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. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brian A. Barbour)

Arizona Air Guard to watch over Super Bowl XLIX

Pilots and F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 162nd Wing’s Aerospace Control Alert Detachment at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base may take to the skies to help protect thousands of spectators at Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Arizona,...
 
 

Free Tax services opens on Davis-Monthan

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance tax center opened its doors today for Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve and Public Health personnel. There are 35 volunteers at the VITA office to include 27 tax preparers with the ability to conduct 10 appointments at a time. “The volunteers here are IRS certified tax preparers,” according to Skip...
 
 

355th Security Forces Squadron armory

Senior Airman Deiron Armstead, 355th Security Forces Squadron arms room attendant, issues Staff Sgt. Tyler Rivas, 355th SFS NCO in charge of armory operations, a weapon at the armory at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Defenders who work flight line security, entry control, and patrol are issued weapons every day before their shift and return the...
 

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

355th CES creates portable water system

The 355th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Water Fuels System Maintenance shop has developed an innovative portable water system for facilities that lose access to a potable water supply. The system was designed and developed by Kar...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

D-M Airman receives early gift before the holidays

What seemed to be a normal visit from base leadership to the Civil Engineer Squadron’s Emergency Management building, quickly unveiled itself to be a career-changing day for a young staff sergeant. The 355th Fighter Wing comm...
 
 

355th Communications Squadron

Senior Airmen Kevin Davis and Garrett Leeper, 355th Communications Squadron radio frequency transmissions systems technicians, perform a preventive maintenance inspection on a giant voice pole at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Dec. 22, 2014. Checking the poles and amplifiers ensures base emergency warning systems remain operational. Staff Sgt. Luis Permont, 355th Communications Squadron radio fr...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin