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CRW, AMC extend reach into space

CRW Airmen support EAGLE program

Senior Airman Joshua Lopez, 321st Contingency Response Squadron vehicle maintainer stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, drives a Halverson loader behind a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III before downloading equipment February 9, 2018 at Space Coast Regional Airport, Fla. The 621st Contingency Response Wing recently sent three Airmen to support the Air Force Research Laboratory EAGLE program. (Courtesy photo)

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. — Members from the 621st Contingency Response Squadron recently traveled to the Space Coast Regional Airport, Florida, to support the Air Force Research Laboratory EAGLE program.

“The CRW provided time critical offload support to the EAGLE program,” said Stanley Straight, EAGLE program manager. “By providing the quick reaction, the personnel from the 621st Contingency Response Wing were able to help ensure offloading from an [Air Force C-17 Globemaster III] aircraft happened in incredibly smooth fashion.”

According to Tech. Sgt. Jacob McCloud, 621st CRS' aerial port operations non-commissioned officer in charge, this mission truly shows the capabilities of the CRW.

“We do any type of mission,” said McCloud. “If it involves a plane, we can find a way to make it work. We can go from down in South America working on submarine rescue, to another team moving satellites, and we can also do humanitarian missions on the other side of the globe all simultaneously.”

The EAGLE program is managed by the AFRL with support from the Air Force Space Test Program and is part of the Air Force Space Command 11 mission, which is set to launch a rocket with payloads into space in April 2018.

According to Straight, the EAGLE program represents a technology investment of over $150 million, the largest single space program flown out of the AFRL in the last two decades and is a pathfinder mission for the Space Test Program.

“The EAGLE mission provides advances to improved space situational awareness along with opening up a new era in space access,” Straight said. “It allows multiple space vehicles on a single rocket saving money and increasing the Air Force's capacity to provide space services to the warfighter.”

Senior Airman Theodore Loomis, 621st CRS air transportation specialist, explained although his previous assignments with the CRW have been diverse, helping out with the space program was a new experience.

“I never thought I’d do anything like this,” Loomis said. “Whenever it launches, to know I helped unload it, it would be cool to see.”

The 621st CRW is highly-specialized in training and rapidly deploying personnel to quickly open airfields and establish, expand, sustain, and coordinate air mobility operations. From wartime tasks to disaster relief, the 621st CRW extends Air Mobility Command's reach deploying people and equipment around the globe.