AMC’s Answer to Bare Base Setup

Air Mobility Command’s 18th Air Force has field tested its new Contingency Response Group, deploying some members to set up airfield operations in the areas devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita plus the earthquake in Pakistan, But it sent an entire CRG package—113 airmen covering 34 different specialty codes—to the recent Bright Star exercise to get the full combat condition experience. Within hours of their arrival in Egypt, officials say, the 816th CRG from McGuire AFB, N.J., had set up a fully functional air base and a second one four days later. During their two-month deployment, the airmen coordinated airfield support and maintenance for some 20 different types of aircraft from five nations. The exercise also provided the first test of a joint CRG that merged Air Force and Army mobility elements under one force, called Joint Task Force-Port Opening.