Saturday, May 25, 2013

818th CRW, 143rd AW exercise together at Quonset Point, RI

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 143rd Operations.

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 mutually-beneficial experience."

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