CRG mission to expand
By Airman 1st Class Dainel Owen, 36th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 22, 2007
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Andersen Airmen recently briefed the 13th Air Force commander on the future expansion of the 36th Contingency Response Group and the relocation of two of Pacific Air Force's contingency training courses.
Lt. Gen. Chip Utterback visited the 36th CRG Aug. 15 to hear details on the stand-up of the 644th Combat Communications Squadron, the completion of the 554th RED HORSE Squadron's move to Andersen, and the transition of the Silver Flag and Commando Warrior facilities.
According to Col. Kevin Kersh, 36th CRG commander, his squadron will undergo sweeping changes that will benefit Andersen's contingency response.
Under its current structure, the 36th CRG is home to the 736th Security Forces Squadron and the 36th Mobility Response Squadron. With a date still to be determined, two additional units will be assigned to the CRG; the 644th Combat Communications Squadron and the 554th RED HORSE Squadron.
Master Sgt. Craig Porter, 554th RHS, said that the squadron is waiting for 13th Air Force to set a "merge date" before the RED HORSE Airmen officially join the CRG. However, he said, the number of personnel has increased as the squadron nears completion of its transition from Osan Air Base, Korea, to Andersen.
Lt. Col. Robert Yates, 554th RHS commander, added that the 554th Airmen at Andersen are hard at work converting the jungle that had taken over Northwest Field into a training area for the Security Force's Commando Warrior, and Red Horse's Silver Flag.
Col. Kevin Kersh, 36th CRG commander, added that the Northwest Field campus is approximately two thousand acres. He said the 554th will convert approximately 1,500 acres into paved roads and buildings for the squadrons and training areas. The entire complex, which will cost approximately $240 million will be complete by 2014.
He added that Silver Flag, which is currently located at Kadena Air Base, Japan, is scheduled move to Andersen, but the move date has not been determined. Silver Flag is a course where civil engineers, services and personnel support Airmen learn how to build and maintain bare-base operations at forward-deployed locations.
Master Sgt. Paul Rodgers said that the 736th Security Forces Squadron will also share the Northwest Field campus. The 736th Security Forces Squadron will use the Northwest Field campus for Commando Warrior training. He added that the first Commando Warrior class to be held on Guam is scheduled for March of 2008.
Commando Warrior is an air base ground defense school for security forces, it current operates out of Osan Air Base, Korea.
Sergeant Rodgers said security forces students from the Pacific Air Force theater of operation who attend the course will be housed in dormitories currently near Detachment 5. The dorms can house approximately two hundred people.
The newest addition to the 36th CRG is the 644th Combat Communications Squadron. Currently, the squadron consists of 17 people, but it will be the fastest squadron to completely stand up, said Capt. Michael Myers, 644th CCS officer in charge. He said that the 644th is projected to have two complete teams, or 75 people, by late December 2007.
Captain Myers said within one year the 644th Combat Communications Squadron will be fully manned and equipped to deploy. They will enter in the Air Expeditionary Force rotation upon completing the second team's arrival on Andersen.
According to Colonel Kersh, CRG projects to have four full combat communication teams that will rotate through deployments; one team will deploy, a second team will be on alert, and the remaining two teams will be in "reconstitution" status. He said that when the squadron is at full strength it will have approximately 150 active duty Airmen.
Rounding out the "all star line up" for the newly expanded Contingency Response Group is the 36th Mobility Response Squadron. The 36th MRS will continue to provide the same top notch service and support that Andersen's 36th CRG is known for, said Capt. Matthew Gosselin, 36th CRG training officer. He added that the 36th MRS will continue to train and deploy with the 736th SFS for humanitarian aid and contingency response projects.
Colonel Kersh said there are many exciting changes in store for Andersen's 36th CRG. He said that with the realignment of the additional units, all of Andersen's active duty quick response force elements will be housed under one roof.