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621st CRW teams up with joint partners in 'Southeast Asia' for exercise

621st CRW teams up with joint partners in 'Southeast Asia' for exercise

Staff Sgt. Lewis Gomez, 821st Contingency Response Support Squadron, uses the Global Rapid Response Information Package to set up the secret internet protocol router network July 19, 2019, in North Vernon, Ind., as part of exercise Turbo Distribution 19-03. U.S. Transportation Command holds Turbo Distribution four times a year to allow the four contingency response squadrons of the 621st Contingency Response Wing to sharpen their skills of providing humanitarian relief after simulated major national disaster. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. David W. Carbajal)

621st CRW teams up with joint partners in 'Southeast Asia' for exercise

Army Spc. Quentin Quarterman, cargo specialist with the 689th Rapid Port Opening Element, takes inventory of cargo in the forward node in North Vernon, Ind., July 20, 2019, as part of exercise Turbo Distribution 19-03. After the humanitarian goods were flown into COB Panther, the goods were transported to the forward node where the supplies were disseminated to distribution centers throughout the region.(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. David W. Carbajal)

621st CRW teams up with joint partners in 'Southeast Asia' for exercise

Staff Sergeants Ronald Ferguson, left, and Ronald Morrison, set up the Small Package Initial Communications Element July 19, 2019, in North Vernon, Ind., as part of exercise Turbo Distribution 19-03. The SPICE system delivers regular and secure electronic mail and secure/non-secure voice communications to bare-base locations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. David W. Carbajal)

621st CRW teams up with joint partners in 'Southeast Asia' for exercise

Army Spc. Danielle Mitchell, heavy equipment operator with the 689th Rapid Port Opening Element, loosens a cargo strap from a pallet at the forward node in North Vernon, Ind., July 20, 2019, as part of exercise Turbo Distribution 19-03. Mitchell and his counterparts transported 55,000 pounds of supplies to the forward node in the first 36 hours of the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. David W. Carbajal)

621st CRW teams up with joint partners in 'Southeast Asia' for exercise

Airmen from the 621st Contingency Response Wing toss rucksacks onto a pallet shortly after arriving July 19, 2019, in North Vernon, Ind., as part of exercise Turbo Distribution 19-03. More than 100 CRW Airmen have deployed to Indiana for the exercise to build familiarity and improve interoperability with the 689th Rapid Port Opening Element and the Defense Logistics Agency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. David W. Carbajal)

621st CRW teams up with joint partners in 'Southeast Asia' for exercise

Army Sgt. Tony Cunningham, cargo specialist with the 689th Rapid Port Opening Element, stretches C-wire around the tactical operations center at the forward node in North Vernon, Ind., July 20, 2019, as part of exercise Turbo Distribution 19-03. C-wire was put in place to protect the Soldiers as well as the communications and computer equipment, and pallet information in the TOC.

621st CRW teams up with joint partners in 'Southeast Asia' for exercise

Air Force Maj. Brian Crawford, 921st Contingency Response Squadron joint operations center director, briefs members of the first chalk on current operations after they arrive July 19, 2019, in North Vernon, Ind., as part of exercise Turbo Distribution 19-03. Turbo Distribution is designed to test the 621st Contingency Response Wing, the 689th Rapid Port Opening Element and Defense Logistics Agency’s ability to conduct a Joint Task Force-Port Opening. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. David W. Carbajal)

621st CRW teams up with joint partners in 'Southeast Asia' for exercise

Army Spc. Angel Cueva, cargo specialist with the 689th Rapid Port Opening Element, ground guides a driver in the forward node yard to a flatbed trailer in the forward node in North Vernon, Ind., July 20, 2019, as part of exercise Turbo Distribution 19-03. Cueva and his counterparts transported more than 130 pallets of supplies to the forward node in the first 36 hours of the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. David W. Carbajal)

621st CRW teams up with joint partners in 'Southeast Asia' for exercise

Army Sgt. 1st Class Sean Cherry, 689th Rapid Port Opening Element platoon sergeant, ground guides a forklift driver into place to load onto a truck at the forward node in North Vernon, Ind., July 20, 2019, as part of exercise Turbo Distribution 19-03. The 689th RPOE is based out of Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., and is one of three RPOEs in the Army.(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. David W. Carbajal)

621st CRW teams up with joint partners in 'Southeast Asia' for exercise
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Airmen from the 621st Contingency Response Wing place transition plates onto tent flooring July 19, 2019, in North Vernon, Ind., as part of exercise Turbo Distribution 19-03. For this exercise, the 621st CRW have teamed up with the 689th Rapid Port Opening Element and the Defense Logistics Agency to provide humanitarian relief following a simulated major earthquake in Southeast Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. David W. Carbajal)

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- An exercise scenario for Turbo Distribution 19-03, at Contingency Operating Base Panther in North Vernon, Indiana was held July 18-24, 2019.

In this joint training exercise, approximately 125 Airmen from the CRW teamed up with about 50 RPOE Soldiers and five DLA members to conduct a Joint Task Force-Port Opening in order to bring humanitarian aid and disaster relief to the people of the fictional country of South Torbia.

“Conducting HADR operations is one of the most important missions we do,” said Col. Greg Cyrus, the 621st Contingency Response Group commander and the JTF-PO commander for TD 19-03. “Preventing further suffering and loss of life is an enduring value of the United States and the contingency response groups are standing ready to assist when requested.”

The U.S. Transportation Command regularly exercises JTF-PO capabilities to ensure a trained, ready, joint team can rapidly assess, deploy, open, operate, and manage aerial and sea ports.  JTF-PO supports synchronized cargo and passenger movement. The objective is to clear the port early in the humanitarian crisis and receive and stage cargo for onward movement.

Turbo Distribution exercises are specifically designed to train and assess JTF-PO capabilities.  The exercises also  is intended to build familiarity and improve interoperability among the participating Joint Force. units for the purpose of opening airfields and forwarding the mobility-centric goals of the Army and Air Force.

The Airmen, consisting mainly of the 921st Contingency Response Squadron, practiced mission stand up, command and control, conducting airfield operations and cargo processing as they strived to sharpen their skills of providing humanitarian relief.

Soldiers and Airmen worked at least 12-hour shifts, performing these tasks throughout the exercise on a 24-hour rotation.

The JTF-PO team delivered more than 285,000 pounds of humanitarian relief to include food, water, blankets, cots, health and medical supplies, generators and fuel over the course of seven days.

“We rely on each other to make sure this mission gets done,” said Army Capt. JaLyssa Walker, 689th RPOE commander. “The Air Force flies the supplies in and preps it, and we track it and transport it to the forward node, where the customer can retrieve it.”

In this case, the “customer” can be military drivers picking up supplies for the other military installations in the region or it can be designated drivers picking up the supplies for the refugee camps throughout the south portion of South Torbia.

The concept may seem straight forward, but a variety of scenarios were presented to the team to ensure they were prepared for the unexpected. Some of the scenarios included simulated chemical and ground-force attacks, loss of communications systems, protesters at the COB main gate, and improvised explosive devices along the primary route to the forward node.

The JTF-PO commander acknowledged focus areas and understands the value of this training.

“We weren’t perfect, but we learned what areas we can improve on,” said Cyrus. “It’s important that we learn these critical lessons now so we don’t make them when lives are on the line.”