Holloman Basic Expeditionary Airfield Resources team only BEARs in AOR

  • Published
  • By Sgt. Kenya Tate
  • 1108th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group
The 49th Material Maintenance Group, also known as The BEAR (Basic, Expeditionary, Airfield, Resources) team, from Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., is a multi-skilled group that specializes in construction in support of deployed war fighters with U.S. Air Forces Central A7 J2 operations. J2 teams are comprised of large-team specialists that can build, demolish or repair large-area maintenance shelters, 4K and 8K dome shelters and aircraft hangars. The team does a 4 month rotation and travels to various installations in Afghanistan, and Kuwait. "Typically it takes about 5 to 6 days to build an LAM-V (Large, Area, Maintenance) tent, if the weather conditions are favorable." said Tech Sgt. Marty Treml who serves as the non-commissioned officer in charge of the nine man team. This small team is comprised of electricians, HAVOC operators and power production operators.

As of now the BEAR team is the only deployed team in the AOR. "We were lucky to have found them," said Maj. Andy Ratcliffe, Headquarters Company commander of the 1108th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group. Ratcliffe gained contact information about the BEAR team and learned that the unit normally supports only Air Force units, but that exceptions were sometimes made for them to support other branches of the military. It was recommended that in order for the 1108th TASMG to have a LAMS-V built, Ratcliffe needed to contact the U.S. Army Soldier Natick Research and Development Center, based in Natick, Mass., first to see if they could help out. It was later discovered that it would cost almost $173K for them to deploy a team including equipment to Kuwait to build a LAMS-V.

Through extensive research and many phone calls back state side, Ratcliffe learned that the previous TASMG unit had received a LAMS-V tent from AMCOM. Because of the complexity of setting up a LAMS-V they would still need the help of some subject matter experts. Ratcliffe submitted a request to the Air Force J2 Bear team and their chain of command approved the project. The total cost to have the J2 team come to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait and erect the tent for the 1108th TASMG was zero. The BEAR team joined the 1108th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Jan. 4, 2012 and quickly got to work. These large facilities can be used as aircraft shelters, motor pools and food storage facilities. Working eight hours or more a day the team was determined to have the structure built in less than a week. "I have a great team of guys, they work hard and they make my job easy." said Treml. "The J2 Bear team was top notch! They worked together effectively as a team and accomplished a common goal." said Maj. Ratcliffe. Once the team finished the project at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, their next assignment was back in Afghanistan.