CRW assists DSCA with hurricane preparedness

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

Airfield survey teams from the 621st and 821st Contingency Response Groups recently returned from conducting airfield assessments in southern U.S. states in support of Defense Support for Civil Authorities.

The two-week mission in July included surveys in Brownsville, Harlingen, McAllen, and Dallas Fort Worth Airport in Texas, and various areas across Louisiana, which are considered critical locations by the U.S. Transportation Command during hurricane operations.

“We perform these surveys to understand the layout of the airfields and understand how our operations will be conducted,” said Capt. Robert Green, 821st Contingency Response Support Squadron director of training. “This becomes important for knowing the number of aircraft that we can beddown, types of aircraft that can land, cargo capabilities and limitations, and staging of broader scale missions.”

Airfield assessments generate two products: the Air Force Form 1174, Airfield Survey, and the Contingency Airfield Pavement Evaluation.

The CAPE is completed by civil engineers and outlines the structural capacity of the airfield pavements.

“This is important, because it outlines exactly where it is safe to operate medium and heavy load aircraft,” said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Anderson, 621st Contingency Response Support Squadron engineering assistant.

The AF Form 1174 provides an overview of the airfield’s capabilities, features and available support functions.

CRG airfield assessment teams help make it possible to provide aid and relief to federal, state and international agencies and impact the lives of all those involved.

“There is a great sense of job satisfaction that comes with providing airfield structural and suitability data,” Anderson said. “Our data is often used by mission planners, and in this case of the DSCA, hurricane preparation surveys will be used to tailor hurricane response playbooks for multiple agencies.”

Also known as an Alpha Papa team, an airfield assessment team conducts detailed airfield surveys and are comprised of eight Air Force specialty codes including civil engineer, airfield management, fuels, air transportation, contracting and security forces. The 621st CRG team is based out of Joint Base Mcguire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, and the 821st CRG team is based out of Travis Air Force Base, California.

As America’s only contingency response wing, airfield assessments are critical for ensuring the 621st Contingency Response Wing is always ready to respond to military and civilian authorities in need of help.

“This survey will allow the contingency response wing to rapidly deploy and know the landscape and its capabilities to better serve during a crisis,” Green said. “This will also establish working relationships with First Air Force, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Texas State Guard.”