44th APS supports Valiant Shield 2022

  • Published
  • By James Bowman
  • 624 Regional Support Group

 The 44th Aerial Port Squadron (APS) participated in U.S. Indo-Pacific command joint forces exercise Valiant Shield June 6-17, on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

Approximately 30 Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 44th APS were assigned to the 734th Air Mobility Squadron and 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron. They worked together and gained experience on how Joint Forces rapidly respond to various scenarios. Also, members learned additional jobs outside of their core Air Force Specialty Code, becoming Multi-Capable Airmen.  

“Professionally, it’s good to see how the other side works; this gives our airmen more experience and knowledge to see the bigger picture,” said Master Sgt. Rolando Jose, 44th APS team lead. “If there is a disconnect, we can bridge the gap, find the happy medium and be more efficient in completing the mission.”

The 44th APS members supported Air Mobility Command surge requirements due to the demand created by VS22. Five Reserve Citizen Airmen had the opportunity to upload cargo in Guam and off load the cargo on the Republic of Palau, Philippines. This opportunity let them see the importance of the Air Force Reserve mission and experience other parts of the world.

“It’s different working on the cargo processing side; you have to be flexible and can be called to load cargo in a moment’s notice. By learning more about the AFSC has been eye-opening and lets me see how everything comes together,” said Senior Airman Ethan So, 44th APS member.

Members from the 44th APS had the opportunity to train Army personnel from the 3302nd Mobilization Support Battalion, 9th Mission Support Command, Fort Shafter Flats, Hawaii. on aerial port duties and responsibilities. Integrating with other services is vital to mission success, relationships are established, knowledge is shared and best practices are implemented. The Total Force Integration blends active duty, guard and reserve components in exercises and contingency operations world-wide, empowering service members with additional skill-sets and responsibilities.

“I have a better understanding on how to process passengers and secure cargo since I have worked with the Air Force Reserves,” said, Sgt. Juan Gonzalez, 3302nd Mobilization Support Battalion, transportation specialist. “The experience I have gained here is beneficial for future exercises and it gives me more insight on how cargo gets to the solders in the field.”

VS 22 is a biennial, U.S. only, joint field training exercise focused on integrations between U.S. Forces engaging adversary units at sea, in the air, in space, on land, and in cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas. This is the ninth iteration of the VS series that began in 2006.