The US military assumed responsibility for airfield terminal operations at Basra International Airport, Iraq, on March 31, taking over from the British forces that are withdrawing from the southern Iraqi city. The airport is a major hub for supplying coalition troops in the southern part of Iraq. Playing a big role in the success of the transition of authority, were the nearly 50 members of the 615th Contingency Response Wing from Travis AFB, Calif., who deployed to Basra under the wing’s contingency response element. “This mission has been outstanding because of the unique and rewarding opportunity to work with our proactive and knowledgeable joint and coalition partners,” said one of the deployed Travis airmen, TSgt. Brad Ferda, a CRE aerial port specialist. The 615th CRW’s mission is to quickly open forward airbases. Its airmen were involved earlier this year in the US airlift mission to support African peacekeepers in Sudan’s volatile Darfur region. (Includes Basra report)