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821st CRSS stands ready to work at all hours

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The men and women of the 821st Contingency Response Support Squadron, or CRSS, stand ready 24/7/365, on a 12-hour deployment notice, to support Air Mobility Command, the Air Force and United States Transportation Command with highly qualified and versatile contingency response Airmen. 

As one of only two Contingency Response Support Squadrons in the 621st Contingency Response Wing, the units’ roles and missions are as diverse as the squadron personnel.  Airmen in 43 distinct Air Force Specialty Codes, across 20 separate functional areas, support a sole contingency response group, and the wing’s air mobility advisory group, with both operational and support missions.  These missions run the gamut, from a contingency response team and joint task force port-opening support elements, to communication security, armory and deployment team management, just to name a few.      

Comprised of five diverse flights, the 821st CRSS’ mission is providing combat-ready command, control, communications, computer systems, aerial port, aircraft and aerospace ground equipment maintenance, power production, and intelligence forces in direct support of the national military strategy to project and sustain combat forces worldwide.  The unit also conducts on site load planning to assist DOD users with meeting airlift requirements and airfield surveys supporting global mobility operations.  Finally, the unit enables CRG capabilities to conduct transitory mobility requirements, air base opening and joint task force port-opening operations. 

The 821st CRSS was activated on June 1, 2015, and draws on the lineage of the 573rd Global Support Squadron, which was deactivated on the same date.  Since its activation, the unit has led approximately 78 higher headquarter tasked missions globally and has participated in approximately 30 more led by the other squadrons within the 821st CRG. Some of these operations include:  Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation Enduring Freedom-Trans Sahara, and earthquake relief operations in Ecuador.

During September 2015 alone, the CRSS deployed seven teams, on five continents, supporting six Combatant Commands, simultaneously.  It’s not uncommon for the unit to have personnel deployed all over the world, at any given time, since all CRG operations, at or above a Contingency Response Team, require support in the form of Airmen and their equipment, from the CRSS. 

The dual-hat status of the 821st CRSS “Gladiators” make them one of the most unique squadrons in the Air Force, and an integral part of the 821st CRG.  While the unit has the requisite skillset and equipment to deploy on their own, the primary role of the squadron is to enable the 821st and 921st Contingency Response Squadrons. 

Each flight in the CRSS has a unique role in fulfilling these operational and support missions. The CRSS Communication Flight supports the deployed communication and computer systems needs for Contingency Response elements and groups, as well as the Airfield Assessment Teams and Joint Task Force-Port Opening missions. 

The Intelligence Flight provides in-garrison mission support to the Wing, two Groups, and provides deployed intelligence support for CRG and Air Mobility Division operations. 

The CRSS Support Flight manages the 94K square foot Global Reach Deployment Center, the Wing’s Communications Security program, in-garrison computer support for the Wing, Supply, and deployed Power Production and Aerospace Ground Equipment maintenance. 

Training Flight is key to central scheduling for all CRG training requirements, executes DOD’s West Coast Affiliation program and the Unit’s Training Management, and oversees all CRG program management. 

Finally, the CRSS Readiness Flight, controls the wing’s armory, vehicle management, squadron’s equipment, and the CRG’s deployment functions.