PDF team shines during Phase I ORI

MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif. -- As Air Combat Command inspected the 129th Rescue Wing during their Phase One Operational Readiness Inspection in December, they took note of 129th Mission Support Group's Force Support Flight's Personnel Deployment Function.

Ultimately, the ACC's Inspector General team awarded the 129th PDF team with an "Outstanding" rating.

"We have such a great team in place," said Tech. Sgt. Dehua Li. She worked the wing's eligibility station during the ORI and is the 129th FSF's non-commissioned officer in charge of student flight. "Everyone [in FSF] is so helpful you can go to anyone and they will help you out or guide you in the right direction."

One of the focus points the PDF team collaborated on was ensuring all of the wing's Air Force Deployment Folders had no discrepancies.

"The thing we did at the very end that made us a success was pulling together as a team to re-build all the AFDFs and ensuring all training got accomplished and all documentation was done," said Senior Master Sgt. Rosemarie Stokes, NCOIC of the ORI PDF team and base training and education superintendent.

Instead of splitting up work shifts, the PDF team remained dedicated to their positions and pushed through multiple long days to make certain all stations met standards and were capable of overcoming any problems, Stokes said.

"It really was a team effort of communication that earned us the Outstanding," said Master Sgt. Rachel Forman, the installation personnel readiness NCO who cut contingency exercise deployment orders.

The team encountered and overcame surprise obstacles, which also led to the Outstanding rating. During the inspection the Secure Internet Protocol Router crashed, requiring Forman to manually cut CED orders for the last group of Airmen processing through the PDF.

The IG inspector was doubtful that Forman could manually cut orders and get troops out the door and launch the aircraft on time, according to Lt. Col. William Griffiths, the FSF commander. "The PDF team and Forman made decisive and correct decisions. They worked quickly and diligently with a process that was never practiced - everything was perfect - so the IG was impressed."

Due to the PDF team's communication and teamwork in the face of this high-stress situation, the deploying chalk notionally deployed on time, to the IG's surprise.

Overall, ACC's Inspector General identified two teams and 21 individual superior performers base-wide during the inspection and both Stokes and Forman were recognized for their extraordinary performance.

"We also had support from the bottom up. Our Airmen were great; they absorbed everything, got trained and really helped out," Forman said. "We have already pulled in our new Airmen to start training for phase two of the ORI."

The Phase II ORI is scheduled for June 2012 and evaluates the wing during a simulated deployment.