FSS members help maintain PATRIOT

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Andrea A. S. Williamson
  • 108th Wing

U.S. Air National Guardsmen with the Personnel Support for Contingency Operations (PERSCO) team from multiple units, maintained 100 percent accountability of all in-coming and out-going Soldiers and Airmen during the Patriot South Exercise at the Mississippi Combat Readiness Training Center at Camp Shelby in Mississippi, Feb. 25 - March 7th.

PATRIOT is a domestic operations disaster-response training exercise conducted by National Guard units working with federal, state and local emergency management agencies and first responders.

With the involvement of multiple entities, personnel’s role is integral.

The target of PERSCO is good presentation and attention to detail, said New Jersey guardsman Master Sgt. John Rogerson, personnel supervisor, assigned to the 108th Wing. “Our numbers have to be accurate in order to provide leadership with daily updates. We have to connect with our points of contact in our other locations, express clear expectations for troops, and set a good tone for members to accomplish their mission.”

Though an intricate operation, the six-member team has relied on their strengths to create efficiency and sizable results.

“Personnel has been great,” said Mississippi guardsman Capt. Dustin Eaves, a PATRIOT Exercise Planner from the 186th Air Fueling Wing. “I gave them the concept of what was needed here at PATRIOT and let them take care of the plan.”

To date, PERSCO in-processed as many as 70 personnel at once and approximately 1400 collectively, noted Rogerson.

“The goal is to get better every year,” said Eaves, “and this is the first year, we’ve involved the state Joint Operations Center early on in the process. By getting their involvement during planning, we made the event more realistic with numbers of real world standard. Having leads from Mississippi, such as, Senior Master Sgt. Michael Voss (senior personnel professional), made putting on an event like this, easier.”

With key role players set, team members such as Rogerson, gained the opportunity to thrive in his passion.

“I take great pride in doing the Right Start brief (orientation),” said Rogerson. “Since I taught for 9 years on my civilian job, I am in my element. I take it on as a challenge to recognize everyone as they come in and make them feel welcomed. Still, as you can see, members got out promptly.”

Parallel to Patriot’s mission to improve readiness, each member of the PERSCO team continued to set a high standard of service for members to return home better fit to fight.