- 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 party.
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 Officer's 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 figure 5-2.
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 also vary.
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 party.
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.Continue Reading