by Capt. Brooke Brzozowske
621st Contingency Response Wing, Public Affairs
2/5/2013 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST -- More
than a hundred Airmen of the 621st Contingency Response Wing,
located at Joint Base McGuire, N.J., and at Travis Air Force Base,
Calif., are currently supporting airlift missions transporting French
soldiers and military equipment from Istres, France, to Bamako, Mali.
The 621st CRW, often the first on the ground, is designated to extend
Air Mobility Command's ability to deploy people and equipment around the
globe in a matter of hours. The wing is responsible for the training of
contingency response forces and specializes in the rapid opening of
airfields in remote locations.
"Our mobility Airmen were 'bags packed' and ready on the flightline
within a few short hours of notification from AMC," said Col. Martin
Chapin, 621st CRW commander. "We continue to work in conjunction with
U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Transportation Command and AMC making sure we
quickly provide the right support to our French partners. Our Airmen
have directly contributed, aiding with the airlift of military
personnel, supplies and equipment to locations designated by the
Members of the CRW attribute their recent and successful rapid response
to expert logistics support, diligent planning, and their committed
joint base partners.
"While we are a mobile capability, we don't have our own aircraft, so we
work hand in hand with the 87th Air Base Wing and 305th Air Mobility
Wing to facilitate the deployment process," said Capt. Matt Shaw, Chief
of the 621st Wing Operations Center. "Everything we do in this wing is
logistics heavy. When we were requested to support, our expertly planned
response was accomplished in large part because of our fine logistics
The wing also specializes in airfield assessments and aerial transportation, making them invaluable to the operations.
Maj. David Gaulin, a 621st contingency response element commander, was
among the first on the ground to assess the airfield and define the
requirements needed to operate out of Istres.
"We were able to show up here, set up communications with the [Chain of
Command] and provided an initial assessment of what capabilities the
French had and what we could bring to the operation within an hour of
landing," Gaulin said.
The strategic airlift of supplies and personnel to the region is one of
several mission sets the U.S. is supporting. The 621st is also assisting
with coordinated airlift for African nations and liaison teams.
"Our aerial porters, transportation experts, civil engineers, and air
mobility planners are crucial in accelerating the U.S. Air Force's
response," Shaw explained. "It is our people who are out there right
now, moving passengers and equipment."
The 621st remains on alert to provide any further requested support, and
their Airmen continue to support airlift missions in Europe and Africa.
"I couldn't be more proud of our Airmen," Chapin said. "We've repeatedly
asked them to keep their bags packed, ready to go at any time. When we
get the call, they answer it without hesitation and are ready to solve
problems in complex environments."