615th CRW Reopens Undisclosed Location in Southwest Asia
September 30, 2011
SOUTHWEST ASIA — There’s a starting point for everything.
For an undisclosed location that was previously closed down, its new start happened when the 615th Contingency Response Wing arrived from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., to reopen the doors.
“It was a mess, there was no water and there were piles of sand everywhere,” said Senior Master Michael Hood, 615th CRW squadron superintendent. “The place was full of snakes, scorpions and wild dogs, also.”
To most people, this might sound like a less-than-ideal environment, but for the 615th CRW, this was better than most places they have been.
“We were happy because there were structures, so we didn’t have to sleep in tents and we had [Meals Ready-to-Eat],” said Hood, who is a native of Beardstown, Ill.
The wing is one of two contingency response wings that belong to Air Mobility Command and their mission is to rapidly deploy and open airbases in an expeditionary environment.
The 615th CRW arrived with more than 90 airmen with various Air Force Specialty Codes including aircraft maintainers, aerial porters, security forces, air traffic controllers, fuels, airfield management, vehicle maintenance and communications.
“The first thing we did was set up the airfield and create an aircraft parking plan to allow aircraft to start flying in,” said Hood. “We had to work with the host nation to set up an air traffic schedule.”
“We also had to defend the base since we were the only ones here, so we created defensive fighting positions and placed Constantine wire around the perimeter and set up patrols,” he continued.
Their next tasks were to fix the broken water lines and dormitories.
“This was the first time we opened an air base; our other missions have been humanitarian operations and joint task force port openings,” said Hood.
Two weeks later, more security forces defenders arrived. Then more Airmen followed. Less than a month later, Airmen are living in the dorms, water is running and the dining facility serves three hot meals a day.
With the location fully operational, that is the 615th CRW’s cue to leave just as quickly as they came…until they are needed at the next location.