Randolph Airmen track accountability in New Orleans
By Maj. Dani Johnson, 4th Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs
/ Published October 13, 2006
LOUIS ARMSTRONG - NEW ORLEANS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, La. (AETCNS) -- With five different operating locations in New Orleans, knowing where Airmen are located is the primary duty for six personnel Airmen from Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.
The personnel support for contingency operations team, or PERSCO, is comprised of Airmen from the 12th Flying Training Wing and Air Force Personnel Center. They arrived Sept. 4 and have since been operating 24-hours a day working diligently to account for all Airmen including Air Force Reserve members, as well as some Army members and contractors in the city.
"Unlike many deployments where we are the first ones in, because of the nature of this deployment almost 200 Airmen were already here when we arrived," said Staff Sgt. Paul Graham, 4th Air Expeditionary Group PERSCO member. "We've had to backtrack and find where everyone is located."
With the rapid deployment of medical, security and other assets, many Airmen arrived on verbal orders, temporary duty orders, Federal Emergency Management Agency orders and deployment orders, the team has had a definite challenge finding where everyone was, said Maj. Bernard Bedgood, 4th AEG PERSCO team chief.
"This is definitely different from deploying to an overseas location," Sergeant Graham said. "There has been no one point of embarkation so we are relying on each individual to check in with us."
Accurate accountability becomes very important when it is time to redeploy according to the sergeant. "Having accurate numbers determines how much transportation may be needed. We don't want to leave anyone behind."
"I'm very proud of this team, we've captured all the names and locations of those we need," Major Bedgood said. "Regardless of the fact we didn't necessarily have all the tools we needed, we got the job done."