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Alaska Guard Members Exchange Strength Management Techniques with Australian Defense Force

By Alaska National Guard Public Affairs | July 22, 2015

ROCKHAMPTON, Australia – With Talisman Sabre 15 wrapping up, U.S. and Australian service members operating theater gateways for the exercise have an opportunity to exchange ideas for joint reception, staging, onward-movement and integration (JRSOI) operations.

Members of the Alaska National Guard, 10th Support Group (Regional) and the Australian Defense Force gathered at Camp Rocky in Rockhampton, Australia to share techniques and best practices for strength management during the reception phase of the JRSOI process.

Sgt. Flanity Briones, a member of the Alaska Army National Guard, serves as the senior personnel specialist at the Combined Joint Reception Cell (CJRC) at Camp Rocky. During the exchange, Briones shared her knowledge on personnel tracking and accountability.

“We discussed the importance of personnel tracking for both the U.S. and Australian military forces,” said Briones. “Through personnel tracking, we provide continuous assurance of the location of our service members, while also compiling data needed to properly allocate mission costs.”

Members of the Australian Defense Force were especially interested in the Tactical Personnel System that U.S. personnel specialists use to track inbound and outbound personnel.

The Tactical Personnel System is an automated tactical strength management system. It provides the field with an application that can serve as a deployment-manifesting platform for military personnel and Department of Defense civilians and contractors.

The system uses a bar code scanning interface that allows users to quickly create exportable manifests, or reports. Because of the efficiency of the system, personnel specialists are able to manifest dozens to hundreds of personnel in a matter of minutes with just one system.

Maj. Peter Kube, an officer from the Australian 2nd Force Support Battalion, participated in the exchange session to gather ideas for a theater gateway handbook he is drafting for the Australian Defense Force.

“I was particularly impressed that the U.S. has a deployed system and dedicated unit to conduct tracking, and that the U.S. values tracking highly enough to commit the resources on exercises,” said Kube. “All U.S. personnel understand the need for tracking, and there appears to be a very high degree of confidence in the compliance of your forces.”

More than 20 Alaska National Guard members are supporting theater gateway operations for Exercise Talisman Sabre in Australia June 21-July 31. Members of the 49th Theater Gateway are serving in CJRCs in the Brisbane, Darwin, Rockhampton and Sydney areas. Individuals from other Alaska National Guard units, as well as other active and reserve components, are augmenting the 49th Theater Gateway for the mission.

“Our people were very impressed by the professionalism of the staff, their job knowledge and their attitude and commitment towards creating a effective joint working environment at Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015,” said Kube. “The relationship between the U.S. and Australian Armies is important. Exercises like this one remind us that we have much in common and a relationship that is worth every effort to preserve.”

Talisman Sabre is a combined biennial military exercise that aims to improve combat training, readiness and interoperability by exposing nearly 30,000 U.S. and Australian participants to a wide spectrum of military capabilities and training experiences.

The exercise, which runs July 5-19, provides the opportunity to increase both countries’ ability to plan and execute a full range of operations from combat missions to humanitarian assistance.

The official U.S. homepage for the exercise is www.cpf.navy.mil/talisman-sabre/2015/ and the official Australian homepage is www.defence.gov.au/Exercises/TS15/.