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The USAF has developed a unique force package called the crisis response group, which is designed to fly to the challenge of building infrastructure to allow for the throughput of airpower to follow. This is done for both Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief missions and to support military operatons.
In the recent Philippine relief effort, the USMC and the 36th CRG worked closely together at the Tacloban Air Base to put in place an infrastructure to support broader relief efforts, and then within two weeks left to allow the civil authorities to take full charge of the efforts.
In an interview we did with Col. James from AFPAC, the Col. highlighted the central role of the CRG in the USAF role in the Philippine relief effort.
“They deployed to Tacloban and worked to open up the airport to become capable of flowing in support capabilities. They had to set up air traffic control support; they had to work to extend the runway from 4500 feet to more than 8000, they worked with the Filipinos to make sure the kind of safety equipment we needed to maintain sortie rates was available to ensure safety and security. They also focused on getting in the machinery which can facilitate offloading of supplies.
Getting a forklift into play was important as well.”
In these slides, the basic structure of the 36th CRG is outlined along with some of its recent activities.