721 CRS Assumption of Command

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Scott Warner
  • 621 Contingency Response Wing Public Affairs

The 621st Contingency Response Wing held an assumption of command ceremony for the standup of a brand new unit, the 721st Contingency Response Squadron, at Travis Air Force Base, California, Jan. 12.

Formerly the 6th Air Refueling Wing’s Chief of Safety, Lt. Col. D. Gifford Bloom, explained how proud he is to become the new 721 CRS commander.

“I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this organization,” said Bloom. “This is the culmination of a long and arduous process, from the decision to add a squadron, to where we are today. I am thankful for the incredible help we have received from throughout the Wing and for the exceptional work done by the initial cadre in building the squadron.”

The 721st CRS accomplishes quick-turn aircraft maintenance, airfield management, passenger and cargo movement in any environment at any given time. In addition to that, they perform command and control of personnel, aircraft, supplies, threat assessment, force protection, air traffic control, weather, airfield systems maintenance, finance and contracting.

The assumption of command is an official military tradition that bestows command responsibility of a unit to the commanding officer. It is traditionally done in front of members of the unit allowing each person to observe the placement of authority and responsibility onto the new commander and is symbolized through the passing of the unit’s guidon flag. 

The exchanging of the guidon dates back in military history to the 18th century. The flag served as a rallying point, and as a reminder of a military service member’s allegiance to their leader during battle. The flag, which displays different color arrangements and symbols unique to each unit, was the ultimate symbol in which military members dedicated their loyalty and trust to. 

“With the activation of an additional CR squadron, we are elevating our capabilities to match our Air Force’s need for highly-trained, multi-capable teams of talented Airmen who can make the mission happen,” said Col. Jeffrey N. Krulick, the 821st Contingency Response Group Commander. 

Krulick added that the 721 CRS is now the fourth squadron in the 821 CRG with the “first responder” designation to assess, open and operate airfields across the globe, with small, highly-capable teams ready to rapidly deploy. They are trained to deliver airpower anywhere, from international airports to isolated dirt landing zones wherever deemed appropriate.

“I’m excited for the Airmen of 721 CRS and to see their ability to ‘Win the Fight’,” said Krulick.  

Based out of Travis AFB, the 721st CRS emblem displays a phantom, which in common lore, is an entity that can materialize anywhere, anytime and without warning. Similarly, the squadron materializes in remote locations where others cannot, projecting airpower at a moment’s notice.

With the ceremonial standup completed, the team is excited and ready to move the mission forward, said Bloom.