621st CRG supports Hurricane Irma relief efforts

CRW answers the call

Staff Sgt. Nestor Fraga, 321st Contingency Response Squadron aircraft maintainer, marshals a C-5 Super Galaxy at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., September 13, 2017. The 621st Contingency Response Wing is currently supporting Hurricane Irma relief efforts by receiving aircraft and rapidly downloading supplies and cargo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/Released)

CRW answers the call

Airmen assigned to the 621st Contingency Response Group at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., unload cargo from a Halvorsen loader at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., September 13, 2017. The 621st Contingency Response Wing is currently supporting Hurricane Irma relief efforts by receiving aircraft and rapidly downloading supplies and cargo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/Released)

CRW answers the call

Senior Airman Donald Cosip, 621st Contingency Response Group aerial porter stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., helps out with cargo loading from a Charleston C-17 Globemaster III at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., September 13, 2017. The 621st Contingency Response Wing is currently supporting Hurricane Irma relief efforts by receiving aircraft and rapidly downloading supplies and cargo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/Released)

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 621st Contingency Response Wing continues to run on high-gear in support of hurricane relief efforts.


The 621st Contingency Response Group deployed a contingency response element Sept. 12, consisting of nearly 50 members, which included aerial port, maintenance, and command post specialists to MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, in response to Hurricane Irma.

"We're at MacDill to support the 6th Air Mobility Wing and augment their capabilities to receive Air Mobility Command aircraft and rapidly download supplies and cargo," said Capt. Ian Mazerski, 321st Contingency Response Squadron contingency response element director of operations. "The supplies will be disseminated to the local community and the other parts of Florida that were impacted by Hurricane Irma."

According to Mazerski, the 621st CRG is part of the AMC's total force doing everything it can to provide a magnitude of support and relief needed.

"By being here at MacDill, we are able to increase their ability to receive aircraft," Mazerski said. "Hopefully, that translates to food, water, medical supplies and other essential items getting out to the impacted communities faster."

The 621st CRW maintains a ready corps of light, lean and agile mobility support forces able to respond in order to meet wartime and humanitarian requirement.

"This is my first real world mission," said Staff Sgt. Robin McClain, 621st Contingency Response Support Squadron command, control, communications, and computers mobile supervisor. "I have been on many exercises where we carry out the same operations to prepare for moments like this."

Mazerski agreed that the extensive training that contingency response Airmen accomplish provides Airmen with the confidence and skills to fulfill their mission.

"We constantly train to support humanitarian relief missions and to have the opportunity to support a real world operation like this is surreal," Mazerski said. "It's always incredibly sad when an event like Hurricane Irma happens, but we’re thankful that our training has prepared us to handle situations like this and provide the best support to the relief effort as possible."

McClain grew up in Orlando, Florida an hour away from MacDill AFB. For him, this mission hit close to home.

"Most of my family is affected by this Hurricane and all of them are without power at the moment," McClain said. "It’s always nice to come, but this time it’s for an important purpose. I get to come back and not just help my family, but my home state in general."

"I'm incredibly proud to be part of the relief effort for Hurricane Irma," Mazerski added. "I hope that those impacted by Hurricane Irma know that there are a lot of Airmen doing everything they can to bring them the aid and support they need."

Air Mobility Command directed allocation of its airlift, aeromedical evacuation and contingency response assets to federal Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, as requested by U.S. Northern Command Aug. 30. Trailing Hurricane Harvey was Hurricane Irma, making landfall Sept. 10 at Cudjoe Key in Florida.