JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, were validated as a Contingency Response Force during a joint training exercise with the 30th Arial Support Squadron, out of Niagara Falls, N.Y., July 21, 2015, at Hickam Airfield.
The validation ensures the unit is prepared to assume the CRF mission which allows Soldiers to rapidly deploy within the Asia-Pacific's area of responsibility to provide humanitarian assistance or combat operations.
"I think anytime you are working outside of your comfort zone with a sister service you get to see at a macro level of what it takes to complete the mission," said Capt. Kevin Ramirez, commander of Company B and officer in charge of the validation.
In the weeks prior to the validation exercise 1-27 IN completed a sequence of events to ensure their Soldiers and equipment were deployment ready. Soldiers started by receiving an alert call that started from the most senior leadership down to the junior enlisted. Once receiving this alert Soldiers went through a series of inspections and medical evaluations to prove that both troops and equipment were operable in a deployed environment. After completing all of the required validations Company B prepared to convoy to Joint Base Pearl Harbor/Hickam Airfield.
Ramirez, a native of Columbia, N. C., said his Soldiers spent several hours coordinating and preparing equipment for the validation exercise.
"I think the biggest take away is the prep work to assure we make the proper coordination with the Air Force and all the other agencies involved to make sure everything runs smoothly from start to finish," said Ramirez.
Within a short period of time 1-27 IN received authorization to conduct the fly away and Soldiers loaded up into their vehicles to move out.
This is the first time that one infantryman, Pfc. Nicholas Houston, a native of Jackson, Mich., conducted a mission of this importance.
"I feel like I will have better understanding of what it takes to make a rapid deployment, and meet the CRF standards," said Houston.
Once the convoy moved to the flight line it did not take long to load about 30 Soldiers, two Strykers and one Humvee into the C-17A Globemaster III, where Airmen and Soldiers worked side-by-side to load and secure the vehicles in the aircraft.
Tech. Sgt. Sherry Hunter, part of the ramp load team member assigned to 30th Arial Support Squadron, worked with 1-27 IN Soldiers to tie down all equipment and vehicles, and was impressed with the unit.
"The Army seems very willing to learn, to help, and to assist," said Hunter, a native of Buffalo, N.Y. "So far it has been great."
The validation has ensured Company B is prepared for rapid deployment for the next three months as they continue to assume CRF responsibilities.