817 CRG deploys to Haiti

The 817th Contingency Response Group is a USAF unit that can rapidly deploy personnel to quickly open airfields in remote locations.  It is focused on conducting three main missions:

  1. Initial Airbase Opening (IAO)
  2. Joint Task Force—Port Opening (JTF-PO), where USAF and US Army units create logistics and distribution chains
  3. Expeditionary Air Mobility Support (EAMS) where CRG personnel augment or relieve existing mission forces

On January 14th and 15th, these were very busy folks.  A fuller account of their work lies here, courtesy of Joint Base Charleston’s PA folks.  I have included a small sample of six images from the accompanying photo essay.

Tech. Sgt. Robert Mabry, a reservist Loadmaster with the 317th Airlift Squadron, 315th Airlift Wing, Charleston AFB, conducts pre-flight duties on the Charleston AFB flightline, en route to support relief efforts to Haiti Jan. 14 in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)

Team Charleston members prepare to depart to McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., Jan. 14 to pick up humanitarian supplies to deliver to Haiti following the devastating 7.0 –magnitude earthquake that hit Tuesday morning. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Lauren Main)

Tech. Sgt. Robert Mabry, a reservist with the 317th Airlift Squadron, pushes cargo with help from Airmen from the 305th Aerial Port Squadron, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., as they load cargo onto a Charleston AFB C-17, supporting a swift and coordinated relief effort to Haiti Jan. 14 in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)

Airmen with the 621st Contingency Response Wing, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., catch a ride on a Charleston AFB C-17 just past midnight Jan. 15 en route to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in support of the relief efforts going on there after a devastating earthquake. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)

Airmen from the 621st Contingency Response Wing, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., off load cargo from a Charleston AFB C-17 in the early morning Jan. 15 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in support of relief efforts in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)

Tents on the edge of the flightline in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, provide shelter to personnel participating in the relief effort in Haiti after a devastating earthquake Jan. 15.

As you look at that last photo, it is worth remembering that the tarmac where those tents are pitched was also conducting 24-hour flight operations.  Not easy to get any rest with turbines screaming in your ear all night.

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