by Staff Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez
621st Contingency Response Wing Public Affairs
5/21/2013 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- Members of the 621st Contingency Response Wing exercised with new faces for upgrade training.
The 818th Contingency Response Group combined with the 143rd Airlift
Wing for the 818th CRG-143rd AW exercise at Quonset Point Air National
Guard Station, R.I., May 9-17.
"We were looking to complete Contingency Response Element and
Contingency Response Team leadership upgrade training in addition to
career-specific CR training," said Maj. David Gaulin.
The training included C-130 operations, static loading/unloading, day
and night ERO, NVG ERO, combat offloads, airdrop rigging, maintenance
familiarization, DZ recovery training, NVG marshalling training, full
spectrum communications, and integrated command and control with the
According to Gaulin, the 818th CRG was able to receive the training at a discounted price of a normal exercise.
"It's huge cost savings," Gaulin said. "We did not need to pay for
rental cars, airport parking, airline tickets or line haul for our
equipment. Any equipment we needed to bring, the 143rd AW provided
airlift for. A major cost savings for us, and it's a great way for their
loadmasters to get some training. Compared to traditional CR exercises
that take place elsewhere in the United States, the per person cost was a
fraction, 1/4 to 1/5th the cost."
According to Master Sgt. Christopher Ninteau, 143rd Airlift Wing
airfield manager, the exercise was a great experience for the 143rd AW.
"This is the first time that we've trained with the CRW," said Ninteau.
"These guys are seeing things from a different perspective. Typically
most of the people on this base have been here for years. Although we
deploy, we usually deploy together so we really don't get to see what it
would be like to set up a base that has nothing. It's good opportunity
to see that aspect and that perspective."
"The 143rd AW members were fantastic," Gaulin said. "From the time we
started talking with them about this training back in September they
were more than willing to help us out. From the wing commander on down
they were great hosts!"
According to Gaulin, working with the 143rd AW was particularly gratifying to him as a born-and-raised R.I. native.
"I grew up watching the 143rd's C-130s fly around the state," Gaulin
said. "I attended their airshow every year and read about their
deployments during Gulf War I, Bosnia, etc. I'm very glad that we were
finally able to integrate our CR personnel into their mission set. They
have a valid reputation as an outstanding unit and a fantastic team. I'm
thankful we were able to integrate the 818th into their operations for a