO in charge of the Expeditionary Center armory, said supporting Rodeo's combat tactics with his fellow combat skills instructors is "priceless."

    "I'm working with people who are outside my normal career field but because they are such a great professional group of people, I know we can accomplish anything successfully," Barboni said.

    Twenty-seven teams are competing in the combat tactics competition that finishes July 27. Air Mobility Rodeo 2011, sponsored by the Air Mobility Command, is the Mobility Air Force's readiness competition. This competition focuses on improving worldwide air mobility forces professional core abilities, AMC officials said.

    The U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center is the "Air Force's Center of Excellence for advanced mobility and expeditionary combat support training and education," its fact sheet states. The Expeditionary Center also provides command oversight to five Air Mobility Command units and two unique schools.



    Date Taken: 08.05.2011
    Date Posted: 08.05.2011 13:12
    Story ID: 74892

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