Getting in a Contingency Groove

The Air Force is making its presence known around the world—from Pakistan to Louisiana—by sending in quick reaction forces to rapidly survey, assess, establish, and operate air bases in crisis situations. Currently, there are eight contingency response groups across the force: Six are part of Air Mobility Command (split between the 615th Contingency Response Wing at Travis AFB, Calif., and the 621st CRW at McGuire AFB, N.J.) and one each in Pacific Air Forces and US Air Forces in Europe, explained Lt. Col. Ken D’Alfonso during a meeting at the Pentagon Tuesday with Air Force Magazine Online. Each CRG is authorized 113 airmen, covering such capabilities as security forces, airfield assessment, medical support, command and control, aerial port, and maintenance. D’Alfonso, with 621st CRW, led elements of a CRG that deployed to Pakistan following the October 2005 earthquake, just a few months since AMC stood up the first CRW. Since then, CRG personnel have deployed to the US Gulf coast following Hurricane Katrina and continued to hone their skills via exercises as they work toward their “official” initial operational capability, slated for spring 2007.