Air Guard’s First Full Port Opener

The Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group recently qualified as the Air Guard’s first unit capable of running a joint task force-port opening operation. The group received US Transportation Command’s official certification for this role after its performance in late March during an Eagle Flag contingency-response exercise at JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. In less than a day, the Kentucky Air Guardsmen, teamed with an Army logistics crew, turned an austere airstrip into a functioning airlift hub, announced group officials April 13. “We had initial operating capability within 24 hours . . . and full operating capability within 42 hours—six full hours ahead of the exercise requirement,” said Col. Warren Hurst, 123rd CRG commander and JTF-PO boss. Transloading cargo from mobility aircraft onto Army trucks, “we moved 475 pallets of cargo . . . which was a new record for this exercise,” added Hurst. (McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst report by Maj. Dale Greer)