Exercise Swamp Devil to prep CRW for hurricane season

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Luther Mitchell Jr
  • 621st Contingency Response Wing Public Affairs

Members from the 621st Contingency Response Group and 621st Air Mobility Advisory Group are scheduled to deploy to various locations across Louisiana and Mississippi to participate in Exercise Swamp Devil from July 27-Aug. 1.

The exercise will test the CR forces’ ability to respond to a Category 4 hurricane and provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief as part of a joint task force. Exercise Swamp Devil will facilitate upgrade, joint and interagency training in preparation for hurricane season while also serving to identify and mitigate risks to the mission and forces associated with operating in a COVID-19 environment.

“This is an unparalleled opportunity to build relationships with local civil authorities, train for a number of potential natural disasters, and validate mitigation procedures to keep Airmen and the community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Col. Gregory Cyrus, 621st CRG commander.

As Air Mobility Command’s 911 force, the 621st CRW provides humanitarian assistance to Americans and partner nations alongside joint partners, civil authorities and host nation governments. Exercises like Swamp Devil are essential for maintaining Airmen proficiency and preparing Airmen to conduct operations in uncertain environments.

The exercise scenario includes two staging areas and two forward operating locations designed to transport personnel and cargo. Aircrews will conduct heavy load training, dirt landing zone operations and personnel airdrops.

Aircraft expected to participate in the exercise include the C-17 Globemaster III, C-130J Super Hercules and C-5 Super Galaxy.

“We wanted to make sure that this exercise was a realistic scenario that our unit would encounter,” said Capt. Daniel Staunton, 621st CRG chief of group training. “Which is why we chose hurricane relief support on both a state location and a fictional location in another country. The ability to come together as joint partners with the Army, and the amount of support and help we have received from our civilian partners, has led to the success in planning and execution of Swamp Devil.

Exercise participants include the 34th Combat Training Squadron, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, the 10th Mountain Division, Fort Polk, Louisiana, and various flying units within AMC and others.