Temporarily designate key personnel to assist in
gathering information. These key personnel
should establish informal liaison with their
counterparts before the predeployment trip.
Possible members of the predeployment party and
a list of primary concerns of each individual relating to
the deployment site are listed in figure 5-1. Use this
listing to help build your understanding of personnel
needed for predeployment trips.
The actual composition and numbers of personnel
on a predeployment visit are normally limited, but
subject to negotiation with 2ndNCB/3rdNCB.
Composition and number depend on known or
anticipated conditions of the mission. Regardless of the
final composition, the functions listed must be done by
one of the members of the team. It is imperative that
team members be totally prepared and in a position to
evaluate tentative plans. Prepared team members can
then finalize plans before the departure of the advance
In addition to and with the functions listed, there are
numerous questions that must normally be resolved
during the predeployment trip. A detailed list of
questions can be found in the Operations Officers
Handbook, 2ndNCB/3rdNCBINST 5200.2 series. You
as a crew leader or shop supervisor should review these
questions before the predeployment visit. There may be
questions of your own that need answers. Pass these
questions onto your chain of command.
The on-site battalion should expect questions
during the predeployment trip and should be prepared
to provide the answers. This information will assist in
planning for the upcoming deployment.
Upon return from the predeployment trip, the final
deployment planning phase should commence full
force. Definite assignment of functions and resources
should be made. This final planning phase must be
complete before the deployment of the advance party.
The planning must include continual follow-up on all
items that may affect the future deployment.
Approximately 10 days before the departure of the
main body, an advance party will deploy to the sites. The
primary purpose of this group is to turn over all
continuing functions, finalize construction plans, and
prepare for the arrival of the main body. This preparation
gives the main body adequate facilities and allows
production to begin within 2 or 3 days of arrival. The
advance party represents the first permanent group of
people at the deployment sites. They will leave a lasting
impression. Accordingly, it is strongly recommended
that the advance party be staffed with the best personnel
available. Choose professional people who can carry out
the required functions in a minimum amount of time.
There is a trend towards reducing both the number
of people on the advance party and the duration. This
trend is dictated by limited funds and a desire to subject
as few battalion personnel as possible to a longer
deployment. Experience indicates that an entire
battalion main body turnover can be done in 10 days if
proper planning is done ahead of time.
The number of personnel required to turn over the
main body and detail sites varies with the conditions
of the site and the imposed restraints from higher
authority. To minimize expenditure of funds, the
advance party is frequently limited by the capacity of a
standard aircraft. Optimum aircraft use often dictates
that the advance party/main body personnel be split. The
size of the advance party can be adjusted. The most
important consideration is the requirements of the
mission. Adjustments can be made to suit available
travel arrangements. To assist in determining the
minimum requirements, you can use the information in
You can see that the advance party for a main body
site should be approximately 150 people. Of course, this
number varies and is dependent upon the actual pieces
of equipment and the number of projects undertaken
upon arrival of the main body. Detail site advance parties
The advance party does not normally start work on
any assigned project. However, if a project is of such a
nature that it demands an early start, the size of the
advance party can be adjusted accordingly. The on-site
battalion should have completed all work by the time
the advance party arrives. The only work continuing
should be reaching a good turnover point and cleaning
up the projects. Full-scale production during the
turnover period benefits neither battalion and should be
the exception rather than a general practice.
The turnover period is an extremely rushed time.
Rushing tends to fray the nerves of everyone involved.
To help eliminate some of the normal stress, the
following guidelines should be settled firmly during the
predeployment trip and strictly enforced by the advance
1. All transportation to and from flights and cargo
handling should be furnished by the on-site
battalion. Of course the last plane leaving will
be loaded by the relieving battalion.