Soldiers wrangle in redeployment training at UMO rodeo
August 23, 2012
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan. (August 14, 2012) - The 209th Aviation Support Brigade trained more than 100 Soldiers during a Unit Movement Officer Rodeo on August 14, 2012 at Kandahar Airfield.
The key tasks for the rodeo was to teach Soldiers how to prepare movement documentation, facilitate container management with in transit visibility, prepare cargo for joint inspection and navigate the Transportation Coordinator Automated Information for Movement System II class.
When a unit is ready to leave Afghanistan, the UMO must put together a load plan that will track and ship equipment that could easily be worth over one million back to the states.
Joint Sustainment Command -- Afghanistan provided trainers to teach
Soldiers how to prepare these plans for redeployment, which can make the process of shipping cargo back home much easier and less strenuous.
"It's important to Soldiers and especially for the UMO's to understand the redeployment process so they know what to expect so they have enough time to plan ahead," said Staff Sgt. Khris L. De La Pena, a transportation management noncommissioned officer with the 822nd Movement Control Detachment. "UMO's have to know that they only have a certain amount of time to get their equipment ready to be shipped out."
Careful planning is essential to the redeployment process because it could present many challenges.
"I feel if you have everything that belongs to the unit on a well put together load plan, then a UMO should be good," said Sgt. Irene Campos, an automotive logistics noncommissioned officer with the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade. "If not… well then you're a 'SOL' (Soldier out of luck), because not one container can be left behind."
The rodeo also gave Soldiers the chance to gain hands-on experience with conducting inspections and weighing equipment, which is usually a job for an Air
Force cargo load team.
As the groups entered the training yard, Soldiers separated into teams as instructors taught one group to measure and weigh the equipment while the others learned how to prepare packing lists along with special handling cards.
Once the teams were finished with their tasks outside, Soldiers headed back inside for more instruction on TC-AIMS II, trying to cram as much information as time would allow into the class.
The TC-AIMS II course is a two-week course offered by the military, but instructors were challenged during the rodeo to teach the Soldiers the basics in two days.
"The class size was a challenge because I'd prefer to teach smaller groups, so I could give that individual attention since everyone learns at a different pace," De La Pena said. "I'd hope that at the very least, Soldiers know who to contact if they need help with any part of the process."
Besides having the chance to learn from a transportation manager, JSC-A provided a Sustainment Automation Support Management Office instructor to teach the rodeo participants more about the redeployment process.
"I help teach Soldiers the air planning applications, which is what the transportation community uses to support the warfighter worldwide," said David
Bowman, a SASMO trainer with Tapestry Solutions Inc. "With this, the Soldiers will learn how to not only use TC-AIMS II, but also the Automated Air Load
During the rodeo, Campos said she tried to absorb as much knowledge as possible because the systems are always being updated to become more proficient.
"Going into AALPS was good because I have some experience using it manually, but now some of the features are automatic, which is a time saver," Campos said. "It's supposed to be a refresher, but I learned a lot more because we went into more detail about the program."
The UMO Rodeo training was meant to not only give Soldiers knowledge about the redeployment process, but also gave the instructors the chance to instill an unwavering confidence in the skills that Soldiers have attained.
"I hope the Soldiers take away the skill and confidence to redeploy their unit home," Bowman said. "They now have the most accurate information to ensure that all equipment and personnel arrive at their home station safely."