36th CRG expands US military support to Nepal
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- The U.S. military has deployed the 36th Contingency Response Group, a rapid-deployment unit with the capability of securing and operating an airfield, to Kathmandu, Nepal May 5.
"While we are in Nepal we will work with the Nepalese to accelerate airfield operations and increase the capacity to bring in aid via airlift, and ultimately distribute aid faster to those affected by this disaster," said Capt. Brint Ingersoll, 36th CRG operations office. "Simply put, we download aircraft quickly and safely to get cargo where it needs to go. Our diverse team strives to keep aircraft ground times to a minimum which is what allows a larger throughput of aircraft and humanitarian aid."
The 42-person team is a tight-knit group that represents more than 20 Air Force career fields needed to support disaster relief missions in nearly any type of environment. Shortly after the team disembarked from the C-17 Globemaster III they were traveling on, the team went to work.
"Within an hour, our team was operating the forklifts we brought moving cargo off the airfield into the staging area," said Col. Lee Anderson, 36th CRG commander. "The capability of the 36th CRG to quickly mobilize and operate expeditionary airfields with such a small, self-sustaining, footprint is only possible because of the attitudes of our people. I've seen amazing Airmen do amazing things that I attribute to their willingness to successfully identify and respond to the needs around them regardless of their specialty."
Prior to supporting relief operations in Nepal, the 36th CRG provided assistance to the Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan in late 2013.
"Every mission is unique but the annual humanitarian and disaster relief exercises such as COPE NORTH help build relationships and ensure we are prepared to support our regional partners during a natural disaster," said Anderson