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Immediate Response 2019 kicks off with 512th Contingency Response Element coordination

Immediate Response 2019 kicks off with 512th Contingency Response Element coordination

Senior Airman Drew Bixler, 46th Aerial Port Squadron air transportation specialist, operates a 10K adverse terrain forklift to unload a pallet from a Kentucky Air National Guard C-130H Hercules during the lead up to Exercise Immediate Response 2019 May 9, 2019, at Aviano Air Base, Italy. Exercise Immediate Response 2019 is a multinational exercise, co-led by the Croatian Armed Forces, Slovenian Armed Forces and U.S. Army Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Zachary Cacicia)

Immediate Response 2019 kicks off with 512th Contingency Response Element coordination

Airmen assigned to the 512th Contingency Response Element, 512th Airlift Wing, prepare to unload cargo and passengers off a Kentucky Air National Guard C-130H Hercules during the lead up to Exercise Immediate Response 2019 May 9, 2019, at Aviano Air Base, Italy. Based out of Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, the 512th CRE is operating out of Aviano AB for the multinational exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Zachary Cacicia)

Immediate Response 2019 kicks off with 512th Contingency Response Element coordination

Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Ragonese, 512th Contingency Response Squadron superintendent, 512th Airlift Wing, Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, and Staff. Sgt. Nicholas Tyndal, 512th CRS communications specialist, discuss ongoing operations during the lead up to Exercise Immediate Response 2019 May 9, 2019, at Aviano Air Base, Italy. For this exercise, Ragonese is the team lead for the 512th Contingency Response Element, a unit comprised of contingency response, aerial port and logistics Reserve Citizen Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Zachary Cacicia)

Immediate Response 2019 kicks off with 512th Contingency Response Element coordination

Tech. Sgt. Bryson Johnson, 512th Contingency Response Squadron, 512th Airlift Wing, Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, NCO in charge of mobile command and control, communicates over a radio during the lead up to Exercise Immediate Response 2019 May 9, 2019, at Aviano Air Base, Italy. The logistics-focused exercise is designed to test and improve the ability to move forces and equipment rapidly from one location to another. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Zachary Cacicia)

Immediate Response 2019 kicks off with 512th Contingency Response Element coordination

Staff Sgt. Brett Key, 71st Aerial Port Squadron, 512th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, air transportation specialist, places a tire chalk during the unloading of cargo on a C-130H Hercules during the lead up to Exercise Immediate Response 2019 May 9, 2019, at Aviano Air Base, Italy. Exercise Immediate Response is designed to train airborne forces and enhance interoperability among allied and partner nations in Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Zachary Cacicia)

Immediate Response 2019 kicks off with 512th Contingency Response Element coordination

Senior Airman Laurice Heard, 46th Aerial Port Squadron, 512th Airlift Wing, Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, air transportation specialist, carries wood planks off of a C-130H Hercurles during the lead up to Exercise Immediate Response 2019 May 9, 2019, at Aviano Air Base, Italy. Heard is one of 20 512th Airlift Wing aerial porters participating in the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Zachary Cacicia)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy --

The 512th Contingency Response Element, an Air Force Reserve unit assigned to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, arrived here to participate in Immediate Response 2019, a multinational exercise, co-led by the Croatian Armed Forces, Slovenian Armed Forces and U.S. Army Europe.

The logistics-focused exercise is designed to test and improve the ability to move forces and equipment rapidly from one location to another. The exercise will improve readiness and interoperability among participating allied and partner nations. Highlights of IR19 include airborne jumps, air assaults, a medical exercise, a live fire exercise and the establishment and integration of a multinational battalion with forces from several nations.

“Our purpose is to provide command and control capabilities to support the aircraft and aircrews coming through,” said Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Ragonese, 512th Contingency Response Squadron superintendent. “We are Air Mobility Command’s eyes and ears on the ground in the area of responsibility where they have assets.”

For this exercise, Ragonese is also acting as the 512th CRE team lead, in charge of the unit.

The 512th CRE is comprised of Reserve Citizen Airmen and equipment from the 512th CRS, the 46th Aerial Port Squadron, the 512th Logistics Readiness Squadron and the 71st APS, a 512th Airlift Wing geographically-separated unit based at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. Additionally, contingency response Airmen from the 439th AW from Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts, and the 315th AW from JB Charleston, South Carolina, are attached to the 512th CRE.

“These are the best and brightest Airmen that our collective squadrons have to offer,” said Ragonese. “All of them are fully qualified. They are the best at what they do. It’s exactly what we need to be flexible to operate with aircraft and aircrews from active duty, the Air National Guard, other reserve wings and to integrate with the Army.”

There are approximately 3,000 U.S. Army Europe personnel participating in the exercise from various Army units and more than 6,000 from 15 allied and partner nations.

In addition to the command and control operations, the 512th CRE conducts flight following, mission tracking, situational and operation reports, and aerial port operations. In other words, the 512th CRE is processing cargo aircraft in and out of Aviano AB during the exercise.

“I’m here to see the operations, to see what’s going on and to see how it’s all working,” said Chief Master Sgt. Clinton Foster, 46th APS operations superintendent. “So far, so good, the CRS is fully integrating all the other units here, working together and ironing out any bugs.”

Immediate Response 19 continues to increase participating nations’ capacity to conduct full spectrum of military operations. Exercising joint forcible entries (JFE) enhances forces’ abilities to seize key terrain quickly in order to build combat power. The combined training opportunities that the exercise provides, greatly improves interoperability among participating allies and regional partners.