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U.S. Transportation Command verifies Kentucky Air Guard contingency response unit for domestic disaster-response mission

Members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group offload a Humvee from a Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 6, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd is joining forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening through Aug. 9. A JTF-PO, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit, ensures the smooth flow of relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, and coordinates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group offload a Humvee from a Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 6, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd joined forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening through Aug. 9. A JTF-PO, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit, ensures the smooth flow of relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, and coordinates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group arrive at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 6, 2013, after deploying from Louisville, Ky., aboard a Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 from the 172nd Airlift Wing. The Airmen are joining with Soldiers assigned to the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening through Aug. 9 as part of a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. A JTF-PO, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit, ensures the smooth flow of relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, and coordinates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group arrive at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 6, 2013, after deploying from Louisville, Ky., aboard a Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 from the 172nd Airlift Wing. The Airmen joined with Soldiers assigned to the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening through Aug. 9 as part of a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. A JTF-PO, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit, ensures the smooth flow of relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, and coordinates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group offload equipment from a Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 6, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd is joining forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening through Aug. 9. A JTF-PO, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit, ensures the smooth flow of relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, and coordinates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group offload equipment from a Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 6, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd joined forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening through Aug. 9. A JTF-PO, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit, ensures the smooth flow of relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, and coordinates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group offload equipment from a Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 6, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd is joining forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening through Aug. 9. A JTF-PO, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit, ensures the smooth flow of relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, and coordinates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group offload equipment from a Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 6, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd is joined forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening through Aug. 9. A JTF-PO, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit, ensures the smooth flow of relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, and coordinates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Members of the Kentucky Air National Guard 123rd Contingency Response Group coordinate with higher headquarters to control the airflow of simulated disaster-relief supplies into MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The coordination is conducted from a portable structure called a HELAMS, which is short for Hard-sided Expandable Lightweight Air Mobile Shelter. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Members of the Kentucky Air National Guard 123rd Contingency Response Group coordinate with higher headquarters to control the airflow of simulated disaster-relief supplies into MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The coordination is conducted from a portable structure called a HELAMS, which is short for Hard-sided Expandable Lightweight Air-Mobile Shelter. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Maj. Ryan Adams, airflow operations officer for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, coordinates with higher headquarters to control the airflow of simulated disaster-relief supplies into MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. Adams was working in a portable structure called a HELAMS, which is short for Hard-sided Expandable Lightweight Air Mobile Shelter. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Maj. Ryan Adams, airflow operations officer for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, coordinates with higher headquarters to control the airflow of simulated disaster-relief supplies into MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. Adams was working in a portable structure called a HELAMS, which is short for Hard-sided Expandable Lightweight Air-Mobile Shelter. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Army Pfc. Stephanie Solomon and Army Spc. Marquis Talbot of the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., strap simulated disaster-relief supplies to a flat-rack pallet on the flight line of MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 689th is joining with the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening through Aug. 9. The JTF-PO, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit, ensures the smooth flow of relief supplies into affected areas by airlift and coordinates final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Army Pfc. Stephanie Solomon and Army Spc. Marquis Talbot of the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., strap simulated disaster-relief supplies to a flat-rack pallet on the flight line of MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 689th joined with the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening through Aug. 9. The JTF-PO, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit, ensures the smooth flow of relief supplies into affected areas by airlift and coordinates final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Army Sgt. Brenda Acuna and Army Spc. Marquis Talbot of the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., strap simulated disaster-relief supplies to a flat-rack pallet on the flight line of MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 689th is joining with the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening through Aug. 9. The JTF-PO, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit, ensures the smooth flow of relief supplies into affected areas by airlift and coordinates final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Army Sgt. Brenda Acuna and Army Spc. Marquis Talbot of the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., strap simulated disaster-relief supplies to a flat-rack pallet on the flight line of MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 689th joined with the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening through Aug. 9. The JTF-PO, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit, ensures the smooth flow of relief supplies into affected areas by airlift and coordinates final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Maj. Gen. Barbara Faulkenberry, vice commander of 18th Air Force, discusses Exercise Gateway Relief with Col. Mark Heiniger (right), commander of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, and Army Capt. Charles Green (left), commander of the 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., on the flight line of MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013. The 123rd and 689th have teamed up through Aug. 9 to operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Maj. Gen. Barbara Faulkenberry, vice commander of 18th Air Force, discusses Exercise Gateway Relief with Col. Mark Heiniger (right), commander of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, and Army Capt. Charles Green (left), commander of the 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., on the flight line of MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013. The 123rd and 689th teamed up through Aug. 9 to operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Maj. Gen. Barbara Faulkenberry, vice commander of 18th Air Force, visits the Joint Operations Center tent during Exercise Gateway Relief at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013. The Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Contingency Response Group and the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., have teamed up for the U.S. Transportation Command-directed exercise through Aug. 9, executing the reception and distribution of earthquake-relief supplies. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Maj. Gen. Barbara Faulkenberry, vice commander of 18th Air Force, visits the Joint Operations Center tent during Exercise Gateway Relief at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013. The Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Contingency Response Group and the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., teamed up for the U.S. Transportation Command-directed exercise through Aug. 9, executing the reception and distribution of earthquake-relief supplies. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Army Pfc. Stephanie Solomon and Army Spc. Marquis Talbot of the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., strap simulated disaster-relief supplies to a flat-rack pallet on the flight line of MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 689th is joining with the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening through Aug. 9. The JTF-PO, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit, ensures the smooth flow of relief supplies into affected areas by airlift and coordinates final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Army Pfc. Stephanie Solomon and Army Spc. Marquis Talbot of the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., strap simulated disaster-relief supplies to a flat-rack pallet on the flight line of MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 689th joined with the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening through Aug. 9. The JTF-PO, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit, ensures the smooth flow of relief supplies into affected areas by airlift and coordinates final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Army Spc. Marquis Talbot, a cargo specialist with the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., straps simulated disaster-relief supplies to a flat-rack pallet on the flight line of MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 689th is joining with the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening through Aug. 9. The JTF-PO, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit, ensures the smooth flow of relief supplies into affected areas by airlift and coordinates final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Army Spc. Marquis Talbot, a cargo specialist with the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., straps simulated disaster-relief supplies to a flat-rack pallet on the flight line of MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 689th joined with the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening through Aug. 9. The JTF-PO, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit, ensures the smooth flow of relief supplies into affected areas by airlift and coordinates final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., load simulated disaster-relief supplies onto a Load Handling System truck on the flight line of MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013 as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-relief scenario. The cargo will be hauled to a forward node, where it will be staged for further movement over land by trucks. The 689th is teaming up with the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group through Aug. 9 for the exercise. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., load simulated disaster-relief supplies onto a Load Handling System truck on the flight line of MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013 as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-relief scenario. The cargo will be hauled to a forward node, where it will be staged for further movement over land by trucks. The 689th teamed up with the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group through Aug. 9 for the exercise. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., load simulated disaster-relief supplies onto a Load Handling System truck on the flight line of MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013 as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-relief scenario. The cargo will be hauled to a forward node, where it will be staged for further movement over land by trucks. The 689th is teaming up with the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group through Aug. 9 for the exercise. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., load simulated disaster-relief supplies onto a Load Handling System truck on the flight line of MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013 as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-relief scenario. The cargo will be hauled to a forward node, where it will be staged for further movement over land by trucks. The 689th teamed up with the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group through Aug. 9 for the exercise. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Army Spc. Brandon Glaspie and Army Pfc. Loura Wiggs of the U.S. 689th Army’s Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., direct the placement of a pallet of disaster-relief supplies onto a flat-bed truck at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The Soldiers were working at the forward node of a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, where relief supplies that arrive by air are staged for further movement over land by trucks. The Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Contingency Response Group operated the airlift side of the JTF-PO, known as an Aerial Port of Debarkation. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Army Spc. Brandon Glaspie and Army Pfc. Loura Wiggs of the U.S. 689th Army’s Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., direct the placement of a pallet of disaster-relief supplies onto a flat-bed truck at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The Soldiers were working at the forward node of a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, where relief supplies that arrive by air are staged for further movement over land by trucks. The Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Contingency Response Group operated the airlift side of the JTF-PO, known as an Aerial Port of Debarkation. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Army Pfc. Loura Wiggs, a transportation specialist with the U.S. 689th Army’s Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., directs the placement of a pallet of disaster-relief supplies onto a flat-bed truck at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. Wiggs was working at the forward node of a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, where relief supplies that arrive by air are staged for further movement over land by trucks.
The Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Contingency Response Group operated the airlift side of the JTF-PO, known as an Aerial Port of Debarkation. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Army Pfc. Loura Wiggs, a transportation specialist with the U.S. 689th Army’s Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., directs the placement of a pallet of disaster-relief supplies onto a flat-bed truck at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. Wiggs was working at the forward node of a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, where relief supplies that arrive by air are staged for further movement over land by trucks. The Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Contingency Response Group operated the airlift side of the JTF-PO, known as an Aerial Port of Debarkation. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Army Spc. Brandon Glaspie and Army Pfc. Loura Wiggs of the U.S. 689th Army’s Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., direct the placement of a pallet of disaster-relief supplies onto a flat-bed truck at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The Soldiers were working at the forward node of a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, where relief supplies that arrive by air are staged for further movement over land by trucks. The Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Contingency Response Group operated the airlift side of the JTF-PO, known as an Aerial Port of Debarkation. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Army Spc. Brandon Glaspie and Army Pfc. Loura Wiggs of the U.S. 689th Army’s Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., direct the placement of a pallet of disaster-relief supplies onto a flat-bed truck at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The Soldiers were working at the forward node of a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, where relief supplies that arrive by air are staged for further movement over land by trucks. The Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Contingency Response Group operated the airlift side of the JTF-PO, known as an Aerial Port of Debarkation. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Army Capt. Charles Greene, commander of the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element, discusses cargo movement operations with Brig. Gen. Sarah Zabel, director of command, control, communications and Ccyber systems at U.S. Transportation Command, during Exercise Gateway Relief at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013.  The exercise is designed to test the ability of the 689th and the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group ability to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which receives relief supplies by airlift and stages them for movement over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Army Capt. Charles Greene, commander of the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element, discusses cargo movement operations with Brig. Gen. Sarah Zabel, director of command, control, communications and Ccyber systems at U.S. Transportation Command, during Exercise Gateway Relief at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013. The exercise was designed to test the ability of the 689th and the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group ability to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which receives relief supplies by airlift and stages them for movement over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Four tents contain the majority of airfield operations for Exercise Gateway Relief at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013. The Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group is teaming up with the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., through Aug. 9 to operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening in support of the exercise, an earthquake-relief scenario directed by U.S. Transportation Command. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer/Released)The Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Contingency Response Group operated the airlift side of the JTF-PO, known as an Aerial Port of Debarkation. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Four tents contain the majority of airfield operations for Exercise Gateway Relief at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013. The Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group teamed up with the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., through Aug. 9 to operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening in support of the exercise, an earthquake-relief scenario directed by U.S. Transportation Command. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer/Released)The Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Contingency Response Group operated the airlift side of the JTF-PO, known as an Aerial Port of Debarkation. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Army Maj. Gen. Thomas Richardson (left), commander of the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, discusses Exercise Gateway Relief with the Kentucky Air National Guard’s Lt. Col. Bruce Bancroft, director of the Joint Operations Center at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013. The Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd is teaming up with the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., through Aug. 9 to operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, combining an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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rmy Maj. Gen. Thomas Richardson (left), commander of the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, discusses Exercise Gateway Relief with the Kentucky Air National Guard’s Lt. Col. Bruce Bancroft, director of the Joint Operations Center at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013. The Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd teamed up with the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., through Aug. 9 to operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, combining an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Col. Mark Heiniger, commander of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, Lt. Col. Bruce Bancroft, director of the Joint Operations Center for Exercise Gateway Relief, and Capt. Charles Greene, commander of the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., brief notional representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-relief scenario. The 123rd is teaming up with the 689th through Aug. 9 to operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Col. Mark Heiniger, commander of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, Lt. Col. Bruce Bancroft, director of the Joint Operations Center for Exercise Gateway Relief, and Capt. Charles Greene, commander of the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., brief notional representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, as part of a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-relief scenario. The 123rd teamed up with the 689th through Aug. 9 to operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Lt. Col. Bruce Bancroft (right), director of the Joint Operations Center for Exercise Gateway Relief, and Col. Mark Heiniger, commander of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, brief notional representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013. The 123rd is teaming up with the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., through Aug. 9, to execute the earthquake-response scenario, providing for the reception and distribution of disaster-relief supplies. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Lt. Col. Bruce Bancroft (right), director of the Joint Operations Center for Exercise Gateway Relief, and Col. Mark Heiniger, commander of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, brief notional representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013. The 123rd teamed up with the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., through Aug. 9, to execute the earthquake-response scenario, providing for the reception and distribution of disaster-relief supplies. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

“Ops Town” serves as the command, control and communications headquarters for airfield operations at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, in support of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-relief scenario. The Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group is teaming up with the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., through Aug. 9, for the exercise, providing for the reception and distribution of disaster-relief supplies. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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“Ops Town” serves as the command, control and communications headquarters for airfield operations at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 7, 2013, in support of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-relief scenario. The Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group teamed up with the U.S. Army’s 689th Rapid Port Opening Element in Fort Eustis, Va., through Aug. 9, for the exercise, providing for the reception and distribution of disaster-relief supplies. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group offload an all-terrain vehicle at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The vehicle, which serves as a mobile command post, is equipped with satellite communications gear that allows a Joint Assessment Team to establish secure voice and data communications with USTRANSCOM officials upon landing at a non-functional airfield, reporting the status of facilities and the ability to support relief operations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group offload an all-terrain vehicle at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The vehicle, which serves as a mobile command post, is equipped with satellite communications gear that allows a Joint Assessment Team to establish secure voice and data communications with USTRANSCOM officials upon landing at a non-functional airfield, reporting the status of facilities and the ability to support relief operations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group and Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., examine a map to determine the placement of disaster-response facilities at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The two units are joining forces to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group and Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., examine a map to determine the placement of disaster-response facilities at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The two units joined forces to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Staff Sgt. Beau DeLeon (left), a civil engineer from the New Jersey Air National Guard’s 108th Contingency Response Group, and Maj. Greg Schanding of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, mark the layout of a tent city at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd is joining forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Staff Sgt. Beau DeLeon (left), a civil engineer from the New Jersey Air National Guard’s 108th Contingency Response Group, and Maj. Greg Schanding of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, mark the layout of a tent city at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd joined forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Maj. Ryan Adams (left), airflow operations officer for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, and Lt. Col. Bruce Bancroft, 123rd operations officer, monitor scheduled airlift missions from a mobile command post at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd is joining forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Maj. Ryan Adams (left), airflow operations officer for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, and Lt. Col. Bruce Bancroft, 123rd operations officer, monitor scheduled airlift missions from a mobile command post at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd joined forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group and Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., erect Alaskan Shelter sleeping quarters at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The two units are joining forces to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group and Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., erect Alaskan Shelter sleeping quarters at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The two units joined forces to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group and Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., erect a tent at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The two units are joining forces to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group and Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., erect a tent at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The two units joined forces to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group and Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., erect a tent at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The two units are joining forces to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group and Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., erect a tent at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The two units joined forces to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group place a generator during camp build-up at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd is joining forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group place a generator during camp build-up at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd joined forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Tech. Sgt. Robert Shipp, an aerospace ground equipment specialist from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, prepares a 60-kilowatt electric generator during camp build-up at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd is joining forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Tech. Sgt. Robert Shipp, an aerospace ground equipment specialist from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, prepares a 60-kilowatt electric generator during camp build-up at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd joined forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group assemble Radio Frequency Identification gear, used to wirelessly track cargo and equipment, at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd is joining forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group assemble Radio Frequency Identification gear, used to wirelessly track cargo and equipment, at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd joined forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group offload equipment from a C-130 Hercules aircraft at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd is joining forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group offload equipment from a C-130 Hercules aircraft at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd joined forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group marshal equipment at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd is joining forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group marshal equipment at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd joined forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Capt. Jeff Clark, an airfield management officer from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, measures the flight line to determine an aircraft parking plan at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd is joining forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Capt. Jeff Clark, an airfield management officer from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, measures the flight line to determine an aircraft parking plan at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd joined forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group create an aircraft parking plan at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd is joining forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group create an aircraft parking plan at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd joined forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Staff Sgt. Pete Vicini, an intelligence analyst from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, sends encrypted mission updates to U.S. Transportation Command officials from MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd is joining forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Staff Sgt. Pete Vicini, an intelligence analyst from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, sends encrypted mission updates to U.S. Transportation Command officials from MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd joined forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Master Sgt. Paul Edwards (right), a cybertransport supervisor with the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, helps Tech. Sgt. Kyle Goins, a 123rd communications specialist, assemble a satellite communications antenna at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd is joining forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Master Sgt. Paul Edwards (right), a cybertransport supervisor with the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, helps Tech. Sgt. Kyle Goins, a 123rd communications specialist, assemble a satellite communications antenna at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd joined forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Master Sgt. James Nally, a flight chief for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, directs a C-130 to its parking spot at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd is joining forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Master Sgt. James Nally, a flight chief for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, directs a C-130 to its parking spot at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd joined forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Maj. Ryan Adams, airflow operations officer for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, monitors airlift missions from a mobile command post at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd is joining forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Maj. Ryan Adams, airflow operations officer for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group, monitors airlift missions from a mobile command post at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd joined forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

An aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group marshals cargo at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd is joining forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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An aerial porter from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group marshals cargo at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The 123rd joined forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group and Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., erect Alaskan Shelter sleeping quarters at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The two units are joining forces to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group and Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., erect Alaskan Shelter sleeping quarters at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The two units joined forces to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group and Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., erect Alaskan Shelter sleeping quarters at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The two units are joining forces to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group and Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., erect Alaskan Shelter sleeping quarters at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The two units joined forces to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group and Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., erect Alaskan Shelter sleeping quarters at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The two units are joining forces to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group and Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., erect Alaskan Shelter sleeping quarters at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The two units joined forces to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group and Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., erect Alaskan Shelter sleeping quarters at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The two units are joining forces to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group and Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., erect Alaskan Shelter sleeping quarters at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The two units joined forces to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

A Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft taxies into MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group is joining forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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A Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft taxies into MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 5, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. The Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group joined forces with the U.S. Army’s active-duty 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to stand up and operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening, which combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into affected areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates their final distribution over land. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

MASCOUTAH, Ill. -- When a natural disaster strikes the homeland, civilian authorities often find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the crisis. Power and communications may be knocked out, roads and airports are frequently impassable or inoperative, and food or water can be alarmingly scarce.

But the Kentucky Air Guard's 123rd Contingency Response Group was designed from the ground up to provide essential help during such emergencies, ensuring the rapid delivery of food, water, medicine and other assistance by airlift, even when local airports are closed, said Col. Mark Heiniger, the unit's commander.

On Thursday, those capabilities were verified by U.S. Transportation Command when the defense agency gave its stamp of approval to the 123rd, saying the unit was fully mission-capable to provide domestic disaster assistance to civilian authorities.

The verdict came at the end of a four-day earthquake-response exercise called Gateway Relief, during which the 123rd teamed up with the active-duty U.S. Army's 689th Rapid Port Opening Element from Fort Eustis, Va., to operate a Joint Task Force-Port Opening at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport here.

"The inspectors told us we knocked it out of the park and awarded us an overall grade of 'outstanding,' " said Heiniger, who also served as commander of the Joint Task Force-Port Opening. "They found no discrepancies in any of the five graded areas and said several of our functions were 'best seen to date.'

"That's a direct result of the hard work of our dedicated Airmen, but it's also an indicator of the exceptional performance turned in by our brothers and sisters in the 689th RPOE. The key to this mission was teamwork -- our motto going in was 'one team, one fight' -- and our Airmen and Soldiers lived it from the start."

A Joint Task Force-Port Opening, or JTF-PO, is a logistics hub that combines an Air Force Aerial Port of Debarkation with an Army trucking and distribution unit. The aerial port ensures the smooth flow of cargo and relief supplies into disaster areas by airlift, while the trucking unit facilitates final distribution over land, Heiniger explained.

The Army and Air Force units deploy with everything they need to operate, from all-terrain forklifts, satellite communications gear and sleeping quarters to aircraft mechanics, security forces and power-production specialists.

During Gateway Relief, Airmen from the 123rd offloaded cargo from inbound aircraft and passed it on to Soldiers from the 689th. The Soldiers then transferred the cargo to specialized pallets, called flat racks, and trucked it to a nearby cargo yard, called a forward node, where it was staged for final delivery to civilian authorities and relief agencies.

"We moved every piece of cargo the inspectors could throw at us, and we maintained a smooth flow of logistics from the airfield to the forward node at all times," said Lt. Col. Bruce Bancroft, director of the Joint Operations Center for Gateway Relief. "It was a seamless process, thanks to a high level of integration between the Army and Air Guard forces."

Army Capt. Charles Greene, commander of the 689th, also described the exercise as "seamless."

"Since we hit the ground, we were a purple force," he said. "Throughout the exercise, we had a synergy which resulted in a hugely successful mission. The Air Force and the Army came together as one."

Gateway Relief began Aug. 5 when a Joint Assessment Team of 11 personnel arrived via a Kentucky Air Guard C-130. Their initial task was to survey the notionally inoperative airport, determine whether the infrastructure could support large-scale relief operations, and provide a "go-no go" decision to U.S. Transportation Command within four hours of arrival.

The mission was based on a scenario in which two major earthquakes struck the New Madrid Seismic Zone, resulting in mass casualties and widespread destruction across Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Once the airfield was approved for use, more than 120 follow-on personnel began arriving from the 123rd and 689th, augmented by multiple planeloads of support equipment like tents, generators and communications gear, Bancroft said. By the end of the first day, the camp was fully operational, and relief supplies began flowing to the forward node.

From the very beginning, the 123rd's Airmen set new records for performance. The Joint Assessment Team, for example, was required to establish secure data communications with U.S. Transportation Command officials within four hours of landing, but the Kentucky team accomplished the task in just six minutes. In another case, Kentucky Air Guardsmen stood up a complex Small Package Initial Communications Element in only three hours and 10 minutes -- nearly nine hours sooner than required by USTRANSCOM.

"Both of those accomplishments were all-time records for a JTF-PO mission," Bancroft said.

Greene noted that he had never seen a JTF-PO stood up so efficiently, and he praised the 123rd for its professionalism.

"It was an honor to work with the Kentucky Air Guard," he said. "I've been an evaluator before, and I couldn't ask to work with better people. If we ever get the call to respond to a crisis, I would want to go out the door with the 123rd. This is what right looks like."

The Kentucky group is one of only eight contingency response units in the U.S. Air Force and is the first fully operational CRG in the Air National Guard. In 2010, the unit was selected to establish and operate one of two overseas airlift hubs supporting earthquake-recovery efforts in Haiti, directing the delivery of hundreds of tons of relief supplies into the Dominican Republic for subsequent trucking to Haiti.

In 2012, the 123rd was verified by U.S. Transportation Command to perform the JTF-PO mission overseas.