HomeNewsArticle Display

CRW delivers agile mobility expertise during exercise Green Flag Little Rock

Staff Sgt. Keith Keiffer, 921st Contingency Response Squadron security forces, fires the M240B machine gun in response to a simulated gunfire attack at the Geronimo Landing Zone during a mission in support of Green Flag Little Rock exercise, Feb. 14, 2019, Fort Polk, La. The primary objective of the exercise is to support the Joint Readiness Training Center and provide the maximum number of airlift crews, mission planners and ground support elements to a simulated combat environment with emphasis on joint force integration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Liliana Moreno)

Staff Sgt. Keith Keiffer, 921st Contingency Response Squadron security forces, fires the M240B machine gun in response to a simulated gunfire attack at the Geronimo Landing Zone during a mission in support of Green Flag Little Rock exercise, Feb. 14, 2019, Fort Polk, La. The primary objective of the exercise is to support the Joint Readiness Training Center and provide the maximum number of airlift crews, mission planners and ground support elements to a simulated combat environment with emphasis on joint force integration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Liliana Moreno)

A C-130 Hercules aircraft from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., departs Geronimo Landing Zone during a mission in support of Green Flag Little Rock exercise, Feb. 11, 2019, Fort Polk, La. The primary objective of the exercise is to support the Joint Readiness Training Center and provide the maximum number of airlift crews, mission planners and ground support elements to a simulated combat environment with emphasis on joint force integration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Liliana Moreno)

A C-130 Hercules aircraft from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., departs Geronimo Landing Zone during a mission in support of Green Flag Little Rock exercise, Feb. 11, 2019, Fort Polk, La. The primary objective of the exercise is to support the Joint Readiness Training Center and provide the maximum number of airlift crews, mission planners and ground support elements to a simulated combat environment with emphasis on joint force integration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Liliana Moreno)

Contingency Response Forces assigned to the 821st Contingency Response Group out of Travis Air Force Base, Calif., assist a wounded victim during a simulated gunfire attack at the Geronimo Landing Zone during a mission in support of Green Flag Little Rock exercise, Feb. 14, 2019, Fort Polk, La. The primary objective of the exercise is to support the Joint Readiness Training Center and provide the maximum number of airlift crews, mission planners and ground support elements to a simulated combat environment with emphasis on joint force integration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Liliana Moreno)

Contingency Response Forces assigned to the 821st Contingency Response Group out of Travis Air Force Base, Calif., assist a wounded victim during a simulated gunfire attack at the Geronimo Landing Zone during a mission in support of Green Flag Little Rock exercise, Feb. 14, 2019, Fort Polk, La. The primary objective of the exercise is to support the Joint Readiness Training Center and provide the maximum number of airlift crews, mission planners and ground support elements to a simulated combat environment with emphasis on joint force integration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Liliana Moreno)

FORT POLK, La. (AFNS) -- The sound of gunfire echoed across the open field at the Geronimo Landing Zone as Airmen from the 621st Contingency Response Wing based out of Travis Air Force Base, California, responded to a simulated base attack during a training mission in support of Green Flag Little Rock exercise, Feb. 6-17.

The primary objective for all participants of the exercise was to support the Joint Readiness Training Center and provide the maximum number of airlift crews, mission planners and ground support elements to a simulated combat environment with emphasis on joint force integration.

To support the wing priorities, contingency response Airmen tested a few capabilities to accomplish operations in contested, degraded and operationally limiting environments.

"During the exercise, we tested having the smallest footprint possible and brought enough equipment to open a second location as we transitioned from our initial airfield to a forward deployed location," said Capt. Jonathan Van Pinxteren, contingency response element commander. "There are a lot of moving parts involved and this trial run gave us good insight into the difficulty but plausibility of the agile basing concept. Additionally, getting the opportunity to do field training is necessary practice for us all, from setting up tents to directing cargo and airflow."

Lt. Col. Taylor Johnston, 921st Contingency Response Squadron commander, said agile basing is essential to contingency response operations within the full spectrum of operations from humanitarian aid to combat operations.

"Agile basing enhances our viability as it provides combatant commanders with the capability to open an air base anytime, anywhere, without having to worry about significant logistical constraints," Johnston said. "We provide combatant commanders with near immediate basing solutions based on the ever-evolving scheme of maneuver. In humanitarian scenario, it ensures that the contingency response is capable of moving quickly to emerging disasters, and in combat operations it allows us to be as close to the front lines of conflict as possible."

Once on the ground at the Geronimo Landing Zone, the contingency response team had to quickly establish security around the perimeter, build defensive fighting positions and place concertina wire around the area, all while maintaining communication and airflow operations.

"This type of training allows CR Airmen to train together to develop a unified security-centric mindset. As members of a contingency response group we have the potential to deploy as a small and lean force to austere environments with little to no support and it may come down to only having ourselves to rely on," said Tech. Sgt. Elizabeth Berreles, 921st CRS security forces assistant flight chief. "The realistic training has allowed us to hone our skills as a team to better defend ourselves, our resources and our base."

The CRT's strategic defense plan was put to the ultimate test Feb. 14, when simulated enemy forces threatened to overrun the compound.

"During the attack, my team was off shift when we were suddenly awakened to the sound of multiple weapons firing. Without hesitation, my team woke up, kitted up and tactically moved from their tents to predetermined defensive fighting positions," Berreles said. "The entire team, to include non-security forces members, quickly jumped into action and engaged the threat. As a leader, I was pumped to see members from various job specialties work together to defend the base. We have drastically improved our defense capabilities on a daily basis while out here and I am extremely proud of everyone."

While JRTC provides tactical-level training, the joint training received during the exercise was also invaluable to participants.

"Working with our allies is always a great idea, as we would be together in any global operation," Van Pinxteren said. "Having the Royal Canadian Air Force here gives us the opportunities to see each other at work and learn from each other."

Johnston agreed, and said the ability to operate in a joint environment is more crucial today than ever in the past.

"JRTC exercises allow us to work hand in hand with deploying army units and integrate our tactics, techniques and procedures with them," he said. "Each side is learning from each other and fostering relationships between services. The learning and relationship building provides greater synchronicity during operations in everything from humanitarian aid to combat ops."

Col. Ryan Marshall, 621st CRW commander, emphasized how it is essential the CRW is ready to deliver at the speed of war because the defense of our nation rests on each team's ability to integrate while trying to meet and maintain the pace of the future.

"In order to remain relevant warfighters, we must look at ways to ensure continuous capability in the face of adversaries employing technological advances to create contested and reduced or denied access environments across all operating domains," he added. "CRW Airmen will overcome this friction by employing agility and innovation, while providing cornerstones to create difficult dilemmas for our adversaries."

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @AF_WSOC: 👀 who popped up with the big dogs on TopDrawerSoccer’s Top 40 Ranked Recruiting Classes for 2019! Excited to have these fresh…
For saving two fellow wingmen while deployed in Afghanistan, Tech. Sgt. Nick Torres received two bronze star medals… https://t.co/83bcAvqCxG
RT @DefenceHQ: Today the various NATO aircraft flypast at #RIAT19 to mark the 70th anniversary of NATO! Since its creation, NATO has been…
The @DeptofDefense has partnered with the @DeptVetAffairs to implement the first Women's Health Transition Training… https://t.co/JUTFicsXDw
⚡️ “Apollo 11 50th anniversary” https://t.co/GSeJYz6wPJ
The 413th Flight Test Sq. @TeamEglin successfully conducted the 1st #USAF piloted flight of the #HH60W Combat Rescu… https://t.co/wTyTtcmZjv
Jetting into the weekend like... #F16 https://t.co/wEWD7vr476
.@AstroHague showing his #USAF pride during the anniversary week of the #Apollo50 landing. @ISS_Research… https://t.co/WdgCFDmz6f
'Only two of us were not shot or dying': #USAF #Airman receives Silver Star for heroism in Afghanistan heroism… https://t.co/IdmKq8gtDx
RT @AFResearchLab: Dr. Lisa Rueschhoff was one of 82 engineers chosen to attend @theNAEng 2019 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium! Sh…
RT @ActingSecAF: .@GenDaveGoldfein is bolstering partners & #allies across Europe, discussing how we can be #StrongerTogether in air, #spac…
Annual recovery efforts have helped to identify 40 of the 52 service members lost when a C-124 crashed into Mount G… https://t.co/fdHUY2IATf
8 of the surviving #Apollo #Astronauts got together for the 50th anniversary of the #moonlanding. @NASA… https://t.co/szPJHXupa1
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Gen. Goldfein, during his keynote address at the 2019 Chief of the Air Staff's Air and Space Power Conference said the follo…
.@WrightPattAFB opened a #cyberdefense facility for #USAF Life Cycle Management Center's Fighters & Bombers Directo… https://t.co/QibdORLX2q
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Our asymmetric advantage is represented in this room. It is all of us working together on a common cause. Great to see…
.@AFResearchLab supports @AFThunderbirds w/cutting-edge aerospace #technology. From G-suits, custom earpieces, fly-… https://t.co/HJ07fLg2aP
Operating from rough dirt strips, the #C130 Hercules is capable of transporting & airdropping troops & equipment in… https://t.co/c4vsC76vRX