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    Contingency Response Airmen Exemplify The Multi-Capable Airman Concept During Exercise Air Defender 23

    Contingency Response Airmen Exemplify The Multi-Capable Airman Concept During Exercise Air Defender 23

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Michelle Ulber | U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Candyce Ha, left, a command and control Airman with...... read more read more

    WUNSTORF AIR BASE, WUNSTORF, GERMANY-- 165 members of the Air National Guard's contingency response career field assigned to the 123rd and 156th Contingency Response Groups and the 172nd and 146th Contingency Response Flights deploy to Wunstorf Air Base, Lower Saxony, Germany, in support of exercise Air Defender 2023 (AD23); bringing with them their versatility and expertise to ensure the exercise goes efficiently for all 10000 participants.

    Contingency response (CR) is a unique career field with numerous mission capabilities; being part of it requires that you be proficient in a different job in the Air Force before you can cross-train into it. This is necessary because of the type of contingency, humanitarian, and exercise mission that CR participates in.

    "The primary role of contingency response is to provide base opening operations, and once that is established, we can quickly and effectively disperse cargo and personnel throughout a region," said Master Sgt. Jeff Allen, a loadmaster with the 146th Contingency Response Flight, California Air National Guard. "We can start ramp procedures and bring aircraft, people, and supplies into any environment."

    Numerous jobs are required to set up an airfield where none existed before. CR members come from many career fields throughout the Air Force, including aircraft maintainers, aerial porters, security forces, personnelists, communication specialists, weather specialists, and medical personnel, among others.

    "We are a well-run machine; we're a small group and know everyone's strengths and weaknesses, so we can come in and work together to set up things as quickly and efficiently as possible, with the least amount of downtime, and then have a smooth transition back out again," said Tech. Sgt. Thomas Wilson, an airfield manager with the 172nd Contingency Response Flight, Mississippi Air National Guard.

    CR is able to achieve their mission by using the multi-capable airman (MCA) concept that the Air Force is beginning to implement.

    The MCA concept results from the development of Air Force Doctrine Note 1-21, Agile Combat Employment, an operational concept that supports merging career fields. The aim is to train and develop Airmen who are already proficient in their regular duties, in tasks outside their normal day-to-day operations, to enable a job to be done quicker and with fewer resources.

    "All members of contingency response train in each other's jobs as best as possible," said Staff Sgt. Anfernee Joseph, a mission operator with the 146th Contingency Response Flight, California Air National Guard. "We fill in the gaps for each other since we're such a small team. Everyone learns each other's job, making us operate more smoothly, enabling us to do more with less."

    Facilitating seamless operations is essential because many other positions rely on CR to be able to do their job.

    "CR is necessary because we set up airfields and keep them operating short-term," said Wilson. "If CR could not do its job, there would be a lot of downtime and considerable communication delays. Everyone would be unable to do their jobs; the mission times would be severely delayed. Our multi-capable airmen keep things running during exercises such as this."

    CR has the substantial job of processing over 10000 exercise participants and over 3.4 million pounds of cargo back and forth between the U.S. and other airfields in Germany during exercise AD23.

    "We'll start receiving all the cargo and personnel back from other airfields here in Germany soon," said Wilson. "The cargo yard here at Wunstorf Air Base will be full, and we'll start processing it all back on aircraft as the exercise ends June 23 and the main body of participants begin to leave."

    According to Wilson, they'll be able to accomplish their mission of getting all of the exercise participants and equipment out on time because everyone in CR tries to help where they can and exemplifies the multi-capable airman concept.

    "Everyone does more than just their job," said Wilson. "That's the whole point of CR. We not only do our jobs, but we help our wingmen out."

    The end goal for CR is ultimately to accomplish the mission, no matter what's necessary.

    "Even though I'm in airfield management, I can help the command and control Airmen," said Wilson. "I can jump into their spot if they're busy with planes coming in and going out or in an emergency when it's necessary to have more help. Putting up a tent or answering a phone may not be your assigned job, but we all do what we can to help each other and benefit the mission. We're working together to complete this exercise and move on to the next one."



    Date Taken: 06.23.2023
    Date Posted: 06.23.2023 08:50
    Story ID: 447816
    Location: WUNSTORF, NI, DE

    Web Views: 145
    Downloads: 1