A contingency response element of the 621st Contingency Response Wing from Travis Air Force Base, California, is participating in exercise ANGEL THUNDER at Davis-Monthan AFB and Flagstaff Pulliam Airport.
The CRE provides continuous on-site management of Air Mobility Command airfield operations including command and control, aerial port services, maintenance, security, weather, and intelligence — those critical elements needed to ensure safe, efficient air field operations for all tanker and airlift operations.
“Having us here for ANGEL THUNDER is a validation of a partnership for Air Combat Command and Air Mobility Command to drop into an airfield to help with combat search and rescue efforts,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Morales, 571st Global Mobility Squadron mobility command and control non-commissioned officer in charge. “CSAR has to be on the ground when we have people on the ground. They would initially come in with us while we’re setting up operations and be there as a response force and we’re the transitional force for the host base to come in and take over operations.”
The CRE provides the command and control functions required to support AMC’s worldwide mobility operations. CREs normally conduct autonomous operations from deployed locations and other austere environments but can also augment the infrastructure at established civilian or military airfields. They provide minimum cargo loading and a quick turn en route AMC mission support during mobility operations.
“We come out here and provide additional guidance and control of situations,” said Tech Sgt. Vernon Foster, 573rd Global Support Squadron contingency response team chief. “We act as an augmented command post where we can direct ANGEL THUNDER command and control, air traffic and ramp operations.”
Exercise ANGEL THUNDER is the largest and most realistic joint service, multinational, interagency combat search and rescue exercise designed to provide training for personnel recovery assets using a variety of scenarios to simulate deployment conditions and contingencies. The exercise provides realistic personnel and combat search and rescue recovery training environment available for more than 2,700 combat aircrews, pararescuemen, intelligence personnel, battle managers and joint search and rescue center personnel as well as their joint, interagency, and international partners to engage in a variety of personnel recovery scenarios.
“With the CRE here, D-M’s day-to-day mission can continue,” said Tech. Sgt. Michael Irish, 573 Global Support Squadron. “As we come in and help work ANGEL THUNDER, everyone else can continue to focus on their jobs.”
ANGEL THUNDER will also help the CRE’s improve their capabilities and readiness in providing mission support whenever and wherever the requirements exist.