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 photo by Staff Sgt. Adam Grant)

AFSOUTH Liaison Officers: Embarking on a journey toward a promising future

Colonel Alex Voigt has only been serving as the Air Forces Southern Chilean Liaison Officer at Davis-Monthan for a couple of months, but with a history of Chilean LNOs reaching the rank of general and one even going on to serve...
 
 

D-M commander mixes it up with ‘The Morning Blend’

(U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey) U.S. Air Force Col. James P. Meger, 355th Fighter Wing commander, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., talks with TV hosts, Tina Jennings and Maria Parmigiani, during a live recording of “The Morning Blend” at KGUN9 Studio, Tucson, Nov. 24. Meger went on the show to...
 
 

Let’s talk turkey: Prepare the perfect bird this holiday season

Whether having a big group over to share the Thanksgiving festivities or it’s just you and the Family, the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving table is the turkey. Guests will graze around the appetizer table careful not to fill their bellies in anticipation of the plump, juicy turkey and all the fixin’s. Most people aren’t world-renowned...
 

 
DoD

New allotment rule protects troops from lending scams

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has directed a policy change in new paycheck allotments to prevent unscrupulous commercial lenders from taking advantage of troops and their families, Pentagon officials said Nov. 21. According to a Defense Department news release, effective Jan. 1, 2015, the change in DOD’s financial management regulation will prohibit service...
 
 

Officials highlight health, wellness resources for Military Families

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 – As efforts continue to strengthen service members and their families, Pentagon officials held a Bloggers Roundtable to highlight the myriad resources available to tackle the unique military and transitional challenges those who serve may face. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy Rosemary Freitas Williams, Marine Corps...
 
 

Thanksgiving and our Native Americans

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — On the fourth Thursday of every November, we as Americans celebrate the national holiday Thanksgiving. This day focuses on honoring the early settlers, and their harvest feast, which we know to be the “First Thanksgiving.” However, long before settlers came to the United States’ East Coast, the area was inhabited by...
 




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