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Where in the world is Sergeant Santiago?

JRSOI Photos

After Vigilant Guard, Soldiers out-process through the JRSOI and walk to their military transport to return home. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Capt. Matt Murphy)

CAROLINA, Puerto Rico --

Like the geography game and cartoon of “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?,” the JRSOI function is the critical piece of contingency operations that knows, “Where in the world is Sergeant Santiago.”

JRSOI is the Joint Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration operation that identifies incoming personnel, their mission capabilities and the assets they bring and then pairs them with the support request from the host state National Guard and civil authorities during a crisis or natural disaster.

The complete life cycle of the JRSOI process begins with receiving personnel and equipment, transporting assets to their requested locations and providing the logistical support required to safely conduct operations. Then they must return personnel and equipment to their home station when National Guard or federal support is no longer required all while maintaining 100 percent accountability.

He is not “Sergeant Santiago,” but he is Col. Samuel Agosto Santiago, the Puerto Rico National Guard Chief of Staff who recently oversaw the operations of the Vigilant Guard exercise throughout the island and witnessed the JRSOI operations at Air National Guard Base Muniz.
“After Hurricane Maria, one of our lessons learned is how vital the JRSOI is to an emergency operation,” said Col. Agosto Santiago. “We need to know who to call on for the type of emergency assistance we need. Whether that is a wing for air support and capabilities or a major command for ground operations and equipment. We need to know who they are, when and where they arrive and where they are dispatched on the basis of our critical situation."

Col. Agosto Santiago traveled the island with a team from NORTHCOM who was part of the Vigilant Guard Action team.
“In the 13 readiness exercises I’ve participated in, this is the best JRSOI team I have seen,” said SFC Jeremy Griffith Vigilant Guard Action NCO( J7).

Airmen from the 156th Force Support Squadron worked tirelessly to track the nearly 2,000 participants of the exercise.
“Overcoming the challenges of synchronizing a multifunctional team from different services and agencies for a single purpose was huge,” said MSgt Jeffrey Feliciano Task Force-JRSOI NCOIC. “But we did it, and we proved that the 156th AW and PRNG are capable and ready to respond to any future contingency.”

The PRANG Airmen were presented a certificate of appreciation for outstanding planning and execution of JRSOI operations from Col. Roberts S. Wright, Chief of Joint Training and Exercises, NORTHCOM and asked to train other units on their processes and procedures.

“The outstanding work of our Airmen at Muniz with the JRSOI is exactly what the world needs to know about,” said Brig. Gen. Edward Vaughan, special assistant to the Director of the Air National Guard. “The FSS team assigned to the task force nailed it. They showed they can set up this operation anywhere in the world, at any time, for any crisis. They did it during Maria in real world and again with Vigilant Guard as an exercise and their recognition is proof of their effort.

The complete life cycle of the JRSOI process begins with receiving personnel and equipment, transporting assets to their requested locations and providing the logistical support required to safely conduct operations. Then they must return personnel and equipment to their home station when National Guard or federal support is no longer required all while maintaining 100 percent accountability.