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36 CRG reaches out to support and assist Thailand

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Veronica McMahon
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Team Andersen's 36th Contingency Response Group has recently deployed seven members to assist the Royal Government of Thailand in disaster relief efforts.

Natural disasters can occur anywhere, at any time without warning, and the 36 CRG is trained to deploy and provide support with quick response for whatever the tasking requires after planning and preparation.

"We looked at what the best assessment team was, and what ended up going forward was a seven-man team to primarily to look at the Don Mueang Airport," said Lt. Col. Joey Mull, 36 CRG deputy commander. "It is one of their domestic airports which is the primary hub used to send supplies and relief efforts throughout the country."

Working alongside the Marines, the team is looking at ways to assist the Thai authorities to reopen Don Mueang Airport which is currently not usable due to flooding.

"This is unique because for the first time ever this is a joint effort with III Marine Expeditionary Force as the command element and we are essentially chopped under them and it's working our very well," Colonel Mull said. "This is the first time that's happened out the door for us but a good experience and they are building great partnerships."

The team of functional experts sent to work alongside the Thai government is comprised of the team commander, force protection, medical support, communications, an electrician, airfield operations and an engineer. Each member brings different knowledge, experience and capabilities used to assist with flood relief.

The assessment team was able to deploy within three hours when tasking was given. They were able to do this because it is what the 36 CRG trains for regularly.

"We are on a 12-hour string to go out the door for assistance or disaster response," Colonel Mull said. "This is the bread and butter of the group, this is what we train and do."

The team has received thanks for their support, and in turn, is motivated to be there and assist.

"The 36 CRG is excited about the opportunity to assist the people of the Kingdom of Thailand," said Lt. Col. Michael Black, 36th Mobility Response Squadron commander and mission commander. "The resiliency of the Thai people in the face of flooding has been remarkable and inspiring. As a supporting component in this dynamic joint environment, we have also had a unique opportunity to work alongside our Marine Forces Pacific teammates and learn from their strengths, while they have provided us every possible tool for mission success."