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Corps Sector Charleston Container Inspection College

This article originally ran in the RESERVIST Magazine, Issue 4, 2017.

Submitted By: Lt. Elvira Keebly, Sector Charleston

    Sector Charleston, S.C., sponsored and facilitated a two-week Container Inspection College in June. The training maximized productivity of reserve members on ADT and helped members become fully-qualified container inspectors at their respective units in support of contingency operations and augmentation.

  “The focus of the Reserve has moved more and more to competencies. We’ve done [47-foot motorlife boat (MLB) to Response Boat-Medium] RBM transition colleges before, but this was our first prevention skill-focused college,” said Lt. Dan Sweeney, Reserve Force Readiness Staff for Sector Charleston. “This was the most effective way to get the most people qualified in container inspection with limited resources.”

  Sector Charleston’s Prevention Department took the lead on developing the college.  Working with active duty and the Container Inspection Training and Assistance Team (CITAT) staff, reservists in the prevention department organized school dates, solicitations, instructors and training materials for students. Eight reservists from Sectors Charleston, St. Petersburg, Fla., and Boston participated in the training. The syllabus included five days of classroom training, instructors covered a wide range of topics including: laws and authorities, safety, structural exams, material classification, container segregation, HAZWOPER refresher and Personal Radiation Detector training.

  Lt. j. g. Pilar Ramos-Nuñez, a student from Sector Charleston, said she appreciated the skills she learned and the confidence she gained from the attending the class. “It was hands-on and engaging, which made digesting the course material much easier,” she said.

  The course also featured five days of field operations at Charleston’s two container facilities with a Multi-Agency Strike Force Operation (MASFO) taking place during the second week.  Each day allotted time for students to prove their understanding of the material and obtain PQS sign-offs from the trainers. 

  “I've been working on my container qualification for some time now. With this class, all the pieces just came together and gave me a better understanding of the entire process,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Solum, a student from Sector St. Petersburg. “The inspections we did in the ports were invaluable.  We got to see different types of containers, different ways to package hazmat, and even identified discrepancies in shipments and damaged containers.”

  "As an instructor, I found it to be a great opportunity to give back the mentorship and knowledge I had received during my tenure as a container inspector,” said Petty Officer 1st Class John Hendrix

  By the end of the two weeks, all eight students completed the required PQS, three members passed their certification boards, and four more left the college, ready to schedule boards during their next drill weekend.

  By the end of the two weeks, all eight students completed the required PQS, three members passed their certification boards, and four more left the college, ready to schedule boards during their next drill weekend.

  “It can take much, much longer for someone to gain the qualifications if they didn’t have this intensive course,” said Sweeney. “This gets people much closer to being qualified instead of what they can get done just on their drill weekends.”

 

Sector Charleston Container Inspection College

Container Inspection students MST1 Michael Solum, Lt. Ed Parvin, Lt. Elvira Keeble, and MSTCS James Lee take a break mid-traiining.

Sector Charleston Container Inspection College

Lt.j.g. Mary Tabor participates in classroom exercises as part of the container inspection college.