Crew returns from task in Haiti

Airmen from the 621st Contingency Response Wing were recently welcomed home after supporting humanitarian relief operations in Haiti.

The group of 120 airmen, who are based at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in central New Jersey, were responsible for opening and operating the Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-Au- Prince, Haiti, in the weeks after a devastating earthquake that struck the Caribbean nation on Jan. 12.

In addition, the wing partnered with 50 soldiers from the 688th Rapid Port Opening Element to create the Joint Task Force-Port Opening.

The JTF-PO transported relief supplies and equipment off the airfield and to forward positions where distribution agencies picked up the supplies for delivery to the people of Haiti, according to information provided by the military.

“This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” said Col. Patrick Hollrah, commander of the JTF-PO in Haiti. “The 120 airmen and 50 soldiers I had the pleasure of serving with here were the difference between supplies sitting at the airport and supplies flowing out to the people who need them. They made a visible impact on this operation, and they can go home proud of what they were able to accomplish.”

Over the 35-day deployment, the Contingency Response Wing offloaded more than 30 million pounds of relief supplies and equipment while facilitating the transport of 15,000 American citizens, according to the information provided.

The 621st Contingency Response Wing is stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix- Lakehurst. The team rapidly deploys personnel to quickly open airfields to establish, expand, sustain and coordinate air mobility for operations ranging from wartime tasks to disaster relief.

Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is located in Jackson and Plumsted in Ocean County and in New Hanover Township in Burlington County.