Military News

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Down and Dirty with Contingency Response

by Tech. Sgt. Matthew Hannen
621st Contingency Response Wing Public Affairs

4/21/2015 - FORT HUNTER LIGGET, Calif.  -- More than 130 Airmen from five wings across Air Mobility Command and the Air National Guard participated in a contingency response exercise March 29 through April 3 at three locations in California.

Exercise Golden Hydra was developed by Travis Airmen from the 621st Contingency Response Wing and the 60th Air Mobility Wing to provide expeditionary training for Contingency Response forces and mobility aircrews.

Golden Hydra provided the opportunity for contingency response forces to open and operate airfields for air mobility operations in an austere environment.

"This exercise allowed our teams to replicate a simultaneous deployment to two forward based airfields, rapidly establish operations and coordinate with a staging base to move cargo between the three locations," said Lt Col Jeff Krulick, 570th Global Mobility Squadron director of operations.

Airmen from the 570th Contingency Response Group set up operations at Schoonover Landing Zone, Fort Hunter Ligget, California, while Airmen from the 571st Contingency Response Group operated out of Amedee Army Airfield, Sierra Army Depot, California. They were able to practice rapidly establishing command and control, assault landing zone operations, engine-running cargo onloads and offloads and airlift operations under low-light conditions. At the same time, members of the 615th Contingency Operations Support Group and the 60th AMW, diligently prepared aircrews, aircraft and cargo at Travis for airlift missions to those two locations.

Additionally, aircrews from the 60th AMW, the 152nd Airlift Wing, Nevada Air National Guard, the 62nd AW, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, and the 19th AW, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, supported the exercise and were able to accomplish tactical airlift training at each of the locations including training at a dirt landing zone. With participation from eight aircraft including the C-17 Globemaster III, C-130 Hercules and KC-10 Extender, the exercise racked up a total of 58 airlift sorties over five days.

"It was both challenging and rewarding to work with all the motivated Airmen to plan and execute this exercise that provided some great training for both our contingency response teams as well as the aircrews," said Maj. Matt Hood, 570th Global Mobility Squadron lead planner for Exercise Golden Hydra.

"It is my hope that this can be a starting point to develop a reoccurring, robust, yet cost effective, expeditionary exercise on the west coast to provide realistic training to both contingency response forces and mobility aircrews," Krulick said.

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