JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – In July of this year, I became the command chief master sgt. for the 621st Contingency Response Wing. After five months, I am still in awe of the capabilities, rapid response and resilience of our people. I have had the unique opportunity to watch CRW Airmen at Travis Air Force Base, California, and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., work seamlessly with host wing partners to build capable teams and respond to multiple crises. If this past hurricane season has taught me anything, it is that we are an unstoppable unified team.
Over the past three months the 621st CRW has sent more than 200 Devil Raiders to various locations across Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Florida, Illinois and the Caribbean to help with recovery efforts following some of the worst hurricanes we have ever witnessed. When the initial call came down, telling both wings to begin preparing for deployment, I was in California and witnessed Team Travis and the CRW Airmen spring into action. Within a matter of hours, load plans were being developed, aircraft were being staged and mission planning was underway to ensure rapid mobility when the time came. Because of this teamwork the 621st CRW was poised to establish command and control, assess airfield integrity, offload numerous aircraft and handle a myriad of additional ad-hoc contingency tasks. The quick response of the CRW and Travis AFB Airmen allowed humanitarian aid from numerous organizations to reach those in desperate need. Since disaster relief and humanitarian response efforts have started, countless aircraft have landed and thousands of tons of cargo has been delivered, all thanks to the hard work and teamwork of our Airmen.
This hurricane season showcased our ability to not only work as a team, but proved our dedication to being good wingmen. As good wingmen, we have to make sure we carry this over from hurricane season into the holiday season. For most people, this is a time of year for celebration and family time. However, there are many of your fellow Airmen who may find this time of year difficult. They may have family members deployed, are dealing with the loss of a loved one or are away from home for the holidays for the first time. Whatever the situation may be, we as teammates and wingmen have to be vigilant and watch out for signs of distress. Remember that it’s better to ask, care and escort, than it is to assume, neglect and excuse. Every Airman is the most important Airman in the Air Force. Please take care of one another and help to make this a season of celebration for everyone. From all the leadership of the 621st CRW, thank you for all you do.