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AMC assists initial earthquake response

by 1st Lt. Erick Saks
621st Contingency Response Group Element Public Affairs

10/12/2005 - MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE, N.J. (AFPN) -- The Air Force deployed more than 45 members from the 621st Contingency Response Wing here to Islamabad, Pakistan Oct. 10 in the wake of a 7.6-magnitude earthquake that struck the country Oct. 8.

Members of 621st Contingency Response Group Element deployed to support humanitarian airlift operations in the affected area, said Capt. Christopher Simmons, element operations officer.

"We're more than happy to help however we can," he said.

Two C-17 Globemaster III aircraft departed McGuire Oct. 10 for Pakistan. The first aircraft, loaded with 23 element troops and approximately 100,000 pounds of air operations equipment, stopped briefly at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, before continuing to Pakistan. The transport carried vehicles, cargo loaders, a forklift, communication equipment and generators.

The remaining Airmen left McGuire on another C-17 later the same day. They will supplement the initial crew. The aircraft carried an estimated 100,000 pounds of additional equipment needed to establish air operations in Islamabad.

Setting up air operations is the first step in getting more relief supplies into the area, command officials said.

The contingency response wing extends the U.S. military's ability to deploy people and equipment around the globe in support of contingency and humanitarian operations. The unit includes a variety of specialties, such as aerial port, maintenance, communications and command and control.

The McGuire unit is one the Air Force’s two specialized wings responsible for training and rapidly deploying personnel to quickly open airfields in remote locations. The other unit is the 615th CRW at Travis AFB, Calif.

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