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Reservist leads logistics planning for Emerald Warrior exercise

Capt. Julie Farrand, 919th Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron, recently served as the first lead logistician in the 2015 joint service Emerald Warrior exercise.  She is a traditional reservist stationed at Duke Field Fla.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jasmin Taylor)

Capt. Julie Farrand, 919th Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron, recently served as the first lead logistician in the 2015 joint service Emerald Warrior exercise. She is a traditional reservist stationed at Duke Field Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jasmin Taylor)

DUKE FIELD, Fla. -- A 919th Special Operations Wing reservist served as the Emerald Warrior 2015's first lead logistician for this year's joint-service exercise.

Capt. Julie Farrand, of the 919th Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron, was selected to fill the newly-created, yet vital position for the two-week special operations exercise.

Although relatively new to the squadron, her commander, Maj. Matt Heintzelman, said he recommended her for the position based on her extensive deployment experience in logistics readiness.

"As traditional reservists, we don't get the chance to utilize our skill set on a daily basis," said the Massachusetts native.  "This position really helped me better understand my job as a logistics readiness officer, as well as various other military roles."

In her EW role, she provided organization, bed down and transportation support for the more than 3,000 joint and international special operations units that participated in the exercise.

"Emerald Warrior 2015 was a complete success," said Col. Brenda Cartier, the EW exercise director.  "It went spectacularly.  I am very proud of the team and of the folks that participated."

The goal of EW is to provide realistic and relevant pre-deployment training encompassing multiple joint operating areas.  The exercise prepares joint special operators, interagency elements and partner nations to integrate and execute special operations procedures together.  The three training concepts EW focuses on are close air support, tactical mobility and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Prior to the large-scale exercise, Farrand accomplished a site survey to determine requirements for housing and bed-down of approximately 500 people.  She was also responsible for the billeting of the participants in 16 local hotels and the tent city.  Her thrifty efforts saved Department of Defense more than $300,000, based on the final EW 15 budget validation.

The 10-year veteran led a 14-person team to provide logistical support to the participants in the $7 million exercise and ensure the deployment process went as smoothly as possible.  She accomplished the effort with no source of logistics continuity.

"There was no logistics planning position before me," said the prior-enlisted Airman.  "I had to figure out the position as I went along and hit a few bumps and turns along the way, but it was a good lesson to learn from.  In the future, there will be a starting point and some continuity and guidance to help the process."

She said the learning experience of EW will serve her greatly in the 919th SOW and throughout her career.

"I learned how to multi-task very quickly and I gained connections with other services and agencies so we can train together in the real world, not just on exercises and deployments," said the captain.

Farrand has already been requested as the lead logistician for next year's Emerald Warrior.