Airmen from the 621st Contingency Response Wing provided tactical operations center support during a first-of-its-kind Ability to Survive and Operate scenario as part of Exercise Mobility Guardian at Moses Lake, Washington, Sept. 16, 2019.
Exercise Mobility Guardian is Air Mobility Command’s premier, large-scale mobility exercise designed to build full spectrum readiness and develop Mobility Airmen to ensure rapid global mobility now and in the future.
In the scenario, aircrew from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker reported chemical contamination while performing an aeromedical evacuation.
The Contingency Response Team was notified at the TOC to coordinate ground decontamination support and receive the aircraft.
“We provided command and control coverage, access to ramp space and a location to setup a decontamination line for aircrew flight equipment,” said Master Sgt. Jeremiah Ibarra, 321st CRT chief. “From the tactical operations center we coordinated with the air operations center to get AFE the equipment and supplies they needed.”
CR forces deploy to locations that don’t have established air support, and deploy scalable forces that can open, operate and close any airfield.
“We set up airfields and ramps, communicate aircraft landing, parking, maintenance, refueling and fleet service,” Ibarra said. “To my knowledge this is the biggest CRT operation that has ever happened.”
The CRT is training alongside the 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, and the 521st AMOW, Ramstein Air Base, Germany at Moses Lake to demonstrate the capability to operate as an integrated team.
“To have the CRT embedded with us here, isn’t something that we do often, but it has been super beneficial.” said Capt. Jennifer Krutka, officer in-charge of Moses Lake. “It has truly been a team effort. We have port Airmen learning how to do maintenance and maintenance personnel learning port duties. One of Gen. Miller’s initiatives was to be more versatile Airman, and we are doing that here.”
Mobility Guardian brings together U.S. Air Force, joint and international partners from more than two dozen nations to enhance interoperability and strengthen vital partnerships.
“It is important for us to exercise our skills and understand our abilities to be more effective with our patient care,” said Master Corporal Kate Marois, Royal Canadian Air Force flight medical technician. “I thank the military for having this exercise and the opportunity to participate.”
The aeromedical evacuation and decontamination scenario at Moses Lake during Mobility Guardian was the first of its kind, and demonstrated AMC’s capability to survive in a contested, degraded and operationally-limited environment.