by Tech. Sgt. Parker Gyokeres
621st Contingency Response Wing Public Affairs
3/14/2013 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- More
than 15 Airmen from the 621st Contingency Response Wing recently played
a crucial role working with mobility Airmen from multiple locations to
assist in the exchange helicopters and equipment assigned to two large
U.S. Army units.
Beginning in mid-January, United States Transportation Command tasked
the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst based contingency Airmen, another
100 Airmen from the 436th Airlift Wing at Dover AFB, Del., and three
C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft to assist in the multimodal movement of two
aviation Brigades into and out of Afghanistan. The mission concluded
with the last flight of the contingency operation Feb. 21.
"It took a full month to move more than 1,500 tons of cargo, but we
didn't miss a single delivery date," said Lt. Col. John Hardee,
contingency operation mission commander from Dover's 9th Airlift
Squadron. "The upgraded C-5M was so capable, we only needed to use three
aircraft instead of the usual four or five C-5B models we would
normally deploy for a multimodal of this type."
A multimodal mission uses more than one type of transportation to get
cargo to a final destination. In this case, both sealift and airlift was
Helicopters assigned to the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, Task Force Iron
Knights, from Fort Hood, Texas, were delivered via ship to a port on the
Iberian Peninsula. There they were transferred onto a C-5M for a flight
to Afghanistan. After offloading the aircraft and support equipment of
the 1st ACB at one of three bases in Afghanistan, departing helicopters
from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, Task Force Ready, were uploaded
for a return flight to their home station in Katterbach, Germany.
After unloading in Germany, the C-5M would fly back to the Iberian
Peninsula to begin the cycle all over again. In total, the aircraft
would fly more than 28 hours on every trip around the circuit.
The operation was kept in the air by two maintenance teams from the
436th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base, Del., who provided en route
maintenance and repairs in Afghanistan and at the home base for the
conop on the Iberian Peninsula.
In addition, a small fifteen-Airman contingency response team from Joint
Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., provided communications and command-
and control support for the deployed aircraft and aircrews. They
operated from two tents they set up on the edge of the Mazir-E-Sharif
"The 621st Contingency Response Wing set up and operated a satellite
data link and mobile command post for the entire duration of the
month-long mission," said Master Sgt. Tibor Puskas, 621st CRT team
chief. "Our primary function downrange was to coordinate between the
Army units that were leaving and the NATO base aerial port operation to
make sure the proper cargo was prepared and waiting for the aircraft
when it arrived each day.
"I was really impressed how smoothly it all came together," Puskas
continued. "The plane performed flawlessly, the maintainers did a
phenomenal job, and everyone worked together to complete this complex
operation without missing a single beat."
The contingency response wing deploys mobility operations and builds
partner capacity across the globe. The CRW extends AMC's global reach by
mobilizing the fight, providing relief and advancing peace. The wing's
personnel are trained to adapt and overcome difficult circumstances,
while accelerating air mobility operations anywhere in the world.