Fort McCoy News Aug. 12, 2016

Joint exercise delivers mobility expertise

BY STAFF SGT. ROBBIE WAGGONER
621st Contingency Response Wing

Airmen with the 621st Contingency Response Wing of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., put together a tent at Young Air Assault Strip on Fort McCoy's South Post during Joint Exercise Turbo Distribution — a U.S. Transportation Command joint task force-port opening exercise held at Fort McCoy in July.
Airmen with the 621st Contingency Response Wing of Joint Base
McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., put together a tent at Young Air Assault
Strip on Fort McCoy's South Post during Joint Exercise Turbo Distribution
— a U.S. Transportation Command joint task force-port opening exercise
held at Fort McCoy in July.
Photo by Staff Sgt. Robbie Waggoner


Air-transportation Airmen with units from Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., and Dover Air Force Base, Del., work together to prepare cargo for shipment at the Sparta-Fort McCoy Airport as part of the exercise.
Air-transportation Airmen with units from Grand Forks Air Force Base,
N.D., and Dover Air Force Base, Del., work together to prepare cargo
for shipment at the Sparta-Fort McCoy Airport as part of the exercise.

Photo by Scott T. Sturkol

FORT McCOY, Wis. — Airmen with the 621st Contingency Response Wing (CRW) and service members with other military units called this Army installation home for a week during Joint Exercise Turbo Distribution — a joint task force-port opening (JTF-PO) exercise.

According to U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), a JTF-PO is a joint expeditionary capability that provides the initial rapid response for combatant commanders around the world to establish a distribution network in support of both U.S. and global crises.

Approximately 130 Airmen from the CRW's 621st Contingency Response Group, 50 Soldiers with the 689th Transportation Detachment Rapid Port Opening Element, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., and a support team with the Defense Logistics Agency deployed to Fort McCoy for the training.

Joint Exercise Turbo Distribution prepared 621st CRW Airmen to deploy at a moment's notice to austere operating environments in order to deliver rapid global mobility contingency-response capabilities to those in need. For the exercise's scenario, the government of a fictional country had requested U.S. assistance in stemming the network of terrorists disrupting the country.

Exercise inspectors tested the rapid response and abilities of the JTF-PO and its ability to adjust and operate in hostile environments.

"We are U.S. Transportation Command's premiere 911 force," said Lt. Col. Richard Kind, JTF-PO Joint Operations Command director.

"Anywhere in the world, we can open an airfield to bring any amount of cargo, no matter what it is. We benefit from the training. It's not very often we get to set up a bare base; sleep in tents; eat Meals, Ready to Eat; wear the gear; and simulate attacks from enemies," Kind said.

Although the Army and Air Force work together regularly, each service has a separate vocabulary for common tasks. The exercise offered members of the organizations a chance to bridge the gap between different approaches and build a common vocabulary both can use to increase efficiency during future operations, said Col. Leslie Maher, JTF-PO commander.

"What we learn out here is how to work as a team," Maher said, "and that's the most important part."

USTRANSCOM developed the JTF-PO in 2005 to address the backlog of military cargo at airports.

A security-forces Airman with the 621st Contingency Response Wing calls on his radio at Young Air Assault Strip.
A security-forces Airman with the
621st Contingency Response Wing
calls on his radio at Young Air Assault
Strip.
Photo by Scott T. Sturkol

Air Force Air Mobility Command contingency response groups combined with Army Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command rapid port-opening elements to form the first JTF-PO designed specifically to open airports. The concept grew in 2008 to include a JTF-PO capability for rapid seaport opening.

For more information about USTRANSCOM, visit www.ustranscom.mil.

For more information about the 621st CRW, visit www.expeditionarycenter.af.mil/Units/621st-Contingency-Response-Wing.