TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Airmen from the 621st Contingency Response Wing exercised their ability to execute and sustain rapid global mobility to deliver humanitarian aid due to a simulated natural disaster throughout the state of Washington during Exercise Dragons Breath Jan. 22 to 27.
The 821st Contingency Response Squadron, along with the 921st CRS, and a number of supporting aircraft tested their ability to rapidly open and expand aerial port operations to support the distribution of humanitarian aid and relocation of stranded civilians.
Throughout the exercise the two squadrons-operated out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, where they coordinated and delivered aid to the area using several C-17 Globemaster IIIs and a KC-10 Extender.
“The planning of an exercise aims to prepare and train an organization to respond well to an emergency and its potential humanitarian impact,” said Master Sgt. Rodney Huffer, exercise director. “Developing a contingency plan involves making decisions in advance about the management of human and financial resources, coordination and communications procedures, and being aware of a range of technical and logistical issues. Such planning is a management tool, involving all sectors, which can help ensure timely and effective provision of humanitarian aid to those most in need when a disaster occurs, such as Hurricane Matthew.”
Throughout the exercise the 621st CRW experts tackled the challenging tasks of working through simulated injections to include bird strikes, a high jacking, active shooters and a number of other scenarios to see how they would respond under pressure.
“I was impressed throughout the whole week-long exercise,” said Master Sgt. Christopher Chaikittirattana, Exercise Dragons Breath white cell team member. “The way the team reacted to different injects and scenarios speaks to the level of training the Airmen go through in their squadrons.”
Chaikittirattana added, when Airmen receive an inject we want to see their initial reaction and decision making process to figure out the problem.
“We wanted to use this exercise to prepare us for our upcoming rotation to assume alert,” Huffer said. “We need to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to prepping and deploying the proper equipment in a reasonable amount of time to accomplish the mission.”
Contingency response forces are self-sufficient and can deploy with all the personnel, equipment and supplies to execute the mission, which make them valuable to Air Mobility Command’s rapid global mobility mission.