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At 6 a.m., 10 more 86th Contingency Response Group personnel arrived in Tbilisi in support of the U.S. humanitarian assistance effort in Georgia.
As part of a larger U.S. response, the 86th CRG has deployed 15 personnel to Georgia.
“Our Airmen’s mission is to establish and maintain aerial port operations and force protection for the U.S. humanitarian aid entering into country,” said Col. Tim Brown, 86th CRG commander. “Once established, our forces off-load, distribute and track humanitarian aid to the local distributors.”
The 86th CRG, the first of its kind, was established in 1999 and is postured to deploy all or part of its 113-person team of more than 30 specialties within 12 hours of notification. Its mission is to be on the ground during the crucial opening days of a contingency within the U.S. European Command’s 92-country area of responsibility.
Currently, the U.S. Air Force has three other CRG units; one assigned to U.S. Air Forces Pacific and two stateside units.
This type of operation is one of the missions Air Force CRGs were established to do, said Col. Brown. “It’s great to have this capability available to assist a regional ally in need of help.”
In total, the U.S. Army Europe and U.S. Air Forces in Europe, with additional airlift provided by Air Mobility Command, have combined forces to deliver roughly 200 short tons of supplies to Georgia.
At the direction of the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. European Command forces, including USAFE Airmen, continue to posture to provide further assistance as required to save lives and alleviate human suffering during this humanitarian crisis.