CRW judge advocates serve a unique mission

  • Published
  • By 621st Contingency Response Wing Judge Advocate Office
  • 621st Contingency Response Wing Judge Advocate Office

With cold weather, desert, and chemical bags constantly packed, judge advocates with the 621st Contingency Response Wing are ready to deploy worldwide with less than four hours’ notice.

As America’s only CRW, we execute the full-spectrum of contingency response operations year-round, providing a “go-to” option for America’s senior leaders to establish a warfighting airbase overseas or fix a damaged airport to allow for aid relief in a humanitarian mission.

Such activities are in direct support of several defense objectives within the National Defense Strategy, including global sustainment of our joint force military advantage and continuously delivering performance with affordability at the speed of relevance.

The creation of the CR forces traces back to 1994 when the Air Force activated the 621st Air Mobility Operations Group to present forces capable of supporting Airmen able to rapidly establish, expand, sustain and document worldwide air mobility operations. Through expansion in 2005, the group became the 621st Contingency Response Wing, which paired command and control, aerial port, maintenance, and air mobility liaison officers.

When deployed, the 621st CRW commonly attaches to U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps expeditionary forces, with security forces, finance, intelligence, civil engineering, and more career fields, to conduct airbase opening missions and support their efforts worldwide. Mission sets vary, from the opening of an airbase either in an austere environment (Iraq, 2016) or to help open a damaged airport after a humanitarian disaster (Puerto Rico, 2017; the Bahamas, 2019).

On any given day, Devil Raiders are training and deploying across the globe as America’s uniquely skilled 9-1-1 force. Constant mission support to the three groups and 11 squadrons means a consistent resolution of legal issues by the CRW JA office, enabling commanders to retain a high operations tempo. The CRW JA office is currently comprised of two third-assignment captains serving as wing legal advisors.

With an overarching theme throughout the CRW that every Airman must be ready to do any job in the deployed environment, the wing legal advisors undergo the same CR-specific training all members from each different career field attend upon joining the CRW.

This multi-faceted training includes construction of structures, pallet loading, building clearing, nighttime weapons certification with night vision display goggles, weapons certification in mission-oriented protective posture gear, and MRZR and Humvee vehicle government licensure certifications. Such efforts demonstrate how the CRW is reforming how the Air Force does business with greater performance and affordability, as outlined in the NDS.

After certification, the wing legal advisors constantly sit alert year-round, each able to respond anywhere in the world in support of the U.S. Transportation Command mission. Additionally, the JAGs frequently travel along for exercises worldwide.

Over the last decade, CR forces gained a new mission set: to build partner capacity forces with friendly countries by activating two mobility support advisor squadrons. Air advisors travel every few weeks to South American and African countries to increase allies’ aviation capacity and contribute to geographic combatant command strategic objectives.

Both squadrons present fiscal, ethical, contractual, and international agreement interpretation issues to the wing legal advisors daily, in furtherance of the NDS’ goal to “strengthen alliances and attract new partners.”

Advise, direct and project airpower … anytime, anywhere!