By Sgt. Moses Howard IIMay 2, 2017
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Service members from airborne military units across the country participated in the Parachute Operations Mishap Preventative Orientation Course (POMPOC), April 24-28 at Fort Stewart, Georgia.
POMPOC is a week-long course that blends jumpmasters from Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard units into one forum where they conduct classes and seminars to discuss new trends, procedures, and equipment.
"It allows for an open exchange of information amongst the units as to what are the best practices and what's going on in the airborne community today," Staff Sgt. Dean DeAngelo, of Hotel Company, 121st Long Range Surveillance, Georgia Army National Guard, said.
The idea behind the course is to share lessons learned in a forum of like-minded people. Airborne service members from different states and areas share their experiences in hopes of preventing a parachuting mishap that could cost lives.
Georgia Army National Guard Operations Sergeant Major Joseph Shirer says throughout the year, accidents, preventative measures, and practices used to prevent mishaps are reviewed.
"We also do reviews of different aircraft that normal Jumpmaster training programs don't address," Shirer said. "You learn them through your unit on-the- job-training.
Rather than every different unit in the country teaching these things separately and maybe having different ways to do it, we teach it here at POMPOC to try and standardize the training across the board for the country.
Jumpmaster instructor cadre review parachute inspections as well as standardized parachutist inspection procedures from Natick, the proponent for producing the parachute, the T-11. The standards from Natick brings all the National Guard units across the country together on parachutist inspections to include those with or without equipment.
"We do it for all National Guard units across the country who have airborne units in their formations," Lt. Col. John Till, Georgia Army National Guard State Safety Director, said. "We cover incidents and accidents that have taken place and try to find ways to mitigate those risks that are associated."
This is the third year that the Georgia Army National Guard has hosted POMPOC.
DeAngelo says that lessons learned from this course will be taken into account when planning next year's event.
"We have some different faces this year. We have some different units. Each year, it seems to keep growing," DeAngelo said. "We keep getting more and more participants coming in. It keeps expanding. Things are getting better every year."