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The Tactical Field Religious Support Kit increases 173rd FW chaplain's readiness

Chaplain's office

U.S. Air Force Major Kraig Kroeker, 173rd Fighter Wing chaplain, Tech. Sgt. Manuel Garcia and Senior Airman Amber Powell, 173rd FW chaplain assistants, pose in front of the new Tactical Field Religious Support Kit, a mobile chaplain's office June 3, 2018 at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Ore. The TFRSK allows the chaplains office to support Guardsmen while they are in the field and is a first in Oregon. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Adam Smith)

KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. --

Airmen from the 173rd Fighter Wing chaplain’s office recently received a Tactical Field Religious Support Kit (TFRSK). This is the first such kit in the state of Oregon, and one of only a handful in the nation.

A TFRSK is an all-in-one, enclosed support kit for emergency operations, consisting of a portable building and a transportation trailer. It is self-sufficient, with its own generator and air conditioning unit, said the 173rd Fighter Wing chaplain, Maj. Kraig Kroeker. The building has one main room, plus two small counseling rooms. Wiring is completely laid out for displays, network connections, and power. The transport trailer carries everything in one unit, including chairs, tables, and interior pieces. The entire kit is capable of deploying in the space of a few hours with minimal labor, he added.

The addition of a TFRSK gives the chaplain’s office the capability to deploy as a team and support Guardsmen in the field, as opposed to having to provide the majority of care back at home.

“On the chaplain and mental health side, we’re often seen as something that comes into play after an event, but we now can have the capability of knowing that we have a place to operate from no matter where we are.,” said Kroeker. “If that’s not an example of readiness, then I don’t know what is.”

These kits are procured through a rigorous application process – the applicant unit must provide storage, utilize the TFRSK at least once per year, and demonstrate a need. The 173rd FW was able to acquire one because of the unit’s central location as the main point of operations preparing to respond to a possible Cascadia Subduction Zone event, most likely and earthquake. Kingsley Field is geographically isolated from most major environmental disasters. However, the base is still relatively close to high impact population centers, and is capable of covering a large region in the event of an emergency. These factors make the base a prime location for disaster recovery efforts in the event of a major earthquake or tsunami on the West Coast.

Additionally, the surrounding Klamath County is a very high fire risk area. The173rd FW has deployed twice to support firefighting efforts in the mountains the last two years. A TFRSK will enable the chaplain’s office to more effectively support Guardsmen when they deploy in the future.

The TFRSK will be a valuable tool that the chaplain’s office will be able to use alongside the Airmen Family Readiness Center and the 173rd Medical Group, noted Kroeker.