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Airmen learn Soldiering skills
TAG at Operation Jump Start

By Maj. Steven Rothstein, JFHQ/ACOS

One hundred New Jersey Air National Guard Airmen have volunteered to be members of a Air National Guard Quick Reaction Force (ANG QRF) capable of rapidly mobilizing in the event of a state emergency.

These Airmen already bring skill sets unique to their “highdemand” AFSC’s (Air Force Specialty Codes) such as civil engineering, security police and others. Now they will have basic knowledge of traditional “Soldiering” skills including convoy operations, as well as clearing and securing a building. The QRF idea originated with Col. Ronald Alfors, the Chief of Staff-Air, as an evolution of the extensive support the Air Guard has always provided in state emergencies.

“We have always provided a specialized capability to state response by leveraging our members’ AFSC training,” stated Alfors. “If Airmen are needed to put boots on the ground for these other types of missions, they would go through a 72 hour just-in-time training program at the Joint Training and Training Development Center (JT2DC) before hitting the street.” While the doctrine and plans were in place for this eventuality, the scenario was never exercised. “This puts a core of 100 people through that just-in-time training up front, while still maintaining the ability to provide training to many more if needed.”

Taking that vision to reality was truly a joint effort led by Lt. Col. Randolph Slaughter, Officer in Charge of Plans and Programs and Chief Master Sgt. Richard Bouffard, NCOIC of Plans and Programs on the Air side with Lt. Col. Brian Sharkey and Capt. Scott Hofstetter on the Army side. They worked with New Jersey’s JTF Commander, Col. Stephen Hines, to identify ten core Military Support to Civilian Authorities (MSCA) tasks. Based on time and resources available to conduct the training, indoctrination into six of the ten were included in the syllabus for the basic course.

The actual training responsibility to make sure that the Air Guard team is ready fell to the NCOs of the first battalion of the 254th Regiment led by Sgt. 1st Class Paulo Amado. His team of instructors spent several months planning the curriculum leading up to the training exercise. Their expertise ensured that the ANG QRF is ready to respond to any MSCA event. The first course was conducted on June 9-10. Fifty Airmen from the 108th Air Refueling Wing received hands-on training both in the classroom at the JT2DC and at a MOUT (Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain) site at Range 12 on Fort Dix. The other fifty from the 177th Fighter Wing were trained during their July drill.

Lt. Col. Daniel Rutkoski is the Officer in Charge of the 108th’s QRF. Normally, he commands the Logistic Readiness Squadron at the 108th, but during this June weekend, he was learning and practicing the skills thousands of his fellow guardsmen used in New Orleans after Katrina.

“Much of the training we have received this weekend is what we would need in any type of state response,” Rutkoski said. “We all remember the pictures of National Guardsmen conducting house-to-house searches in those areas of New Orleans devastated when the levees broke. If something of that magnitude happens in New Jersey, I know that my team will be ready to deploy and work seamlessly with the Army Guard on those very same types of missions.”

Table of Contents
Volume 33 Number 3 Staff / Information
(c) 2007 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs