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NEWS | April 29, 2024

Georgia Guard Provides Airborne Safety Training

By Sgt. 1st Class James Braswell, 124th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

SAVANNAH, Ga. –The Georgia Army National Guard Safety Office hosted its 10th annual Joint Parachute Operations Mishap Preventative Orientation Course Enhanced (POMPOC-E) April 17 - 26 at the Air Dominance Center in Savannah and the Plantation Airpark in Sylvania.

POMPOC-E, a unique two-week course, equips airborne personnel, riggers, jumpmasters, safety officers, and commanders from the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve, and U.S. Army and Air National Guard units with the latest knowledge and skills to conduct safe airborne operations. It serves as a platform to discuss emerging trends, updated procedures, and new equipment.

“We primarily look at all of the changes that have happened during the previous year,” said retired U.S. Army Col. John Till, who serves as the senior safety advisor for the Georgia National Guard. “The jumpmasters and senior-level supervisors don’t always have access to those changes, and we give them one outlet to let them know everything that’s been going on.”

The course provides an opportunity to share lessons learned in an academic and operational setting. Airborne service members from different states and components share their experiences in hopes of preventing a parachuting mishap that could cost lives.

“We get to make sure we’re all on the same page safety wise,” said U.S. Army Maj. Jeff Nelson, brigade master jumpmaster of the 56th Troop Command, Rhode Island Army National Guard. “We are sharing best practices, updates and changes so that the entire airborne community can stay as knowledgeable as they can throughout the year during their operations.”

This year’s POMPOC-E was divided into three phases. The first phase, the Leader’s Canopy Control showcase, allowed for qualified personnel to conduct military free fall airborne jumps out of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter. The second phase, the Jumpmaster Refresher training, educated unit jumpmasters on current procedures and instructions, and prepared them to perform jumpmaster duties during the third phase, Static Line Hands-on Training and Updates.

The third phase provided an in-depth analysis of trends and procedures and a discussion of safe airborne operations. At the end of the third phase, qualified personnel conducted static line airborne jumps out of C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globetrotter III cargo planes.

Networking between states and components is one key reason the Georgia Army National Guard State Safety Office hosts the event. U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Devin Rockel, who commands the 118th Air Support Operations Squadron, North Carolina Air National Guard, plans to use others’ experiences and the lessons learned from this event to enhance his unit’s airborne operations.

“You get a lot from the proficiency of the people who attend this event from an operational, safety and organizational standpoint,” said Rockel. “Everybody is getting good training, and I’ll definitely be bringing a lot of lessons learned back to the unit.”



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