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Airman deploys to Ethiopia to close port

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Robert Hicks
  • 621st Contingency Response Wing Public Affairs

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Two years ago when an Airman from the 921st Contingency Response Squadron joined the U.S. Air Force, he  never imagined that he would be waking up surrounded by a rain forest preparing to close a Joint Task Force Port Opening.

“Since joining the 621st Contingency Response Wing, I have had the opportunity to travel all over and participate in real-world missions as well as exercises,” said Airman 1st Class Dylan Wisuri, 921st CRS Aerial Port Flight. “Throughout all of the places I have been, I really enjoyed Ethiopia the most.”

The 921st CRS spent more than a month closing down a JTF-PO after their sister squadron the 821st CRS opened it months earlier. A JTF-PO is a robust combination of the Air Force's swift airbase opening capability and the Army's critical over-land cargo movement, tracking and distribution capability. Additionally, JTF-PO integrates a Defense Logistics Agency Deployment Support Team to provide expeditionary contracting, warehousing and sustainment equipment and services for US and Coalition Forces.

“Going to Ethiopia and really experiencing their culture and seeing how they live was definitely a different experience for me,” he said. “Also, the people in the local community were really nice and accommodating to us all.”

The local community wasn’t the only thing Wisuri enjoyed while he was in Ethiopia.

“Waking up every morning to the beautiful backdrop of the area was nothing short of amazing,” he said. “The landscape was nice and green, to go along with their nice views; it was a real cool experience.

Though the trip was a great experience for Wisuri, he took more pride in helping his wingman.

“Coming to close the JTF-PO meant a lot,” he said. “I played a part in getting Airmen back home to their families and loved ones. I felt like I was serving a bigger mission than just closing down the base.”

In the CRW the Airmen attend all types of exercises to ensure they are properly trained and stay proficient. Wisuri explained how all the exercises he went on prepared him for his trip to Ethiopia

“Exercises I have attended helped a lot,” he said. “During the exercise you are able to go through the motions and really get an idea of how things work, so when it’s the real deal your able to pay attention to those small details and know everything you are doing is meaningful to the mission.”

Coming out of technical school, Wisuri swapped assignments with a class mate that sent him to Travis Air Force Base, and he’s been performing the CR mission ever since.

“Growing up, when you think of the military it’s not usually humanitarian aid, but warfare,” he said. “But in the CRW we are performing that humanitarian aid mission set as well as doing everything that we can for our country and doing a swell job at it.”

Since his first day in the CRW he has hit the ground running and it hasn’t went unnoticed.

“Dylan has been a go-getter since arriving in the CRW,” Said 1st Lt. Denver Barrows, 921st Aerial Port Flight commander. “Airmen entering directly from technical training must balance the traditional upgrade requirements as an aerial transporter and begin to execute the CR mission worldwide; Dylan is part of a strong cohort of young Airmen who have done just that.  When selected for a tasking, we know what we are getting, a top-notch transporter who has demonstrated superb maturity and judgment.”

Contingency Response units are self-sufficient and can deploy with all the personnel, equipment and supplies to execute the mission. As a Global Reach Laydown force, the 621st CRW bridges the gap between seizure forces and follow-on sustainment forces. The CRW is prepared to execute the mission for up to 45 days, and once redeployed home are reconstituted within 72 hours and ready to once again answer the nations call.