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Texas Guardsmen showcase skills in Contingency Response Exercise

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Tia Hambrick
  • 136th Airlift Wing

NAVAL AIR STATION JOINT RESERVE BASE, TX -- The 136th Airlift Wing, Texas Air National Guard participated in a Contingency Response Exercise (CRX) at Muñiz Air National Guard Base in Puerto Rico February 22-27, 2023.

The exercise showcased the capabilities of our multi-capable Citizen Airmen. The 136th Contingency Response Flight personnel, together with the 126th Contingency Response Group, Puerto Rico Air National Guard, demonstrated their ability to perform a variety of tasks, including security, logistics, and aircraft maintenance support. They also participated in simulated combat scenarios, exercising their proficiency in both offensive and defensive combat tactics and operations.

“We performed an exercise simulating a bare-base opening to facilitate air flow of C-130s, cargo, and personnel when coming to a bare base,” said Tech. Sgt. James Hartley, 136th CRF airlift control flight specialist.

The exercise highlighted the importance of having versatile and adaptable Airmen in modern military operations. By training personnel to perform a wide range of tasks, the Air Force and the Air National Guard can maximize effectiveness and respond to changing situations quickly.

The Critical Response Force (CRF) supports hurricane, humanitarian, and wartime missions. These members are capable of short-notice deployments and are prepared to decentralize assets in a global response when called upon. Whereas, a Contingency Response Flight is a compact force, capable of short notice worldwide deployment to any airfield, to set up mobile command and control of contingency, humanitarian, or exercise missions.

This exercise marked the first CRX the 136th AW has participated in since its conversion from the C-130H Hercules to the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. Staff Sgt. Cara Cain, 136th CRF air transportation specialist, explained the capabilities of the new aircraft, and how it has impacted operations.

“In the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, there are more pallet positions because this aircraft is longer,” Cain said. “It can fly greater distances, it is quieter, and it’s faster. Overall, it gets the mission done quicker, which makes it more efficient.”

Participants also completed rigorous field training prior to deploying with the CRF. They accomplished a wide range of tasks promoting the flexibility required to respond to situations that can quickly change in an adverse military setting. The CRF included members from operations, air transportation, security forces, weather, radio frequency transmissions, aerospace ground equipment, and maintenance, and involved a simulated deployment to a hostile, contested environment.

“This exercise was a great opportunity to showcase interoperability and capabilities of our multi-capable Airmen,” said Col. Evaristo Orengo, 156th Wing commander. “These Airmen are truly the backbone of our Air Force, and their ability to perform a variety of tasks in contested environments makes them invaluable in any situation.”

The 136th AW continues to train and prepare multi-capable Citizen Airmen for future operations, and their vital role in modern military operations in the state of Texas and around the globe.