24 hour support for Operation Baltimore Rally
By Tech. Sgt. David Speicher, 175th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 03, 2015
With Operation Baltimore Rally in full swing, many units at Warfield Air National Guard Base are operating on a 24 hour a day basis to accommodate Maryland Air National Guardsmen during the state of emergency in Baltimore.
Master Sgt. Elizabeth A. Hicks, NCOIC Personnel Support for Contingency Operations, has her team from the 175th Force Support Squadron at work. They stood up an in processing station May 1 in the multi-purpose room of the wing headquarters building. It is the focal point for members in processing and going down range.
Hicks said they have checked that members have valid ID cards and dog tags. "We have them fill out a locator card and give them a billeting card. We place them in an arrival status, to use for accountability. Accountability is our number one priority," said Hicks.
To accomplish 24 hour a day operations she is using 16 members working 12 hours on shift and then 12 hours off shift said Hicks.
They processed an initial group of approximately 400 people on Friday in four and a half hours. "We have a good team and we did it," said Hicks. "The whole purpose is to get them in and out as soon as possible."
As of Sunday morning, 416 Airman have been processed.
On the other side of the base, Chief Master Sgt. Richard P. Petrush, 175th Emergency Operations Center manager, started 24 hour a day operations on April 28 at 1 p.m. when they received a warning order of the pending operation.
The EOC supports whatever contingency operation the base supports. They are there to support all Air National Guard assets that support the mission. "We make it happen," said Petrush. The EOC is working with up to 17 people per shift.
Feeding and a place to rest is the responsibility of Senior Master Sgt. Dawn Porter's team. She is the 175th Services superintendent.
"We have fed them through contract feeding. We have bedded them down. We are responsible for the portable showers. We do checks on the generators and the hot water on the showers. We issued MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) to the members that are going to Baltimore City. We have had the dining hall open so troops can play games with the assistance of family support," said Porter.
In addition to the 375 cots on base, services requested another 150 so they would have 525. They set up the cots in the two of the aircraft hangars.
The services group had about 17 Airmen working to keep operations going 24 hours a day.
"These folks train for this, this what they go to school for. It is just a different environment that we have to implement it in. This is the first time a lot of my Airmen have practiced what they were taught." said Porter.