[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                               September 12, 2008
Training

Aircraft Control Group guides 
Soldiers through air travel

By Tom Michele, The Real McCoy Contributor

Fort McCoy Arrival/Departure Aircraft Control Group (A/DACG) personnel are the first people Soldiers see and greet when they arrive at Volk Field and also the last people they see when Soldiers depart the local airfield.

Photo: Jesse Baldwin (left) of the Fort McCoy Arrival/Departure Airfield Control Group supervises Soldiers from the 81st Brigade Combat Team, Washington Army National Guard, unloading duffle bags onto a truck. (Photo by Tom Michele)
Jesse Baldwin (left) of the Fort McCoy Arrival/Departure Airfield Control Group supervises Soldiers from the 81st Brigade Combat Team, Washington Army National Guard, unloading duffle bags onto a truck. (Photo by Tom Michele)

But, as control group lead Kevin Maringer says, "The key to our job and success is that Soldiers are safe when they arrive and when they depart Volk Field and Fort McCoy." Maringer is the manager of Fort McCoy’s A/DACG.

The Transportation Motor Pool provides buses and large trucks to transport Soldiers and their personal gear from Volk to McCoy when Soldiers arrive to go through the mobilization process and then fly out of Volk for their tour of duty, particularly in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

And then, the process repeats itself when Soldiers return from their deployments. This Volk process also includes the Airmen and Sailors who go through the mob-demob process.

The control group coordinates much of the movement of troops and unit equipment from Fort McCoy and to the airfield, Maringer said.

They work closely with the Directorate of Logistics to load pallets and bus the troops. Maringer and his crew operate out of a warehouse on the west edge of the McCoy cantonment and also out of an office in a large hangar at Volk.

They observe and check the weight each troop takes to the plane with maximums established to ensure flight safety.

"We make sure Soldiers follow commercial aircraft regulations for baggage weight," Maringer said. That weight measures up very quickly considering it must contain each Soldier’s equipment.


"The key to our job and success is that Soldiers are safe when they arrive and when they depart Volk Field and Fort McCoy."

Kevin Maringer,
Manager of Fort McCoy's A/DACG

Control group personnel assist and instruct Soldiers how to build cargo pallets with unit equipment, termed "containerization," and how to do that safely and effectively. "Safety is our priority and also our bottom line," Maringer said.

Safety at the airfield, including operating around jet aircraft that sometimes do not shut down the engines for loading and unloading, includes escorting Soldiers to, around and from the aircraft.

Control group personnel instruct and guide Soldiers in loading duffle bags into the aircraft cargo hold, so the bags are distributed safely and properly.

"This is a very satisfying job," Maringer said. "The rewards and benefits come when a Soldier says ‘thank you’ when he is stepping onto the plane, knowing what is ahead of them as they are going to fight for our freedom. And also when they step off of the plane. Just a little ‘thank you’ for what little you did to help them get there, that the process went smoothly. That’s rewarding. That means a lot to each of us, and that is the same for the rest of our team of transportation people with the buses and trucks. Those little ‘thank yous’ are the ‘pat on the back’ for all of us."

The A/DACG is officially a civilian contractor, BSA/LB&B Joint Venture. It was formerly VT Griffin.

(Michele is a public affairs specialist for Eagle Systems and Services Inc., contractor for CONUS Support Base Services.)

 

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