COLLEGE STATION – Texas Task Force 1’s Logistics and Communications team members participated in the U.S. Air Force Reserve’s “Operation Patriot Express” airlift exercise with the 315th, 433rd and 445th Airlift Wings to ensure the team meets all requirements for transporting personnel and cargo on military aircraft.
The exercise, held Sept. 15-18, allowed TX-TF1 members to practice loading and off-loading their personnel and cargo from both a C-5 Super Galaxy and a C-17 Globemaster III airframe at Ellington Field in Houston and Joint Base San Antonio.
TX-TF1 also participated in Joint Inspection training with palletized cargo, to ensure the team can meet the Defense Transportation Regulations for transporting equipment. TX-TF1 was also able to get flight certification for two of its primary vehicles and two trailers used for moving equipment and FEMA boats for search and rescue missions.
“This was an excellent opportunity for the team to refresh all paperwork, certifications, and training required to fly in U.S. military cargo jets,” said Stephen Bjune, Training Manager with TX-TF1. “Members were able to apply what they have learned over the years, build relationships with air and ground crews, and obtain USAF certification for several critical pieces of its rolling inventory.”
“The ability to participate in Operation Patriot Express was a huge success for TX-TF1, and has given us a number of training and learning points for both sustaining what we are doing to be air mobility ready, and ways to improve and be even better prepared to respond at a moment’s notice.”
Participants included six TX-TF1 staff: Brett Dixon, Ashley Lewis, Justin Mangham, CJ O’Conner, Derek Booth, Katie Breland and Stephen Bjune. They were joined by 11 TX-TF1 members: Richard Tice, Keith Brown, Jody Cook, Gary Parker, Mike Whitmire, Travis Vanscoder, Don Alexander, Ray Russell, Mike Herbert, James McNeely and Shawn Kelly.
About Texas Task Force 1
TX-TF1 is sponsored by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and has deployed over 90 times since 1997, including the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, Sept. 11th World Trade Center attack, and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike. TX-TF1 can be activated by the Texas Division of Emergency Management or as one of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) 28 sanctioned urban search and rescue teams.
Texas Task Force 1 Website: www.texastaskforce1.org/