IRCT Deployment for the funeral of President George H.W. Bush
By CDR Eduardo Gomez, PhD, SM, RBP, CBSP
Deployment Team or Tier: NIST-E
Title/Position: Planning Section
OPDIV: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Email Address: GQO9@CDC.GOV
1. What is your current assignment in USPHS?
Assigned to the Office of Laboratory Science and Safety, and within it the Office of Laboratory Safety, as Deputy Director. Our office is concerned with laboratory biological safety, chemical safety, radiation safety, and select agents.
2. What was the mission of your deployment? (e.g. dates, location, and other pertinent
Travel dates were Dec 2-6, 2018. Location was Washington, DC, and stationed at the Humphrey Building. Mission was support for IRCT during the funeral for former President George HW Bush.
3. What was your role during this deployment? What skills (scientific, personal, etc.) did
I was assigned to the planning section, performing duties I have done before, such as resource tracking and publishing the Incident Action Plan (IAP).
4. Was this your first deployment? Either way, how did you prepare for the deployment,
personally or work-wise?
This was my 6th deployment. Since this was a short trip to an urban area not that much preparation was required.
5. Do you have any advice or “pearls of wisdom” for fellow officers who are being
deployed or are interested in deploying?
Best advice is to pack the bags as soon as you think you might be deploying. When the information about the trip came I only had a few hours to be ready and head to the airport.
6. What was the most important thing you learned during this deployment?
I unnecessarily packed several types of uniform not knowing which was going to be used during this non-disaster deployment to the nation's capital. It turns out there were several uniforms being worn. There seems to be an unwritten rule that khakis are fine for this type of scenario. I ended up wearing modified SDB and never used the ODU.
7. What were some of the key challenges that you experienced?
Other than getting to the airport on time, I had no challenges. Getting the plane ticket before my agency even had the chance to provide concurrence was a little odd but we all played well together. The twelve hour days were typical of previous deployments. The fact that now the information section takes care of the situation report made life easier.
8. What did you enjoy the most (e.g., favorite memory) about this deployment?
It was an honor to support the IRCT during the funeral of President Bush (41). Learned quite a bit about this great Patriot and gentleman. The entire time we were working we had several TV monitors showing every step of the ceremonies. A deployment I will always remember. But then again, I think I will always remember all of my deployments.
9. What would you consider to be your major accomplishment stemming from this
Publishing the IAP and not crying...
10. Were there any classes or trainings that helped you in your deployment?
Previous experience in deployments was best.
11. How was your post deployment/reintegration experience? Was it a smooth transition
back to your daily activities?
Short trip, so yes!
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