Tuesday, April 15, 2014

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish!

When last we left our heroes.... we were off to the wilds of Alaska.  And we went!  It was a decent trip.  Getting there was the best part for me.  We took commercial air from DC to Sea-Tac and then went to Joint Base Lewis McChord.  There we got on an Air Force C-17 jet to fly to Anchorage and Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson.  This was an experience I have never had before and likely never will again. 

While in Alaska, we were a part of the Alaska Shield 2014 National Level Exercise.  While this exercise, like many of the others we have participated in, was good for the operators and planners, it was not so good for the logistics and IT group.  While they did setup a JFO (Joint Field Office) with a full network, they purposefully cut my group out of it.  How are we suppose to learn?  How are we suppose to be tested?  How are we able to ensure our teams that we can do the job as needed?  This was a perfect opportunity where they did setup and activate services.  All they needed to do was pull us in to the process and it would have been much better.

After returned from Alaska, we had a week at home.  I am now down in Dallas, Texas being an evaluator for an exercise for the Regional teams.  Just before Alaska, we evaluated half the teams.  Now we are doing the second half.

So why the title of this post?  Well, after a year with FEMA, I am going to be returning to my old life, back at IBM in Rochester.  I am excited to get back home and to be with all my friends in the area.  Its is amazing how quickly a year passes by.  My time with FEMA taught me many things about their processes, systems, and response operations.  I am sure this knowledge will help me in future response actions.  But for now, its back to the corporate world for me!

Thanks to all those that followed along and read this blog.  I may add more posts in the future, or this may be it.  If so, I hope you enjoyed this little view into my grand adventure over the past year.