435 CRG celebrates 20 years of Air Force contingency response

Story and photos by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Members of the 435th Contingency Response Group display their equipment during the Air Force contingency response 20th Anniversary training symposium open house on Ramstein Air Base, March 8. The 435th CRG was originally founded as the 86th CRG in Feb. 1999. The unit was later redesignated as the 435th CRG.

The 435th Contingency Response Group hosted a training symposium for the 20th anniversary of the creation of Air Force Contingency Response, March 5 to 8, on Ramstein Air Base.

Guest speakers from around the European theater, members of different Air Force Contingency Response units, and the 19th Secretary of the Air Force, the Honorable F. Whitten Peters, spoke at the event.

Topics included up-to-date training, discussions for past and current Air Force Contingency Response capability, and the importance of building partnership capacity through U.S. Air Force Air Advisors.


“The CRG is the best organization we’ve come up with yet as the critical enabler for the receiving end for austere airfields,” said Peters.

The 86th CRG was the first contingency response unit created in the Air Force and was founded on Ramstein in Feb. 1999. The 86th CRG was later designated as the 435th CRG.

“Secretary Peters was the Secretary of the Air Force when the CRG was stood up in 1999,” said Capt. Daniel McKeown, 435th Contingency Response Support Squadron assistant director of operations. “He was also a big proponent of the CRG.”

Peters spoke with members from around the 435th CRG during the event.

“The symposium provided attendees a historical look at the role of CRGs in previous major world events and wars, and what our role in the future is going to look like, from the engineering of an austere airfield, to the protection of it in a contested environment,” said 1st Lt. Korbin Niehaus, 435th CRG executive officer.

Even after 20 years of operations, Air Force contingency response keeps looking forward, to see what direction it will go toward in the future.

Members of the 435th Contingency Response Group pose for a photo with the Honorable F. Whitten Peters, 19th Secretary of the Air Force (center), prior to boarding a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to conduct static-line jumps over Ramstein Air Base, March 8. Peters served as the SECAF when the first CRG was created in 1999.

The Honorable F. Whitten Peters, 19th Secretary of the Air Force, speaks at the Air Force contingency response 20th Anniversary Training Symposium on Ramstein Air Base, March 7. Peters spoke on the growth and changes Air Force contingency response has gone through since it’s formation in 1999.