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Joint Receiving Center personnel assist troops deploying to Cobra Gold 2011

By Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Denny | | January 27, 2011

Exercise Cobra Gold 2011’s Joint Receiving Center is tasked with helping service members deploying in support of the exercise and also ensuring accountability for those troops.

JRC is comprised of Marines, sailors, airmen and soldiers who work around the clock to complete their job.

JRC gives commanders complete knowledge concerning troop locations, billeting and transportation on the way to Thailand and while in country.

But, JRC needs deploying troops’ help to get this job done not just for Cobra Gold, but for any deployment, said JRC personnel.

There are many things deploying personnel can do before they start travelling to ease the process, said JRC personnel.

Read the reporting instructions for the exercise, advised Master Sgt. Klever Novillo, the site support chief for Chiang Mai, Cobra Gold 2011. Novillo is a combat service support chief with III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF, based in Okinawa, Japan.

“In order to ensure the JRC personnel at your final destination are tracking your schedule, you must follow the reporting instructions to a tee,” Novillo said.

“Once orders are complete and flights are booked, it’s critical to send itineraries up the proper chain of command,” he added.

With the information gathered by the chain of command, a mass itinerary is created that allows JRC coordinate transportation of personnel from airports to final destinations and complete travelers’ check-in for an exercise, said Army Spc. Kelvin S. Brown, with Cobra Gold 2011’s JRC. Brown is a human resources specialist with 8th Human Resource Specialist Center, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, 8th Special Troops Battalion, United States Army Pacific, based in Hawaii.

To make an exercise check-in process smoother, personnel should complete the required check-in sheet before arrival to the exercise, have multiple copies of temporary assigned duty orders, ensure the proper personnel have been notified of travel itineraries and bring military identification cards, Brown added.

When travelers arrive at their final destination, they must submit the check-in sheets to JRC personnel. At the JRC check-in, their military identification cards are scanned to register them into the tactical personnel system. This system allows JRC to track personnel movements, billeting, transportation and mission readiness, explained Brown.

JRC is an extremely important part of an exercise to ensure units are mission ready and have accountability for their service members, said Novillio.

Not keeping JRC informed can impact the exercise, he said.

For example, if a unit is told 10 troops are arriving and prepares billeting, food and transportation for 10, but 30 show up, it can drastically affect the unit’s ability to complete the mission, he said. Therefore, providing the correct itineraries, rosters and troop information is critical to mission readiness, he said.

JRC’s role during deployment should ease deploying troops’ minds, said Brown.

“It’s comforting arriving to a foreign country knowing there are fellow military personnel waiting to assist you through the airport, have transportation arranged and are aware of billeting requirements,” said Brown.

There are four JRC locations set up throughout the Kingdom of Thailand for Cobra Gold.

Cobra Gold personnel did have one final piece of advice for those getting ready to deploy here via commercial airlines.

Personnel should verify what the luggage weight limitations are for the airline carriers on which they are flying, Novillo said.

For personnel in route to exercise Cobra Gold, be aware that airlines in this region do have checked luggage weight limitations and exceeding an airline’s weight limitations will incur large fees, explained Chiang Mai International Airport personnel. Carry-on luggage weight limitations also vary per airline, however the average allowed is 15-22 pounds per traveler, airport personnel said.

For more information about Exercise Cobra Gold 2011, visit http://www.marines.mil/unit/iiimef/pages/cg2011.aspx, or the Cobra Gold Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ExerciseCobraGold.

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