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100-percent accountability paramount in deployed operations

by Master Sgt. Cheryl L. Toner
380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

5/25/2005 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Imagine showing up to work one day only to discover everyone is new. Well, that has been the case at this and many other forward-deployed locations worldwide.

Most of the Airmen in the air and space expeditionary force’s current rotation arrived within the past month, and that means Airmen at the personnel office have been burning the midnight oil.

Each AEF rotation is a 20-month period, including time for training, a time to deploy and “down time” upon redeploying. This cycle allows Airmen to better prepare for deployments, thus creating more stable lives for themselves and their families back home. But in between cycles, however, it is not business as usual for Airmen at personnel offices.

At this location, the personnel office’s six Airmen processed more than 2,500 people who were either outprocessing or inprocessing recently.

“This has been a lot of work,” said Maj. Dario Rissone, the personnel chief who is deployed from the Nevada Air National Guard’s 152nd Airlift Wing in Reno. However, he said the help from the first sergeants and the lodging staff helped the personnel Airmen to keep track of everyone.

While accountability and crunching numbers may not seem too challenging, Staff Sgt. Ben Poland, who also works in the personnel office, said he would rather be doing his duty here than back at his home station in Bangor, Maine.

“Here I get to see the whole picture,” the Air National Guardsman said. “Back home, I just send people away. Here, I get to see another aspect of my job.”

Major Rissone said this is his first deployment to Southwest Asia, and he will go back to his unit better informed.

“I’ll know what it’s like to deploy (here), so I’ll know what training needs to be done and I’ll have firsthand knowledge on why the training is so important,” Major Rissone said.

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