Force Support enhanced through Home Station Readiness Training
By Story by Staff Sgt. John Linzmeier, 154th Wing
/ Published March 31, 2021
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, HI -- Drill-status and full-time personnel from the 154th Force Support Squadron completed a Home Station Readiness Training event Feb. 26, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam.
The weeklong training was held to improve career-field competencies and validate their ability to support warfighters in deployed environments.
“Our Home Station Readiness Training is basically making sure we’re wartime ready in our functional areas,” said Master Sgt. Hyurn Chu, 154th FSS services craftsman. “We go through a whole course and some hands-on training. Most of it is working on our functional areas such as food operations, contingency lodging, fitness, MWR and putting up tents.”
Force Support Airmen lay a foundation of essential services for service members at their home stations and while deployed, entailing the processing of military records, professional development, dining operations, mortuary affairs and more.
The event kicked off with a comprehensive briefing to familiarize Airmen with scenarios which they are likely to encounter in the event of a deployment, to include their role in helping set up a bare base for follow-on personnel.
Participants received instructions from Emergency Management Airmen from the 154th Civil Engineer Squadron to facilitate the use of personal protective equipment when exposed to Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive conditions.
A normal duty day inside the 154th FSS entails a wide variety of mission essential functions, from the non-stop processes of administrative actions in the personnel department to the planning of sustenance production within the Services Flight; but for the purposes of the HSRT, all members are exposed to contrasting challenges in the field.
Staff Sgt. Randal Asuncion, 154th FSS services craftsman, led Airmen through the setup and protocols of several mobile structures the following day, such as the Hawaii Air National Guard’s Disaster Relief Mobile Kitchen Trailer and a temper tent.
“The purpose of these buildups is for whenever we go down range,” said Asuncion. “Our single pallet expeditionary kitchen, known as a SPEK, is a feeding platform. Whenever we get deployed out for a contingency feeding, we gotta feed our troops, and the whole purpose of that temper tent, is that we can use it as a dining area or for lodging. This is mandatory training for us, to get our own personnel ready to go if they ever get the call.”
National Guardsmen are charged to maintain high states of readiness for the needs of state and federal governments, making assets such as the mobile kitchen trailer and palatable structures valuable during wartime efforts as well as stateside disasters.
Airmen also developed proficiencies with a new billeting structure, the Alaska Small Shelter System. The half-cylinder-shaped tent was resurrected by Hawaii ANG members for the first time to ensure personnel can support a wider variety of infrastructures when needed.
Services Airmen are trained with a broader set of specialties than most other career fields, which span from food operations, military lodging to mortuary affairs.
On the final day of the event, members were given a scenario to test their search and rescue capabilities while relaying command and control information to leadership.
With all the technical proficiencies that were enhanced throughout the week, Asuncion indicated that developing confidence and trust with his peers was one of the exercises top highlights.
“This training alone makes me feel great that we can come together as a team,” said Asuncion. “If we ever get deployed, they got my back, and if I ever send them out, they know what they’re doing.”