Local

March 7, 2014

Arizona Soldiers, U.S. CBP unite to secure border hot spot

Staff Sgt. Joaquin Lopez (left) and Staff Sgt. Ruben Cruz, Arizona Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to the 2220th Transportation Company in Tucson, offload concrete barriers in Naco near the Arizona-Mexico border, March 1. The Soldiers partnered with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to deliver the barriers from El Centro, Calif., to shore up security measures while accomplishing some much-needed training for convoy operations.

As overseas contingencies and deployments for U.S. armed forces taper off, Arizona’s Citizen Soldiers are shifting their focus to domestic missions to gain real-world experience and maintain readiness.

The Arizona Army National Guard’s Tucson-based 2220th Transportation Company found a creative way to hone their skills and help secure the Arizona-Mexico border in the process. Working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the light-medium truck company moved 193 tons of concrete barriers from El Centro, Calif., to Naco, Ariz., over drill weekend March 1 to fortify a porous section of the state’s border.

Army Guard and Customs officials called the convoy operation a success and said it was a model for future inter-agency coordination.

“We’ve been working on a solution for getting that border infrastructure into place in Naco for quite some time,” said Manuel Padila, Jr., the chief patrol agent for the Tucson sector. “When the Guard saw this as a training opportunity it became a win-win situation for everyone. This certainly highlights the long-standing partnership we’ve had with the Guard and it points to new ways we can work together.”

Where once a fence line was the only impediment for vehicles looking to illegally breach the border at Naco, now a robust barricade denies ease of entry.

In all, the Guard delivered 115 cement blocks – 15 more than originally requested by CBP. In a matter of days, 52 Arizona Guardsmen mobilized 26 vehicles to transport the load over 400 miles.

“We used every section in the company to support the mission,” said Army Capt. Janek Kaslikowski, the company commander. “We have an operations section that planned the mission – estimated fuel, rest stops, and driver changes – and a maintenance section that kept us running. Our Soldiers received invaluable experience with securing a load, off loading, vehicle recovery, and the importance of preventive maintenance checks and services.”

According to Kaslikowski, the mission was the perfect vehicle for bridging the gaps in experience between his junior Soldiers and his combat-tested senior non-commissioned officers.

“It was interesting to see them work together on this mission because this is exactly what we would do in theater,” he said. “The NCOs led this mission and gave the junior Soldiers plenty of opportunity to gain experience that they may not get without deploying.”

“We paired experienced drivers with inexperienced drivers,” said Army 2nd Lt. Sha-raya Harris, first platoon leader on her third drill with the Guard. “I was one of the inexperienced drivers.”

Some of the most junior motor transport operators in the company had only 10 minutes behind the wheel from initial training, said Harris. Now they all have seven-to-eight hours of experience negotiating turns, hills, and stops with 16 tons in tow.

“It was great training, but I think this mission was equally important for building relationships. Everywhere we went people supported us. Border Protection employees, the ranchers in Naco, even other drivers on the Interstate – everyone found this mission interesting and wanted to help us along the way,” said Harris.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photos by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey)

F-15E Strike Eagle students complete training at D-M

Student pilots from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., have been training here since June 17. Fourteen F-15E Strike Eagles from the 334th Fighter Squadron, as well as pilots and Weapons Systems Officers came to D-M to com...
 
 

D-M has $1.48 billion impact on Tucson community

D-M and military retirees circulated approximately $1.48 billion and helped create more than 4,200 jobs in the local area, according to D-M’s Fiscal Year 2014 Economic Impact Analysis, released here June 8. The EIA, an annual publication, is designed to inform the community of personnel assigned or employed at the base; annual payroll of all...
 
 

Angel Thunder 2015

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey) German Air Force CH-53GS waits to be refueled at Naval Air Station North Island, Calif., during Angel Thunder 2015, June 7. Angel Thunder is the world’s largest personnel recovery exercise. D-M hosted 11 partner nations and nine interagencies with a common goal to train personnel...
 

 
Deployed_pict

Davis-Monthan deployed Airmen update

Since the beginning of the year the base has deployed 1,166 Airmen in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve and various other combatant commanders around the world. The A-10s supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve are fulfilling...
 
 

Exercise Angel Thunder 2015

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Adam Morrison, Expeditionary Operations Training Group instructor, demonstrates how to anchor a rappel rope using the natural environment to fellow Marines during Exercise Angel Thunder 2015 high angle rescue training at Mount Lemmon, Ariz., June 1. During the training, U.S. Marines and U.S. Airmen practiced tying knots, anchoring ropes, rappelling...
 
 

2014 Davis-Monthan Annual Water Quality Report

IS MY WATER SAFE? Yes, your water is safe! We are pleased to present the 2014 Annual Water Quality Report (Consumer Confidence  Report) as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). This report provides a detailed look at the Davis-Monthan drinking water program and what the Davis-Monthan drinking water team does for you every...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>