621st CRW maintains readiness with Army at JRTC exercise

Bart Westfall, 34th Combat Training Squadron exercise planner assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., briefs members of the 817th Contingency Response Group in a classroom before an exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., Jan. 14, 2015. JRTC is a 34 CTS exercise for the U.S. Army that improves unit readiness by providing realistic, stressful, joint and combined arms training across the full spectrum of conflict. The Airmen helped support the exercise, and also provided an opportunity for internal training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

Bart Westfall, 34th Combat Training Squadron exercise planner assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., briefs members of the 817th Contingency Response Group in a classroom before an exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., Jan. 14, 2015. JRTC is a 34 CTS exercise for the U.S. Army that improves unit readiness by providing realistic, stressful, joint and combined arms training across the full spectrum of conflict. The Airmen helped support the exercise, and also provided an opportunity for internal training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules lands during a training exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort. Polk, La., Jan. 17, 2015. JRTC is a 34th Combat Training Squadron exercise for the U.S. Army that improves unit readiness by providing realistic, stressful, joint and combined arms training across the full spectrum of conflict. The Airmen helped support the exercise, and also provided an opportunity for internal training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules lands during a training exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort. Polk, La., Jan. 17, 2015. JRTC is a 34th Combat Training Squadron exercise for the U.S. Army that improves unit readiness by providing realistic, stressful, joint and combined arms training across the full spectrum of conflict. The Airmen helped support the exercise, and also provided an opportunity for internal training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

Staff Sgt. Thomas Sherrod, 817th Contingency Response Group aerial porter stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., speaks to an Airmen during a  training exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., Jan. 17, 2015. JRTC is a 34th Combat Training Squadron exercise for the U.S. Army that improves unit readiness by providing realistic, stressful, joint and combined arms training across the full spectrum of conflict. The Airmen helped support the exercise, and also provided an opportunity for internal training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

Staff Sgt. Thomas Sherrod, 817th Contingency Response Group aerial porter stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., speaks to an Airmen during a training exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., Jan. 17, 2015. JRTC is a 34th Combat Training Squadron exercise for the U.S. Army that improves unit readiness by providing realistic, stressful, joint and combined arms training across the full spectrum of conflict. The Airmen helped support the exercise, and also provided an opportunity for internal training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

A member of the 571st Contingency Response Group stationed at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., trains during an exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., Jan. 19, 2015. JRTC is a 34th Combat Training Squadron exercise for the U.S. Army that improves unit readiness by providing realistic, stressful, joint and combined arms training across the full spectrum of conflict. The Airmen helped support the exercise, and also provided an opportunity for internal training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

A member of the 571st Contingency Response Group stationed at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., trains during an exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., Jan. 19, 2015. JRTC is a 34th Combat Training Squadron exercise for the U.S. Army that improves unit readiness by providing realistic, stressful, joint and combined arms training across the full spectrum of conflict. The Airmen helped support the exercise, and also provided an opportunity for internal training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

FORT POLK, La. -- The 621st Contingency Response Wing maintained their readiness to deploy at a moment's notice as they participated in a joint exercise with the U.S. Army at the Joint Readiness Training Center here, Jan. 10-22.

Approximately 61 Airmen from the 571st Contingency Response Group stationed at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., 59 Airmen from the 817th Contingency Response Group assigned to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and 4,396 Soldiers from the 1st Brigade 10th Mountain Division stationed at Fort Drum, N.Y., participated in the exercise.

"Our role is to support the Army, provide realism to their training, open a landing zone and operate the airfield similar to what they will find down range," said Maj. Brant Dixon, 817 CRG operations officer.

During the scenario, the Army unit in training secures an airfield. The CRW then sets up their equipment to begin accepting aircraft and cargo onto the airfield within a few hours.

"Additionally, the Army conducts combat training that simulates the environments they may encounter in a real deployment," said Staff Sgt. Tristan Charton, 35th Combat Training Squadron instructor assigned to Fort Polk, La. "They have lifelike buildings that they have to clear in parts of the scenario."

According to Capt. Scott Taylor 571 CRG assistant director of operations, it was a win, win situation for the Army and the CRW.

"They both get to work as if they would encounter each other downrange," Taylor said. "We were able to help the Army with the realism for their exercise and we benefited as well. All of our guys either got qualified or re-qualified by coming out here at JRTC."

The exercise also provided the CRW the opportunity to train and work with air mobility liaison officers. Although AMLOs are a part of the CRW, they are assigned to other units world-wide.

"As AMLOs, we communicate between the Army and the Air Force," said Capt. Kistilan Dark, 621st Contingency Operations Support Group AMLO assigned to Fort Drum, N.Y. "We learn to speak the Army lingo, and since we are familiar with the Air Force terminology, we are able to provide air mobility expertise and knowledge to the Army.

"This exercise is a great training event for us," Dark added. "It's a great opportunity to see what we need to work on so that when we actually go on a real deployment, we'll all be ready."